It's great news that Cornell University and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology will spend more than $2 billion to build a big new top-drawer science campus on Roosevelt Island, a sleepy and underutilized place smack dab in the center of New York City.

The plan will create a graduate school whose alumni will have advanced training in engineering, computer science and other technological fields, which in turn should fuel tech-oriented start-up ventures throughout the region. That should mean more well-paid jobs and more tax revenue for state and local government.

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The new campus dovetails nicely with the growing commitment to science and technology at Stony Brook and Hofstra universities, which both plan an increased focus on medicine and engineering.

The new Cornell-Technion campus can only make Long Island an even greater tech magnet. The plan should also transform Roosevelt Island into a vibrant destination enlivened by students, faculty and purpose. Turning the southern half of the island into a technology campus is a great way for a city of scarce and pricey real estate to shoehorn in a major new educational institution.

New York City is the vital heart of our region, but it requires nourishing with new ideas and talented people. The new campus should produce both, spawning innovation regionwide as other such centers have done elsewhere. That will help assure New York's primacy well into the 21st century.