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Google Founders Praise Stanford's Bid for City Tech Campus

By Amy Zimmer | October 25, 2011 7:46pm

MANHATTAN — Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin have entered the fray, throwing their support behind Stanford in its fight to win the city's bid to develop a major engineering and applied science campus.

Stanford, which is angling to build an eco-friendly campus on Roosevelt Island, is seen as a frontrunner along with Cornell's proposal.

Page and Brin, who met as engineering graduate students at Stanford, sang the Palo Alto-based school's praises in a 3:33-minute video, posted on the university's tumblr site.  

They lauded the school's track record in spawning such important tech companies as Hewlett Packard, Sun Microsystems, Cisco, Yahoo and Excite.

"I think the culture of Stanford with regards to entrepreneurship and high tech industry have been really amazing," Page said, noting the "tremendous expertise in how to make companies, how to get innovations out into the world that I think has a really meaningful impact."

Brin, who said he is a frequent visitor to New York, believes the city is missing a "topnotch university industry symbiosis" and that Stanford could help fill that gap.

"I don't think I’ve seen the same kind of scale in research and commercialization pretty much anywhere outside of Stanford," he said, "and I think this is a really great opportunity for both the city as well as Stanford University to broaden its horizons."

The schools competing for the city's bid have been playing up their potential for creating startups and fostering new business that could help position the city as another Silicon Valley.

When Cornell recently announced it was partnering with the Technion, school officials played up how the Israel Institute of Technology was also a major breeding ground for startups.

The proposals are due to the city, which is kicking in up to $100 million for infrastructure development, by Oct. 28.

Stanford and Cornell are both eyeing Roosevelt Island, while other schools have expressed interest in sites across the city.