Friday, October 07, 2011

Carnegie Mellon University New York City

Something I will be tracking:

Several schools that have flown under the radar in the citywide competition to build a tech campus are poised to shake up what had appeared to be a dogfight between Cornell and Stanford universities.

The two engineering powerhouses have hired lobbyists and public relations firms to pitch their proposed Roosevelt Island campuses. But details of three other bids—led by New York University, Columbia University and Carnegie Mellon University— that would use other sites are emerging. They would be strong contenders if multiple winners are chosen. ...

... Carnegie Mellon's proposal is altogether different. The Pittsburgh-based university is partnering with Steiner Studios to propose an entertainment technology center adjacent to Steiner's home at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The site is one of three the city had suggested to prospective applicants in its request for proposals. The school and studio have long had a relationship, with Carnegie Mellon students doing internships at Steiner.

A spokesman for Carnegie Mellon confirmed the university is preparing the bid, but declined to offer details. Douglas Steiner, chairman of Steiner Studios, said the proposal calls for an entertainment technology center like ones Carnegie Mellon created in Pittsburgh with Disney and Google. The initial phase calls for about 150 students in two existing historic buildings, totaling about 32,000 square feet. Additional buildings would be added over time.

“It think it's a really good fit, considering all the mayor has done in growing the production business in New York City,” Mr. Steiner said. “If we can bring Carnegie Mellon … I think we forever change the relative weight of New York in the production business. The media capital of the world in terms of headquarters is New York, but not production.”

The links between NYC and Pittsburgh are important. A lot of big-time innovation talent migrates between the two metros. The trick is getting those in Pittsburgh to understand how winning the bid in New York will be a huge boon for SW PA.

The geography of the competitors is worth mentioning. You have NYC universities. Cornell, which already has a strong presence in the Big Apple, is in NY State. The Stanford connection should be obvious enough (Silicon Valley). And then CMU ... More to come as this story develops.

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