Cornell University has won the bidding process to build a new technology campus in New York City, beating six other rivals including Columbia, Carnegie Mellon, New York University, and the India-based Amity University. The project is designed to draw promising talent towards NYC in a bid to make it the epicenter of new technology startups, and position the city as a major rival to Silicon Valley and Boston, home of MIT. The choice was made by a panel of university presidents, venture capitalists, city Mayoral staff, and local entrepreneurs, who ultimately selected Cornell based on its commitment to the project and apparent hunger to succeed. The new campus, a partnership with Technion-Israel institute of Technology, will be built on Eleanor Roosevelt Island in 2015.
The shock of the selection process came as Stanford withdrew its bid late on, despite being a clear forerunner at the outset. Selection committee member Charlie Kim told Wired that the Stanford bid "was inherently conflicted from day one," and that "if you want to be number one, Silicon Valley has to be number two." This conflict ultimately meant that it would be difficult for Stanford to commit to the project without jeopardising the status and reputation of its California campus.
This desire to compete with Silicon Valley and Boston is inspired by what's perceived as a decline in new startups in Boston and a stagnation in California. New York sees this as an opportunity, and its ambitions don't stop at the Cornell campus. The long term goal, as New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at a press conference, is that some of the other proposals may still be realized in future.