CMU competing to participate in New York City research program

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Carnegie Mellon and two other North American universities want to provide research support for a campus expansion at New York University, a Carnegie Mellon official said today.

A joint letter expressing interest in the development was submitted by Carnegie Mellon, the University of Toronto, City University of New York and NYU as well as IBM.

It was among 18 responses expressing interest submitted by academic institutions from around the world following an invitation from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

A statement issued by Mr. Bloomberg's office today said the schools are "seeking to develop and operate a new applied science and engineering research campus in New York City."

However, Richard McCullough, Carnegie Mellon vice president for research, said the statement's use of the word "campus" is not accurate as it pertains to what Carnegie Mellon's role would be if the NYU campus expansion comes to fruition.

"We may have a small physical presence but certainly not a campus," he said. "Our faculty would help them to get research dollars and we would get some of those research dollars."

The work would involve research related to development of smart technologies for cities, and some Carnegie Mellon researchers may work for periods in New York City.

A separate, joint letter of interest from Carnegie Mellon and Steiner Studios involves creating a digital media program that would build on the school's work in entertainment-related technologies, Mr. McCullough said. It would be located on city-owned land in Brooklyn being developed by Steiner, and while a small number of students may enroll there, Carnegie Mellon does not expect it to develop into a campus.

A total of 27 institutions, some in partnership with others, submitted "expressions of interest," Mr. Bloomberg's office said. Other elite U.S. campuses also interested include Stanford University, Columbia University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the University of Chicago, among others, according to the mayor's office.

The submissions will be reviewed and a request for proposals will be issued this summer.

The city wants to make a choice by year's end.

The Bloomberg administration has said it wants to diversify the city's economy and accelerate growth in its technology sector. The mayor called the idea a "once-in-generation" opportunity to attract interest from top-tier universities around the globe, which in turn would benefit the schools.


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