CUSP Comes to Downtown Brooklyn

Mayor Bloomberg, NYU President Sexton and MTA Chairman Lhota announce historic partnership to create new applied sciences center in Downtown Brooklyn

“Why urban?” asked Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly) President Jerry Hultin, at today’s event at 6 MetroTech announcing the city’s selection under the Applied Sciences NYC initiative of  New York University’s Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP), which will be housed in the MTA building in Downtown Brooklyn. 

“There are two big reasons,” he continued. 

Over the next 30 years, nearly 1 billion people are expected to move to cities around the globe. “Not only do we have our American cities, which we need to understand how to make more efficient and sustainable,” said President Hultin, “but if other cities around the world are well done, we have [a world] that works. The secret to that is technology and science.” 

“Secondly,” Hultin continued, “this means job security for every student who wants to become an engineer. Over the next thirty years, it’s estimated that between 160 trillion and 300 trillion dollars will be invested in infrastructure that will rely on the expertise of educators, innovators, engineers and scientists.” 

The Center is a partnership between top institutions from around the globe, led by NYU and NYU-Poly, that will focus on research and development of technology to address the critical challenges facing cities, including infrastructure, tech integration, energy efficiency, transportation congestion, public safety and public health. 

At the head of the Center is Steven Koonin – a theoretical physicist who has served as Undersecretary of Energy for Science and as Provost of the California Institute of Technology – who has been named CUSP’s inaugural director.

“CUSP has drawn together an exceptional group of educational and industrial partners to develop technologies to address an increasingly urbanized world. Attracting partners of such caliber is a validation not only of CUSP’s core idea, but also of the Mayor’s vision to make New York a capital of science and technology,” said NYU President Sexton. “This is a great and proud day for New York and for NYU.”

“Over the next five years, 370 Jay Street will be transformed into a cutting edge center for research and science,” said Mayor Bloomberg at today’s press conference. “New York City doesn’t simply embrace the future,” he continued. “We create it.”

In addition to CUSP, NYU will establish a $20 million innovation fund for students, faculty and alumni that will help provide opportunities for the next wave of young, talented middle and high school students, through internships and summer jobs within invention, innovation and entrepreneurship partnerships. 

Upon full build out of the program in Downtown Brooklyn, it is projected that approximately 530 graduate and doctoral students will attend CUSP, including approximately 430 Masters candidates and 100 PhD candidates. NYU has projected that 25 percent of doctoral students will spend all years of their study at CUSP; the remaining 75 percent will spend the first two to three years of their doctoral study at a partner university and the final two to three years of their doctoral study at CUSP. There will be 50 full-time faculty and researchers at CUSP comprised of tenured faculty, tenure-track faculty, contract faculty, research scientists, and senior researchers from industry.  Between 40 and 60 percent of these individuals will be tenured and tenure-track.  There will also be approximately 30 post-doctoral researchers.

Academic partners in CUSP will include Carnegie Mellon University, The City University of New York, the Indian Institute of Technology – Bombay, The University of Toronto, and the University of Warwick. Industry partners include IBM, Cisco, Siemens, Con Edison, National Grid, Xerox, Arup, IDEO and AECOM. 

“New York itself has always been part of the educational experience at NYU,” said President Sexton. “With CUSP, New York will also be a living laboratory, a source of research, a test-bed for new ideas, and the economic beneficiary of our researchers’ discoveries.”