Cornell University and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology will partner to build an applied sciences campus in New York City that officials hope will transform the metropolis into a center for entrepreneurship and technology innovation to rival California's Silicon Valley.
In a news conference on Monday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that the schools' proposal had been selected in the multi-billion-dollar competition, according to a person familiar with the decision who spoke on condition of anonymity because the announcement has not yet been made.
The city is not ruling out the possibility that one of the other proposals will also be approved later on, a New York official added.
The news conference was viewed live in the Technion campus in Haifa, in a crowd that included the recipient of the Nobel Prize in chemistry, Prof Dan Schechtman, who teaches at the Israeli university.
Seven universities and consortiums submitted bids to build a campus in exchange for nearly free city land and up to $100 million in city improvements. California's Stanford University withdrew its proposal on Friday, saying it had failed to find a way to ensure the success of its proposed campus in its talks with the city.
Cornell said Friday it had received $350 million from an anonymous donor for its plan — the largest gift in the university's history. In a statement, Cornell President David Skorton said the project would "fuel the city's growing tech sector."
Cornell and Technion have promised city officials the program will be up and running before the end of 2012, in existing city space.
TheTechnion is home to three Israeli Nobel laureates chemistry: In 2004 professors Avraham Hershko and Aharon Ciechanover won the prize with their American colleague, Irwin Rose, 78, for discovering a central method in which cells destroy unwanted proteins, joined in 2011 by Dan Schechtman who was awarded the prize for his discovery of patterns in atoms called quasicrystals, a chemical structure that researchers previously thought was impossible.
In a statement by Israel's New York Consul General Ido Aharoni, the Israeli official said the State of Israel was "grateful for the opportunity to introduce Israel's creative spirit to New York City's new technological center through this unique Technion-Cornell partnership."
" This is more than a just a collaboration between organizations; but rather an alliance of leading young minds and we will do our best to turn this endeavor into a major success. We are looking forward to the innovations that this dynamic partnership will create, said, for Israel," Aharoni said.
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