Google is Giving Space to Cornell in Manhattan; NYC Still Isn’t Silicon Valley — But It’s Getting There!


Move aside, Silicon Valley! Or, you know, watch your back. New York City is trying to compete with the tech-y town to be the tech center of the universe — and Google is helping.

(FYI: New York City is still second to Silicon Valley, but it’s trying!)

Today, Mayor Mike Bloomberg joined Google CEO Larry Page and Cornell President David Skorton to announce that Google will be doing something outside of its typical scope of activities: providing space for a temporary university campus in New York City.

As a central part of its Applied Sciences initiative — aimed at attracting industry jobs and startups and expanding the Big Apple as a tech hub — the city is building a campus on Roosevelt Island for CornellNYC Tech, an engineering and applied science campus that will be run by Cornell University and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.

While the university constructs its campus on Roosevelt Island, Google will allocate 22,000 square feet of its New York headquarters to CornellNYC Tech starting in July, the mayor announced today. The company is offering Cornell the space on 16th Street and 9th Avenue free of charge for five years and six months (or could be shorter, if Cornell completes its Roosevelt campus before then).

“Google, as everybody knows, is one of the world’s most innovative companies,” Bloomberg said. “And our Applied Science competition, we think, is one of the most innovative economic development strategies any city has ever undertaken. The question is, what happens when you marry them?”

New York gets one step closer to beating Silicon Valley!

“This relationship will be powerful for Google and CornellNYC Tech and just as powerful for the rest of the city,” he said.

“Today, we’re second only to Silicon Valley as a tech center, and we don’t like to be second to anybody!” Bloomberg said. “Google and CornellNYC Tech are going to help us seriously close that gap.”

Cornell, which was chosen as a winner of the city’s engineering campus competition back in December, will be able to expand to 58,000 square feet over five years as it increases its footprint in the city.

The tech scene in the city continues to grow dramatically, thanks to the mayor and the city’s Economic Development Corporation, as Bloomberg likes to brag on a fairly regular basis.

He deserves the credit, said Google CEO Larry Page, who offered very high praise for Bloomberg, saying that he has taken some lessons from the mayor.

“This all happened because of the passion of Mayor Bloomberg,” Page said. “He’s always had what I like to call a healthy disregard for the impossible…He sets big ambitious goals, and he usually hits them. Personally I’ve learned a lot from him about management.”

But today’s announcement was about more than just mutual praise. Page went on to discuss the importance of technology and the need for more people to work in this industry. This collaboration, he said, will help push technology and innovation forward.

“The problem is only a small number of minds are working in our field today,” he said, adding that technology has created wonderful things like Google Maps, Google Translate, and of course, YouTube. “The truth is things we used to think were magic we now take for granted.”