Cornell Tech opened the first phase of its 12-acre campus, intended to be a national tech hub, on Roosevelt Island Wednesday morning.
The campus, which broke ground in 2015, is the result of Cornell Tech's win of the Applied Sciences Competition under the administration of former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
Calling the campus "a back to the future" initiative for New York, Bloomberg praised the collaboration between the public, private and academic sectors that made Cornell Tech come to fruition.
Cornell Tech Dean Daniel Huttenlocher said the initiative "a new type of campus built for the digital age" that represents a "new era of tech for New York."
Saying there was "a void in New York's competitiveness," Gov. Andrew Cuomo pegged Cornell Tech "a milestone in New York long-term economic strategy" and "almost an audacious dream," made possible by a partnership with Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.
Bloomberg contended that "science and tech drawing us closer" to what Cuomo called President Franklin Delano Roosevelt "spirit of possible."
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, fresh off of a primary win, praised Bloomberg's vision and dedication to tech, noting that "jobs in the tech ecosystem are jobs families can live on," adding that "salaries in this sector grew three times faster" than in any other sector in New York.
Cybersecurity and the tech industry on whole have been repeatedly pilloried for lacking diversity and indeed statistics show that they are still dominated by white males. De Blasio encouraged tech companies to change the mix of their ranks through the "extraordinary diversity" that makes New York "special as a city."
For companies that want "to tap the best talent, the most diverse talent, that represents men and women, plant your flag here," de Blasio said.
Cornell Tech, which has been operating for four years at the Bloomberg Center, currently has 300 students. In 2011, New York estimated the campus would create 8,000 permanent jobs and $23 billion worth of economic activity over 35 years.