Columbia University to create Data Sciences Institute

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Columbia University will start an Institute for Data Sciences and Engineering in New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Monday morning.

The program, which will be housed at the school’s existing campuses in Morningside Heights and Washington Heights, is expected to employ 75 new faculty members over the next 15 years, according to a news release from the city announcing the plan. The agreement includes the creation of 44,000 square feet of applied-science and engineering space by 2016.

New York City will provide $15 million in financial assistance, including discounted-energy transmission costs and partial debt forgiveness, according to the release.

Bloomberg has made developing the city’s technology industry a major initiative.

Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and its partner Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, last year won a city contest to build an engineering campus with a grant of land on Roosevelt Island and $100 million for infrastructure improvements. Columbia’s plan is another advance, the mayor said.

“This historic partnership is the newest element in the applied-sciences initiative that is, by far, the largest and most far-reaching economic development effort city government has undertaken in modern memory,” Bloomberg said in the release. “It will create tens of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in economic activity, and it will encourage the growth of the tech sector in New York City and solidify our leadership in the innovation economy for decades to come.”


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