Google to donate space for Roosevelt Island tech campus

Google to donate space for Roosevelt Island tech campus
Photo courtesy Michael Bloomberg
By Rebecca Henely

While Long Island City waits for Cornell University and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology’s to build their graduate institute on Roosevelt Island, Google has offered it a temporary home.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Monday that the Internet giant would loan 22,000 square feet of its office space in Manhattan to the new campus. Cornell will be able to operate out of the space and forge relationships with local technology companies and entrepreneurs for five years and six months, or until the completion of the Roosevelt Island campus.

“The key is engagement between world-class academics, companies and early stage investors to catalyze innovation,” Cornell President David Skornton said in a statement. “That’s what we’ll be creating on Roosevelt Island, and thanks to Google, it’s what will be happening here starting this fall.”

Cornell University, in Ithaca, N.Y., together with Technion, in Haifa, Israel, had won a contest held by Bloomberg and the city Economic Development Corp. to propose a higher educational institution that would create jobs in exchange for free real estate somewhere in the city and $100 million in city capital. Western Queens residents had advocated for the college to be built on Roosevelt Island.

The first phase of the campus will not be completed until 2017, necessitating a temporary location.

“When we first envisioned the Applied Sciences initiative, we hoped the winning school would establish strong relationships with the tech sector, but this kind of synergy is beyond anything we could have imagined,” Bloomberg said of the partnership with Google.