Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration announced on Tuesday the selection of New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering to create and operate a new virtual reality and augmented reality (VR/AR) lab at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
The lab is part of the mayor’s New York Works plan to create 100,000 accessible, quality, middle class jobs for New Yorkers in the technology, life sciences, creative, and manufacturing industries over the next ten years.
The proposed VR/AR lab will create over 500 jobs over the next ten years, and help position New York City at the forefront of the growing VR/AR industry. The mission of the lab will be to support new ventures/startups; establish a VR/AR “talent pipeline” through educational programs; research; build the VR/AR community by connecting investors, universities, corporations, and community organizations; and promote corporate VR/AR innovation.
Slated to open in late 2017, the Lab will be located in a 15,000-square-foot facility at the Brooklyn Navy Yard and will partner with CUNY Lehman College’s VR/AR Training Academy and Development Lab in the Bronx to prepare New Yorkers for jobs in the field.
The project is being funded by $6 million in investments by New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME), making it the first publicly-funded VR/AR facility in the U.S. that will support startups, talent development, and research and innovation.
“Augmented and Virtual Reality represents a huge new industry, and we want New York City to be second to none,” Mayor de Blasio said in the announcement. “We’re investing in the space, the talent and the research needed to make New York the global hub for this emerging technology.”
“This is a significant piece of our strategy to spur 100,000 good-paying jobs in 10 years—and particularly in creative and entrepreneurial sectors that speak to our City’s current and future generations,” he added. “Equal opportunity and access, through education and job training, is the bedrock of our jobs strategy, and together we will continue to rise.”