Report From Cornell Vice President Cathy Dove, The Technion - Cornell Partnership At Roosevelt Island Cornell NYC Tech
Cornell NYC Tech Vice President Cathy Dove sends this report to the Roosevelt Island community.
The Technion-Cornell Partnership at Cornell TechAs previously reported, here's Mayor Bloomberg announcing
Happy spring! I can’t imagine a place more beautiful than Roosevelt Island in April - everything from the blossoming cherry trees to the fuzzy goslings in Southpoint Park is spectacular. In addition to the weather transitioning, I am happy to report that plans for the Cornell Tech campus are coming together well. The City Planning Commission in March approved our project, and we are now in the midst of review by the City Council, the final stage in the land use review process.
I would like to thank the many Islanders who have taken the time to participate in each step of the process. Your input and dedication has been constructive and most helpful, and you have informed many important aspects of our planning. Thank you especially for understanding our approach to studying complex issues rather than always having immediate answers. In particular, we have been examining how construction can proceed with the least possible impact, ensuring that we are a good neighbor from the outset. I am pleased with what we have learned (more details to come in our next column) and hope that you will find our approach to be thoughtful and innovative, a standard we will aim for with every aspect of Cornell Tech.
The academic program for the campus is also moving forward quickly. Our “beta” class of masters students in computer science will finish its first semester in May. In this column, I want to provide more detail on another important part of the academic program – the partnership between Cornell University and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Technion, it is one of the world’s leading research universities and a hub of innovation. In fact, the Technion has been a pioneer in training tech entrepreneurs and helping translate academic research into businesses. Amazingly, Israel has more companies listed on the NASDAQ than all of Europe, and fully half of those companies are led by Technion graduates. Israel has become known as “start-up nation,” and the Technion may be the biggest catalyst.
The partnership between Cornell and the Technion is manifested in a key component of Cornell Tech, the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute (JTCII). When the campus is fully up and running, about 1/3 of the students and faculty will be affiliated with the JTCII, while the rest of the campus will be taught exclusively by Cornell faculty and receive their degrees from Cornell (for example, the students who enrolled in January 2013 are in a one-year Cornell master degree program). In addition, Cornell alone is responsible for the development of the physical Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island.
However, the partnership between our two institutions is a centerpiece of the academic mission. The Jacobs Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute will launch its first formal program in the coming months – a novel program for Postdoctoral Innovation Fellows. The aim is to support researchers who seek to commercialize their research ideas in the stimulating environment at the JTCII while taking full advantage of the entrepreneurial network of Cornell Tech and the proximity to New York City-based markets.
Beginning in Fall 2014 the JTCII will offer an innovative two-year interdisciplinary program where students earn dual master degrees concurrently – one from Cornell and one from the Technion. This degree program will allow students to specialize in applied information-based sciences in one of three hubs focused around leading New York City industries – Connective Media, Healthier Living and The Built Environment – while honing their entrepreneurial skills. The first area of specialization will be in Connective Media. JTCII research will also be focused on the hub areas.
The Institute is named for Joan and Irwin Jacobs, Cornell alumni and long-time donors to both Cornell and the Technion, who recently announced a significant gift to support the Institute. Their gift will help support ongoing JTCII curriculum initiatives, faculty and graduate students, and industry interactions in the program. We are incredibly grateful for the Jacobses’ generosity, since as a non-profit we have to attract a great deal of philanthropy in support of the new campus and we have a long way still to go!
It is particularly appropriate that the JTCII is named for the Jacobses, because Irwin Jacobs embodies the type of tech leader we hope to produce at Cornell Tech. He is the founder of Qualcomm and a strong believer in the power of connecting academia and industry. For more than 20 years, Qualcomm has maintained a major research and development operation in Israel – not in cosmopolitan Tel Aviv, but in Haifa, adjacent to the Technion’s campus. Not surprisingly the innovations that have come from this research campus have included major technological breakthroughs – in much the same way we believe will happen at Cornell Tech.
We could not be more excited about the Cornell-Technion academic partnership and believe that the Institute will be a significant contributor to the many innovative programs that Cornell Tech will bring to Roosevelt Island.
the $133 million gift to the Technion component of Cornell NYC Tech by the Jacobs Family.