City issues RFP for Applied Sciences NYC

New York City has issued an official request for proposals relating to Applied Sciences NYC, its initiative to build or expand a state-of-the-art engineering and applied sciences campus at one of three city sites, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor Robert Steel and New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth Pinsky announced today.

“Our offer is straightforward,” Bloomberg said of the proposal, initially unveiled in December. “We will provide prime New York real estate — at virtually no cost, plus up to $100 million in infrastructure upgrades, in exchange for a university’s commitment to build or expand a world-class science and engineering campus here in our city.”

The city is offering real estate at three possible locations, he said — Governors Island, Brooklyn Navy Yard, and Roosevelt Island.

Responses to the RFP will be due in the fall and a winner will be selected by the end of 2011, with the opening of the first phase of the project scheduled for 2015. Each applying entity must explain how its proposal accomplished the project’s goals of developing research that will lead to the formation of new companies, creating construction and permanent jobs, developing a financially self-sustaining campus and contributing to the diversification of the city’s economy.

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Once selected, the institution will be expected to meet a series of construction deadlines and have a certain number of students and faculty members.

“During the 1980s and 1990s, Silicon Valley — not New York — became the world capital of technology start-ups, and that is still true. But if I am right — and if we succeed in this mission — it won’t be true forever,” Bloomberg said.

Pinsky called the opportunity an “Erie Canal moment” for our city, “an opportunity to change the city’s economic trajectory for years to come.”

The city received a total of 18 statements of interest from 27 academic institutions after the initiative was first announced. The statements came from local colleges such as Columbia University, the City University of New York, Cooper Union and New York University, as well as from international colleges in Israel, Finland, India, Korea, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. — Katherine Clarke