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Warwick only European university in new NYU led Center announced by New York Mayor

”MayorNew York’s Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, and New York University’s President John Sexton yesterday, 23 April 2012, announced an historic agreement between New York City, New York’s MTA, and a consortium of world-class academic institutions, (including Warwick – the only European university in the agreement), and private technology companies, that will lead to the creation in New York of a 'Center for Urban Science and Progress' (CUSP).

Mayor Bloomberg’s office describes the announcement as:

....the next milestone in the City’s groundbreaking Applied Sciences NYC initiative, which seeks to increase New York City’s capacity for applied sciences and dramatically transform the City’s economy.

The Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) is an applied science research institute which will be a partnership of top institutions from around the globe, led by NYU and NYU-Poly with a consortium of world-class universities including: Warwick, Carnegie Mellon University, The City University of New York, The Indian Institute of Technology – Bombay, and The University of Toronto. The industry partners include: IBM, Cisco, Siemens, Con Edison, National Grid, Xerox, Arup, IDEO, and AECOM. This collaboration further enhances Warwick’s position as a globally connected university.

NYU President John Sexton said:

Being ‘in and of the City’ is part of NYU’s DNA; at no point has that been truer than today. New York itself has always been part of the educational experience at NYU; 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. 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. This is a great and proud day for New York and for NYU.

For the first time in history, more than half of the world’s population lives in urban areas; in just a few more decades, the world's population will exceed 9 billion, 70 percent of whom will live in cities. Enabling those cities to deliver services effectively, efficiently, and sustainably while keeping their citizens safe, healthy, prosperous, and well-informed will be among the most important undertakings in this century. CUSP will tackle these urban challenges and set the research agenda on the science of cities, educating the next generation of engineers in how to apply that research.

This vision fits well with Warwick’s own Global Priorities Programme which seeks to apply research to global challenges, focusing Warwick’s world-class, multidisciplinary research on key areas of international significance, by bringing together scholarly expertise from across faculties and departments.

"Living laboratories" will be essential to CUSP's research. CUSP will work with municipal agencies in each of CUSP's partner cities, to get privileged access to actual physical city infrastructure and the real world data on and from that infrastructure to help those agencies meet the challenge they by applying research led solutions in real-world settings. New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority has already agreed to be our prototype partner in this sphere, giving CUSP’s researchers access to the very specific scientific and engineering challenges the agency faces in the coming years.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Nigel Thrift (who is himself an internationally well known commentator on cities) said:

Warwick is a globally connected University and we are delighted to have the opportunity to work in and with New York, one of the world's most exciting and vibrant cities. The aims of the Center for Urban Sciences and Progress are closely aligned with many of Warwick's own research priorities of manufacturing, energy, food security and healthcare. These themes all have significant impacts on the lives of 21st century city dwellers. Warwick already has significant experience in applying those research themes to needs of cities and it is generating significant interest in that work from a range of policy makers and city leaders.

The University of Warwick also brings to this collaboration its long history of close working partnerships with businesses which range from multinationals through to small and medium-sized firms, all of which benefit from access to the University's technology and knowhow and apply that knowledge to create new jobs and expand their businesses.

Work now begins to establish CUSP in its New York base at 370 Jay Street in downtown Brooklyn, a vibrant, creative, entrepreneurial neighbourhood. Warwick’s first action in the new collaboration will be to appoint to four new academic posts to support the collaboration, funding for which was approved previously as part of the University’s Strategic Development Fund.

Mayor Bloomberg said:

Over the next five years, 370 Jay Street will be transformed into a cutting-edge center for research and science that will give another huge boost to our city’s economy.

Our Administration has long seen the promise of Downtown Brooklyn, and we’ve made the investments needed to transform it into a thriving center for business. With the addition of this new campus, Brooklyn will be one of the most dynamic environments for entrepreneurs anywhere in the country.