Tuesday, April 24, 2012

IIT-Bombay part of NYU-led consortium to build campus in New York

The Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B) will be part of a consortium of world class academic institutions that has been selected to set up an applied sciences campus in Brooklyn, under an initiative launched by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to strengthen the city's global competitiveness in the field of science and engineering.

New York University was selected as the second winner of the city's 'Applied Sciences NYC Initiative', the first being Cornell University and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, which are creating an engineering campus on Roosevelt Island. Bloomberg said the "historic agreement" between the city and the consortium of the academic institutions and private technology companies would lead to the creation of the 'NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress' (CUSP) in Brooklyn.

The NYU-Polytechnic Institute of New York University led consortium includes Carnegie Mellon University, City University of New York, University of Toronto, University of Warwick, IIT-Bombay, as well as technology giants IBM and Cisco, and will grant academic degrees in engineering and sciences. The centre would focus on research and development of technology to address critical challenges facing cities, including infrastructure, tech integration, energy efficiency, transportation congestion, public safety and public health.

"Each of the academic partners of NYU and NYU-Poly - Carnegie Mellon, University of Warwick and IIT-B, are known for their strong applied science and engineering programmes, and each has a solid track record of research commercialisation, as well as industry collaborations and partnerships," the NYC Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) said in a statement here today. IBM and Cisco would each provide a million dollars a year in financial and in-kind support. IIT-B Director Devang Khakhar said the issues facing Mumbai would provide unique new insights and be a source of ideas for the work of the Center.

"The Centre presents a great new opportunity to address the challenges of megacities by the generation of new knowledge using New York City as its laboratory and by imparting education with a focus on the planning, building and managing megacities," Khakhar said in the statement. "The work of the Centre will benefit New York City directly and will provide a template to address many issues of megacities. "We look forward to contributing actively as a consortium member of the Centre through the participation of our faculty who specialize in the fields of engineering and science related to urban studies," Khakhar added.

According to an economic impact analysis conducted by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), CUSP would generate more than US$ 5.5 billion in overall economic activity over the next three decades as well as US$ 597 million in total tax revenue. The campus alone would help create up to 2,200 construction jobs and up to 900 permanent jobs. It is expected to generate nearly 200 spin-off companies over the time period, projecting to create up to an additional 4,600 permanent jobs.

Theoretical physicist Steven Koonin, who has served as Undersecretary of Energy for Science and as Provost of the California Institute of Technology has been named as CUSP's inaugural director.

Bloomberg said the "cutting-egdge" centre would focus on research and science that would give a huge boost to the city's economy and establish New York as a "global hub of science, research, innovation and world-class urban solutions for the future". New York University President John Sexton said through CUSP, New York would become a "living laboratory, a source of research, a test-bed for new ideas, and the economic beneficiary of our researchers' discoveries".

The NYU proposal was selected through a highly competitive process. The proposal envisioned solutions for the world's growing cities in the 21st century. As part of the agreement with the city, NYU has identified as its preferred location for CUSP a 460,000-square-foot city-owned office building in downtown Brooklyn that is currently partially occupied by the New York Police Department.

NYU is expected to complete the renovation of the building in the summer of 2017 for the first NYU CUSP class to begin by September 2017. However, CUSP would immediately begin operations by leasing and renovating a different space in Brooklyn for the first phase of the programme, which will accept its inaugural class in September 2013.

The centre would include classrooms, laboratory space and an incubator for businesses spun off by CUSP or CUSP-related research. It is projected that approximately 530 graduate and doctoral students would attend CUSP, including approximately 430 Masters candidates and 100 PhD candidates. There will be 50 full-time faculty and researchers at CUSP comprising tenured faculty, contract faculty, research scientists and senior researchers from industry.

Senior US Senator from New York Charles Schumer said the world class engineering and applied science schools that are part of the project will "only strengthen the city's position as a leader in high-tech, and a premier destination for the talented and ambitious young people looking to make their mark in the new global economy".

In July 2011, NYCEDC had issued a request for proposal seeking a university, institution or consortium to develop and operate a new or expanded applied sciences campus in the city. In October, the city received seven responses from 17 world-class institutions. The city selected the consortium led by Cornell and the Technion in December giving it land on Roosevelt Island and USD 100 million in capital to build a two billion dollar tech campus.

Source: The Economic Times (Online Edition), April 24, 2012

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Archive