Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced this morning that three sites will be opened up for new university science and technology campuses on city land, given free to schools who want to locate in New York:
"This morning, we released a Request for Proposals to universities near and far. Our offer is straightforward: We will provide prime New York City 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. We are offering sites at three possible locations, all of them under-utilized, and all of them overflowing with potential: Governors Island; the Navy Yard; and Roosevelt Island.
"This is not the first time government has offered land and funding in exchange for university development. Governments around the world are not only offering American universities land - they are offering to pick up all capital and operating costs associated with an expansion on their soil. They recognize how important universities are to economic growth - because they have seen it happen here in America.
"In 1862, the U.S. government created a land grant program for the creation of new universities. President Lincoln and Congress sought to promote innovation and expertise in agriculture and engineering - because they knew those fields were critical to the nation's economic growth. And how right they were. Cornell, MIT, Cal-Berkeley, the University of Michigan, and so many major universities grew out of that land grant program, and along with them came pioneering discoveries that helped America become the world's largest economy.