NEW YORK – The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and Cornell University inaugurated their joint campus on New York City’s Roosevelt Island on Wednesday as part of their academic partnership, which began six years ago.
In 2011, the collaboration was named the winner of then-mayor Mike Bloomberg’s visionary applied sciences competition, the goal of which was diversifying the economy and creating a national hub for tech. The brainchild of this initiative was the Technion-Cornell Institute, a cornerstone of Cornell Tech, which is a graduate school of Cornell University.
The Technion has been vital in Israel’s emergence as the “start-up nation,” and Cornell is a longtime leader in engineering and computer science with a strong presence in New York City.
From 2012-2017, the campus was temporarily located at Google headquarters in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood.
Cornell Tech moved to Roosevelt Island in August. Phase one of the campus construction was completed and dedicated on Wednesday. Completion of construction on the entire campus isn’t expected until 2043.
The Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute was established with a $133 million gift from Joan Klein Jacobs and Dr. Irwin Mark Jacobs, founding chairman and CEO emeritus of Qualcomm.
The school will pool professors, research and resources from both the Technion and Cornell.
This fall, 30 faculty members and almost 300 graduate students will move to the campus on Roosevelt Island.
Three buildings officially opened on Wednesday, all of them sustainable and energy efficient. When fully completed, the campus will span some 600,000 sq.m. of state-of-theart buildings and .8 hectares (over two acres) of open space, and will be home to more than 2,000 graduate students as well as hundreds of faculty and staff.
According to the city’s estimations, the new campus will generate up to 8,000 permanent jobs, hundreds of spin-off companies and more than $23 billion in economic activity over a period of 35 years.
“Today’s Cornell Tech campus opening marks the beginning of a new chapter in the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute’s ongoing work to foster innovation in New York and beyond,” Technion President Prof. Peretz Lavie told faculty, government officials, diplomats and members of the press at the campus’s dedication on Wednesday.
“In partnership with Cornell University, we’ve developed a model of graduate-level technology education that is unlike any other – one that’s tailor-made not only for New York City but for the challenges of the digital revolution. We’re incredibly proud of the work we’ve done, and we couldn’t be more excited to take this next step.”
Bloomberg, who also spoke at the event, said Cornell Tech is “an investment in the future of New York City.”