Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced $55 million in state funds for the CUNY 2020 program. The College of Staten Island will get a share of the funding. (Associated Press)

STATEN ISLAND ADVANCE — The College of Staten Island will get a share of $55 million allocated in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s CUNY 2020 program.

The funds are given to foster eight innovative projects on 20 City University campuses, designed to connect academics with economic development. Programs funded are supposed to support the training and creation of more than 3,800 jobs by 2020.

“The CUNY 2020 program is designed to connect the innovative academic programs offered by New York City’s public universities to local economic development,” Cuomo said in a statement announcing the program.

“In today’s economy, universities are not just classrooms and research facilities; they support thousands of local jobs and are often the to economic driver in local communities. With these awards, the state is pleased to provide funding that will help CUNY continue to offer a world-class education to hundreds of thousands of students, while also supporting new jobs and investment in the surrounding communities,” the governor said.

Included in the $55 million is a $15 million grant for a CUNY consortium on data, analysis and technology. CSI will work cooperatively with the CUNY Graduate Center, the CUNY School of Professional Studies, City College, New York City College of Technology, and Manhattan Community College on establishing and expanding a project called the “CUNY Center for Big Data Consortium.”

In his report to the College Council, CSI President Dr. Wiliam Fritz said the CUNY 2020 grant would be used to develop the college’s high-performance computing center, along with its School of Business.

“CUNY 2020 will provide training for graduate students and business professionals to meet the current industry demand for big data analysts in the public and private sectors,” Fritz said.

“Over a five-year period the CUNY Consortium project activities will yield an economic impact of approximately $26 million in wages, and $8.7 million in tax revenue,” he said.

The CUNY 2020 funding is in addition to the $10 million Staten Island lawmakers secured in April for CSI’s computer project from the $138 billion state budget.

Also included in the $55 million from CUNY 2020 is a $9 million grant for a CUNY consortium to develop new sources of energy and fuel products.
In this initiative, CSI will work cooperatively with City College, Bronx Community College, and CUNY School of Public Health “to renovate existing space to create a hub for transportation technology, sustainable fuel and product development for CUNY’s automotive technology program.”

According to the proposal, students in the program would be able to study use of renewable fuels, hybrid vehicle use, air quality and traffic patterns of electric vehicles on the roads.

Read the Governor’s press release>

This article was written by Diane Lore and first appeared in the Staten Island Advance and on on July 28, 2014.  It is reprinted here with permission. All rights reserved.