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New York City Challenges Silicon Valley On High Tech Front

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks at City Hall - New York, NY - Jul 19, 2011 (credit: Edward Reed / Mayor's Office)

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks at City Hall – New York, NY – Jul 19, 2011 (credit: Edward Reed / Mayor’s Office)

haskell_feature Peter Haskell
Peter Haskell joined WCBS in 1994. This followed stints at WCTC Radio...
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NEW YORK (AP / WCBS 880) - Silicon Valley might be the high tech capital of the world, but New York wants to change that.

WCBS 880′s Peter Haskell On The Story

Mayor Michael Bloomberg is firing a shot across the bow of Silicon Valley, saying New York City’s efforts to attract a new science and engineering campus will help the metropolis surpass the California region as the world capital of technology startups.

“We understand that we will not catch-up to Silicon Valley overnight,” Bloomberg said in his prepared remarks for a Tuesday speech to the business community. “Building a state-of-the-art campus will take years - and attracting a critical mass of technology entrepreneurs will take even longer.”

But, Bloomberg said, he believes that in its first three decades the school could help launch 400 new companies and create more than 22,000 permanent jobs, as well as more than 7,000 construction jobs.

“The new campus will help us build a critical mass towards our ultimate goal – reclaiming our title as the world’s capital of technological innovation,” said Bloomberg.

The city plans to offer nearly-free real estate and up to $100 million in infrastructure upgrades to a university, institution or consortium that commits to creating what Bloomberg says will be a world-class science and engineering campus, to be built on Governors Island, the Brooklyn Navy Yard or Roosevelt Island. The city’s formal request for proposals was issued Tuesday.

Stanford and Cornell universities and the University of Chicago have expressed interest in the deal, as have schools in Finland, India, Switzerland, Korea, the United Kingdom and Israel. Additionally, some institutions have formed partnerships as they consider the deal. One such group is made up of New York University, Carnegie Mellon, the City University of New York, the University of Toronto and IBM.

New York City is the No. 2 recipient of venture capital funding for technology startups, after surpassing Boston last year, Bloomberg said.

The billionaire mayor, who was himself an engineering student and later an entrepreneur, said Silicon Valley’s dominance is due in part to schools like Stanford and the University of California, Berkeley. Companies launched by MIT graduates generate annual revenues of about $2 trillion, he said.

“Technology capacity is critical to our growth - and there is just not enough of it here,” he said.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)