Cornell Tech Inaugurates Tata Innovation Center
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), a leading global IT services, consulting and business solutions organization, announced December 4 a $50 million investment in Cornell Tech. The investment includes a significant gift for the first phase of capital development on the Roosevelt Island campus, as well as support for collaborating on technology research and expanding K-12 digital literacy programs in New York City.
In recognition of the gift, Cornell Tech has inaugurated the Tata Innovation Center on Roosevelt Island. The center, formerly known as The Bridge, brings academia and industry together under one roof to share ideas and research on next-generation digital technologies and how to commercialize new areas of collaboration.
"The Tata Innovation Center will become a hub for New York's tech sector and a global icon for how academia and industry can collaborate to leverage technology for the greater good," said Cornell President Martha E. Pollack. "Cornell trustee Ratan Tata '59 (B.Arch. '62) and the Tata family of companies have long supported innovation at Cornell; our new partnership with Tata Consultancy Services will drive innovation at Cornell Tech and help the campus reach its full potential for education, research, and societal impact."
Said Natarajan Chandrasekaran, chairman of the Tata Group: "The Tata Group and TCS have a long and celebrated history of investments in education and institution building in the communities in which we operate. The Tata Innovation Center will drive applied research and collaboration between Cornell, industry, and the startup ecosystem in emerging areas including human-machine interaction and cybersecurity, benefitting both U.S. business and local communities."
According to Mayor Bill de Blasio: "New York City has been proudly partnering with TCS for years, including their sponsorship of the TCS New York City Marathon, work with local schools, and so much more. TCS's new partnership with Cornell Tech will help drive New York's economic competitiveness and advance digital literacy programs to reach even more schools across the city. Through this critical engagement, Computer Science for All, the Tech Talent Pipeline, and more, we are working to keep New York City a leader in the 21st-century economy and ensure that everyone has the opportunity to share in the growth and success of the tech industry."
TCS will become one of the tenants in the Tata Innovation Center, a first-of-its-kind building where a mix of cutting-edge companies from diverse industries have the opportunity to work alongside groundbreaking Cornell academic teams. They include recent Cornell Tech graduates seeking to commercialize new ideas and work with startups and established companies developing leading-edge technologies and products.
"TCS has operated in New York City for more than 40 years and invested in many long-standing customer relationships and local community partnerships," said Rajesh Gopinathan, CEO and managing director of TCS. "Our joint research with Cornell Tech is designed to fully leverage their campus ecosystem and TCS's industry-leading technical expertise to develop solutions that empower notable transformation and talent development across industries in an era of Business 4.0."
"Cornell Tech serves as a model for the campus and community of the future," added Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney. "Already, young people are receiving a world-class education in computer science and cutting-edge training in how to become entrepreneurs. I am delighted that the Tata Innovation Center will stand as a reminder to our community for generations to come of the extraordinary generosity of the Tata Group and TCS, which enables new joint research and K-12 literacy programs. I know this will help lead us into the future."
Cornell Tech's academic environment encourages tight integration across disciplines, couples fundamental research with practice, and supports societal and commercial ventures alongside education. A distinguishing characteristic of Cornell Tech's research is that it engages deeply with external communities, organizations, and industry to address real-world problems. TCS will collaborate with Cornell Tech's world-class faculty on cutting-edge research in human-computer interaction and cybersecurity.
"Cornell Tech stands apart because of our focus on academic excellence, coupled with real-world impact, and this new partnership with TCS will dramatically improve our ability to make a difference, from commercializing research to engaging with public school students across New York City," said Dan Huttenlocher, the Jack and Rilla Neafsey Dean of Cornell Tech. "TCS shares our vision of ensuring all students and teachers have meaningful engagements with computer science in the classroom, and with their help, we will reach even more schools."
To empower New York City youth to participate and thrive in an increasingly digital world, TCS and Cornell Tech have joined forces to promote the integration of computational expertise in K-12 public education. This multiyear community engagement effort aims to build digital fluency and computational acumen among students, educators, and schools in the nation's largest public-school system, with a special focus on girls, minorities, and the underserved.
TCS will leverage Cornell Tech's academic expertise to design education programs that introduce students to new digital technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and cybersecurity. Cornell Tech will leverage TCS's industry expertise and host its Ignite My Future in School program for educators across all five boroughs, starting with two school districts from Manhattan and Queens in January 2018. Additionally, TCS will also offer its award-winning flagship education program, goIT, to students and schools served by Cornell Tech's K-12 initiative.
"Cornell Tech and TCS are to be commended on their unique collaboration, particularly in relation to the planned enhancement of computational skills for New York City public school students. Such skills are highly applicable to the digital world in the workplace and in contemporary knowledge transmittal as well as creation. Today's announcement is indeed momentous," said Assemblymember Rebecca Seawright.
"Knowledge is power and these days digital literacy is proving to be all powerful," said New York City Council Member Ben Kallos. "I have extreme confidence and very high expectations of this partnership between Tata Consultancy Services and Cornell Tech. This $50 million investment includes advancing digital education in K-12 within New York City schools which will benefit an untold number of young lives and lead to unimaginable innovation from right here in New York City. Thank you to the Tata Group and TCS for collaborating with Cornell Tech for the benefit of New York City's most precious resource — our children."
Originally published in the Cornell Chronicle on December 4, 2017