Mayor Michael Bloomberg, deputy mayor for economic development Robert Steel and N.Y.C. Economic Development Corp. president Seth Pinsky have issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for Applied Sciences NYC, the city's initiative to build or expand an engineering and applied sciences campus in the city. The RFP is the next step in the initiative - unveiled in December 2010 - that seeks a university, institution or consortium to develop and operate a new or expanded campus in the city in exchange for access to city-owned land - at the Navy Hospital Campus at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the Goldwater Hospital Campus on Roosevelt Island, or on Governors Island - and the full support and partnership of the Bloomberg administration. The city is also prepared to make a significant investment in site infrastructure, offering up to $100 million in a competitive process designed to select the proposal that yields the most benefit to the city for the lowest commitment of city resources. The city expects that any public contribution will be matched several times over by resources raised by the winner or winners themselves.
Applied Sciences NYC will be a critical driver of the further diversification of the city's economy, generating billions of dollars in economic activity, spinning off hundreds of new companies, and creating nearly 30,000 jobs, according to an economic impact analysis. Responses to the RFP will be due in the fall and a winner will be selected by the end of the year. The opening of the first phase of the project is anticipated for 2015.
"N.Y.C. has a history of planning for and investing in its future to ensure it will be brighter than its past. Today, we are looking far into the future once again, and launching one of the most promising economic development initiatives in the city's long history," said Bloomberg. "During the 1980s and '90s, Silicon Valley - not New York - became the world capital of technology start-ups, and that is still true today. But if I am right - and if we succeed in this mission - it won't be true forever. The Applied Sciences NYC initiative will serve as a major catalyst for N.Y.C.'s local economy for decades, generating billions of dollars in economic activity through the creation of hundreds of new businesses and tens of thousands jobs for New Yorkers."
"As we move into the 21st century, our success as a city and a region will be measured above all by our ability to attract and retain the talented men and women who can transform cutting edge ideas into the real world products and firms of tomorrow," said senator Charles Schumer. "Adding a world class engineering and applied sciences school will only strengthen the city's position as a leader in high-tech, and a premier destination for the talented and ambitious young people looking to make their mark in the new global economy. Applied Sciences NYC represents exactly the sort of bold thinking that has always propelled New York forward into the future. Mayor Bloomberg deserves great credit for leading the charge, and I will do everything in my power to assist him in making this vision a reality for the future of New York."
"No other city is poised to lead in the high-tech economy of the future like New York City," said senator Kirsten Gillibrand. "We need to harness our city's potential to spark new industries, attract businesses, and create thousands of jobs. Building a state-of-the-art campus right here in the heart of the Big Apple will help ensure that we're growing innovative leaders to compete and win in the global economy."
"As we move into the 21st century we need to make sure we have the institutions that will support the kind of city we want to see," said city council speaker Christine Quinn. "We want to see discovery and innovation - new life saving medical devices and drugs, new technologies that will help us communicate in what is becoming a truly global community and products that will make our lives easier. Applied Sciences N.Y.C. is a great opportunity for academic institutions to come to the best city in the world - the cultural, financial and business capital of the world - and it's a great opportunity for the city to build upon its world class academic institutions. This program will bring us to the forefront of future achievements in this field, while also offering astounding growth potential to city's economy. I applaud mayor Bloomberg, deputy mayor Steel and NYCEDC president Pinksy for their vision and foresight, and for pushing N.Y.C. into a new frontier of possibilities."
"Investing in our applied sciences and engineering capabilities is an economic imperative for N.Y.C.," said deputy mayor Steel. "This new or expanded institution will help attract the most important ingredient in the innovation economy: talent. This project has the potential to indelibly alter the economic trajectory of N.Y.C. and ensure that we remain the destination of choice for big thinkers, dreamers, and innovators from around the five boroughs and around the world."
"The importance of this project to N.Y.C.'s future economic strength cannot be overstated," said Pinsky. "This is an 'Erie Canal moment' for our city - an opportunity to change the City's economic trajectory for years to come. By making this significant investment in the science, technology, and research sectors in N.Y.C., we are poised to expand and strengthen our already world-leading economy."
The economic impact analysis completed by NYCEDC projects that N.Y.C.'s economy will dramatically benefit from a new or expanded engineering and applied sciences campus located in the city. Over the next 35 years, it will generate an estimated $6 billion in overall economic activity across the five boroughs, with hundreds of new companies spinning out of the school directly. And it will help create more than 22,000 permanent jobs for New Yorkers with a variety of skill levels, 7,700 construction jobs, and roughly $1.2 billion in direct and indirect taxes for the city.
The Applied Sciences NYC initiative is designed to capitalize on the considerable growth presently occurring within the science, technology and research fields, as well as the Bloomberg administration's record of creating a more diverse and competitive economy for the future. The initiative was undertaken by the city after hundreds of conversations with local business leaders, civic leaders, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and community leaders, over the last several years. A common theme emerged: even with the high quality and quantity of research and development activity taking place in N.Y.C. today, the city needs to promote more such activity if it hopes to capture a bigger share of growth industries in the coming decades.
"Engineering and the Applied Science are our past, our present, and increasingly our future," said Google VP of Engineering Alfred Spector. "Google is in N.Y.C. because of the draw of the city and the talent, and we support the city's initiative to make New York an even more vibrant center of engineering and the applied sciences."
In seeking an institution for Applied Sciences NYC, the city will base its selection on a number of factors relating to the facility's ability to improve N.Y.C.'s economic prospects and global competitiveness. Accordingly, the RFP focuses on proposals that prioritize fields in the applied sciences that lend themselves to commercialization, thereby resulting in significant job creation for city residents. The specific project goals against which proposals will be judged include the following:
* Develop research that will lead to the formation and expansion of companies in and attraction of companies to N.Y.C. in industries that demonstrate the most potential for growth.
* Create construction and permanent jobs and generate tax revenue.
* Develop a financially self-sustaining campus.
* Contribute to the diversification of N.Y.C.'s economy by expanding its applied sciences sector.
Each respondent will be required to explain how its proposal accomplishes the project goals. Joint ventures and consortia proposals will be welcome. In addition to the city-owned development sites presented in the RFP, respondents are permitted to consider and propose privately-owned sites in the city where an applied sciences facility could be developed or expanded.
Once selected, the partner institution or institutions will be expected to comply with a series of deadlines and requirements, including those relating to the construction timeline, the number of enrolled students, the number of dedicated hiring faculty members, and the launching of applicable academic and research programs. The partner institution or institutions will also be expected to create links between industry and academia to ensure that research is applied or translated for use in various business sectors and/or the creation of new commercial ventures. It is anticipated that the facility will ultimately include at least one million square feet of development, with a strong emphasis to be placed on sustainable, energy-efficient design that is sensitive to the surrounding neighborhoods. During the RFP process, respondents will be evaluated on their community relations and partnerships, with respondents expected to describe key programs they plan to undertake to connect with residents locally and citywide.
As part of the RFP process, Bloomberg also formed an Applied Sciences NYC advisory committee. The committee is comprised of leaders from both the public and private sectors, and will advise the city and NYCEDC throughout the selection process to ensure that the ultimate selection will have the greatest economic impact possible on the city. Committee members include: Mark Burstein, executive VP, Princeton University; Paul Gray, Andrew Grove chair in electrical engineering at UC Berkeley; Charlie Kim, founder and CEO of Next Jump; Joseph McShane, S.J., president, Fordham University; Alan Patricof, managing director and founder, Greycroft; Kevin Ryan, founder and CEO, Gilt Groupe; Parag Saxena, CEO of Vedanta Capital and New Silk Route Partners; Charles Vest, president of the National Academy of Engineering, and president emeritus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Kathryn Wylde, president and CEO, Partnership for N.Y.C.
"World-class science and engineering are essential," said Vest. "N.Y.C. is setting a bold and important strategy that over time will enhance its economy and world leadership."
"N.Y.C.'s status as a global center of business innovation cannot be sustained unless we move quickly to attract a deeper, richer pool of talent in engineering and applied sciences," said Wylde. "That is the objective of this RFP."
N.Y.C. is currently home to more than 626,000 students, including more than 4,200 graduate engineering students. While the city's more than 100 academic and research institutions are renowned worldwide, for the city to remain competitive in the industries of tomorrow, it is necessary for the city to increase the scale of research that takes place within the five boroughs. This is especially true as other countries continue to invest heavily in research and development spending, with Asia now predicted to overtake R&D expenditures in the U.S. within the next five years, thanks primarily to striking growth in R&D investment in China.
The Applied Sciences NYC initiative was launched at the end of 2010, with the issuance by NYCEDC of a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) that received 18 responses from 27 top-tier institutions around the world. The RFEI responses contained proposals for hundreds of millions of dollars in private investment and significant increases to the number of applied sciences and engineering graduate students expected to be produced in N.Y.C. They also included a variety of ideas about what types of science the city should be focusing on, ranging from environmental sciences to nano-engineering. Many of the proposals included wet and dry labs as well as space for teaching, housing, and recreation. The proposals indicated primary interest in the Brooklyn Navy Yard site, the Roosevelt Island site, and the site on Governors Island, as well as a number of privately-owned sites.
A complete copy of the Request for Proposals can be found at nyc.gov. Responses are due on October 28 by 4 p.m. To support or learn more about this initiative go to the dedicated Applied Sciences NYC pages on Facebook and Twitter.