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Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced that the City has received seven qualifying responses to Applied Sciences NYC, the City’s groundbreaking initiative to build or expand a state-of-the-art engineering and applied sciences campus in New York City. Seventeen world-class institutions from around the globe, in some cases together with technology industry leaders, responded to the Request for Proposals, which seeks a university, institution or consortium to develop and operate a new or expanded campus in the City in exchange for access to City-owned land and up to $100 million in City capital. The proposals will be evaluated by the City as well as an Advisory Committee over the course of the next several weeks, with selection expected in January. After selection and a period of negotiation, the project could break ground as early as next year. Mayor Bloomberg made the announcement at the headquarters of NextJump, a New York City-based company that develops technology for corporate loyalty and rewards program and has about 120 employees, the majority of whom are engineers, and was joined by Deputy Mayor Robert K. Steel, New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth W. Pinsky and NextJump CEO Charlie Kim.
“Universities are always a major magnet for talent – and the world’s most dynamic companies always gravitate to places where they can find the best and the brightest,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Along with everything we are doing to diversify and strengthen our economy, a new applied sciences campus has the potential to be a real economic game changer that will create jobs immediately, and for generations.”
“The strength of these seven proposals is the latest of evidence of confidence in New York City’s future,” Deputy Mayor Steel said. “While there is significant work to be done to evaluate these proposals and select a winner or winners, we are humbled and pleased by the academic community’s response to Applied Sciences NYC.”
“Innovation is critical to the City’s economic future, and with these strong proposals, we are now well-positioned for a quantum leap in our competitiveness,” said Economic Development President Pinsky. “We now begin an extensive evaluation process, working closely with leaders from the public, private and academic sectors, in order to select the proposal that provides the greatest benefit to the City and its taxpayers. While our work is far from complete, we are one step closer to making New York City the indisputable leader of innovation for the 21st century.”
The responses to the Applied Science NYC Request for Proposals were from the following institutions and for the following sites:
The proposals contain plans for new facilities ranging from just under 400,000 square feet to over 2 million square feet. The institutions propose private investments of more than $800 million in the first phases of their projects, with long-term plans to involve private investment of more than $2.5 billion. The institutions propose to add hundreds of top-tier faculty members, and thousands of new graduate students. Proposals feature plans for new lab, classroom and research space, new public open space, and space for companies that will spin out from these institutions.
Responding institutions said they will be focusing on areas including information technology, digital media, sustainable urban growth, electrical engineering, public health, genome sequencing and computer science. Many proposals contain plans for establishing connections to local K-12 education programs, providing local residents with access to their institutions, and participating in local hiring and Minority and Women-owned Business contracting programs. While the exact amounts differ, all of the proposals envision acceptance of some combination of City-controlled land as well as City capital.
Applied Sciences NYC is designed to be a critical driver of New York City’s economy, and an economic analysis completed by the Economic Development Corporation earlier this year projects that the City will dramatically benefit from a new or expanded engineering and applied sciences campus located in the City. According to the analysis, over the next 35 years it will generate an estimated $6 billion in overall economic activity across the five boroughs, with hundreds of new companies spinning out of the school directly. In addition, it will help create more than 30,000 permanent and construction jobs for New Yorkers at a variety of skill levels, and roughly $1.2 billion in direct and indirect taxes for the City.
“This is another significant step in what is proving to be one of the most exciting projects the city has undertaken in the past decade,” said U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer. “The schools who have put in bids - from our city and state, from across the country, and from around the world - are the best of the best, and makes clear once again that for those who are focused on the future, New York is the place to be. The Mayor is to be commended for his foresight and his creativity, and I will do everything that I can to make sure this vision becomes a reality.”
“New York City is well on its way to becoming the tech capital of the world,” said Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “I look forward to following the selection process and am excited that the City is cementing its reputation as the premier destination for applied science research. A new applied sciences campus is a game changer for the city and will help drive local economic growth and connect tens of thousands of New Yorkers with promising new jobs over the coming decades.”
“Recruiting engineers has been cited as the number one challenge for every technology company in New York City, which Next Jump realized early on and spent six years investing heavily in attracting and retaining talented engineers from the top East Coast campuses,” said Charlie Kim, Founder & CEO of Next Jump. “Applied Sciences NYC is a visionary plan that will attract the best and brightest from around the world to New York City, helping established companies and startups alike, and we are excited to support the Mayor Bloomberg’s initiative.”
“The business community regards this project as the single most important action the City could take to ensure New York’s continued leadership in the innovation economy,” said Kathy Wylde, President & CEO of the Partnership for New York City.
“This initiative will maximize local economic activity, create good jobs and strengthen the tax base,” said Gary LaBarbera, President of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York. “We have already met with some of the applicants and are enthusiastic about the potential to develop the involved properties and create thousands of union jobs in our industry with good wages, health insurance and pensions.”
“I am very pleased that this project is moving along and hope that with its success we will see more technology based industries coming to New York City,” said Council Member Karen Koslowitz.
Selection will be based on a number of factors with a heavy emphasis on the ability of the facility to create jobs and increase the global competitiveness of New York City. Accordingly, the Request for Proposals asked respondents to prioritize fields in the applied sciences that lend themselves to commercialization and business creation and attraction. Proposals will be judged based on the following broad criteria:
Respondents will also be evaluated on their proposed community relations and partnerships, including programs that they intend to undertake to connect with residents locally and citywide. Once selected, the partner institution or institutions will be expected to comply with a series of deadlines and requirements, including those relating to the construction timeline, the number of enrolled students, the number of dedicated faculty members, and the establishment of applicable academic and research programs. The partner institution or institutions will also be expected to create links between industry and academia to ensure that research is applied or translated for use in various business sectors. Campus plans must demonstrate a strong emphasis on sustainable, energy-efficient design that is sensitive to surrounding neighborhoods and the global environment.
The official selection process will be undertaken by City officials over the next several weeks, in consultation with and with guidance from members of the Applied Sciences NYC Advisory Committee, which was created earlier this year. The committee is comprised of leaders from the academic, civic and business sectors, and was assembled to ensure that the ultimate selection achieves the goals set forth by the City. Committee members include:
Applied Sciences NYC is designed to capitalize on the considerable growth presently occurring within the science, technology and research fields, and is to build on the Bloomberg Administration’s record of creating a more diverse and competitive economy for the future. In the high-tech sector alone, employment in New York has grown by more than 30 percent between 2005 and 2010. Also, last year New York surpassed Massachusetts to become the number two recipient of venture capital funding for technology companies, while in the third quarter of 2011, New York surpassed Massachusetts in venture capital funding across all categories.
Applied Sciences NYC was launched by the City after hundreds of conversations with academics, local business leaders, civic leaders, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and community leaders, over the last several years. In these conversations, a common theme emerged: even with the high quality and quantity of research and development activity taking place in New York City today and even with all of the expansion plans now in the works at local universities, given the scale of the City's economy and the scale of its ambitions (to become the global center of the innovation economy in the 21st Century), the City needs to promote more such activity in the coming decades. This is especially true as other countries continue to invest heavily in research and development, with Asia, for example, now predicted to overtake R&D expenditures in the U.S. within the next five years, thanks primarily to striking growth in R&D investment in China.