Bloomberg donates £65 million to New York tech-island campus

Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg started a competition a few years back, looking for universities that want to set up a futuristic tech campus on an island in NYC. The results have been finalised and Cornell University and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology won a joint bid for the campus site.

The campus certainly looks futuristic in the concept shots, built on Roosevelt Island underneath Queensboro Bridge. The island currently has lots of abandoned businesses and homes, but plans to build a world-class library and tech campus should brighten it up.

Bloomberg will fund £65 million into the growth of the campus. It has a planned completion date for 2043, but some of the facilities should be open to students by 2017. For now, students can study at a campus in Manhattan, currently on loan from Google.

The goal is to train more people in New York City to become entrepreneurs and business owners in the technology scene, instead of taking their talents to Silicon Valley.

It is not the first time a city leader has wanted to build the next Silicon Valley, a lot of European cities are trying to broaden their tech reach, including London and Berlin. Other places like Budapest, Lisbon, Paris, Tel Aviv and Shenzhen are also on the list of growing tech capitals in the world.

The funding going into technology should bring more people into the field, but whether any city will be able to match Silicon Valley on scope is hard to judge. It is not only the investment that makes Silicon Valley unique, it is the culture surrounding the entire city that is extremely vibrant with smartphones, wearables and other weird technologies normalised.