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  • Writer's pictureStaff Reporter

New York’s New “SMART I-Corridor Tech Hub” Embraces Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo

The Buffalo-Rochester-Syracuse region has just won the federal Tech Hub designation created in the CHIPS & Science Act, putting Upstate NY further on the road to becoming America’s semiconductor superhighway, according to Sen. Chuck Schumer who made the announcement on Mon., Oct. 23, 2023. The New York technology project is called SMART I-Corridor Tech Hub and it embraces Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo.

The NSF says the "CHIPS and Science Act's" investments in the National Science Foundation will help the United States remain a global leader in innovation. Implementation of this legislation will be key to ensuring that ideas, talent and prosperity are unleashed across all corners of the nation.

Schumer’s office says New York's newly-announced SMART I-Corridor Tech Hub will build on the historic investments he has delivered that have spurred a boom in semiconductor manufacturing and innovation across Upstate NY. His office also says that with today’s designation, New York will now be in an exclusive group of only 31 regions in America to compete for potentially billions in federal funding to transform Upstate NY as a global hub for workforce training, innovation, and manufacturing of semiconductor technology.

Information provided by Schumer’s office says in the Syracuse region alone, Micron has announced plans to invest an historic $100 billion to build a cutting-edge memory fab expected to create nearly 50,000 jobs. In Western NY, Edwards Vacuum will invest $300+ million to build a 600 job U.S. dry pump manufacturing facility to supply the semiconductor industry. With Schumer’s direct advocacy, Buffalo has already received $25 million for its growing tech industry through the American Recue Plan’s Build Back Better Challenge, laying the foundation for the Tech Hub designation they have now secured. In the Rochester region, Corning Incorporated, which manufactures glass critical to the microchip industry, has already invested $139 million in Monroe County – creating over 270 new, good-paying jobs in the Finger Lakes region.

Rochester Mayor Malik D. Evans said, “The level of private sector investment in this industry that is already underway, combined with the public-sector investments that this designation is sure to generate, will be a game changer for the people of Rochester and our neighbors to the east and west. By positioning our city at the center of the NY SMART I-Corridor Tech Hub, Senator Schumer is moving us closer to our vision of creating a safe, equitable and prosperous Rochester by delivering hope and creating opportunity for everyone.”

“Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse are officially on the road to becoming America’s semiconductor superhighway. This 3 region Tech Hub will hit the gas on NY’s booming chips industry by attracting new companies, training our workforce for tens of thousands of good-paying jobs, and bringing manufacturing in this critical industry back from overseas to right here in Upstate NY,” said Schumer. “With this Tech Hubs Designation highlighting the region as one of only a few in the country primed to be the next Silicon Valley in critical technology, combined with federal funding now flooding this triple threat region, America’s semiconductor manufacturing industry truly couldn’t be in better hands.”

According to Schumer’s office, the Buffalo-Rochester-Syracuse consortium includes over 80 members from across the public sector, industry, higher-ed, economic and workforce development, and labor. This includes over 22 industry groups and firms, 20 economic development organizations, 8 labor & workforce training organizations, and 10 institutions of higher learning. This application development process was led by three designated conveners, one from each region: The John R. Oishei Foundation in Buffalo, ROC2025 in Rochester, and CenterState CEO in Syracuse.

In August of 2022, the United States White House said, “The CHIPS and Science Act will boost American semiconductor research, development, and production, ensuring U.S. leadership in the technology that forms the foundation of everything from automobiles to household appliances to defense systems. America invented the semiconductor, but today produces about 10 percent of the world’s supply—and none of the most advanced chips. Instead, we rely on East Asia for 75 percent of global production. The CHIPS and Science Act will unlock hundreds of billions more in private sector semiconductor investment across the country, including production essential to national defense and critical sectors.”

According to Schumer, he has been a tireless advocate for the Buffalo-Rochester-Syracuse region proposal, personally writing and calling U.S. Commerce Secretary Raimondo multiple times to make the case that Upstate NY is best suited to help drive forward the nation’s semiconductor and broader microelectronics industries.

Schumer and his office currently say the NY SMART I-Corridor designation will bring together the combined assets of Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse to help the region become a globally-recognized semiconductor manufacturing hub in the next decade, with innovation focused on improving the quality and quantity of semiconductor manufacturing and, along with it, amplifying the region’s microelectronics and microchip supply chain ecosystem.

The NSF says the "CHIPS and Science Act's" investments in the National Science Foundation will help the United States remain a global leader in innovation. Implementation of this legislation will be key to ensuring that ideas, talent and prosperity are unleashed across all corners of the nation.

Members of the consortium include semiconductor manufacturers and supply chain business like Micron, INFICON, Corning, Optimax, AMD, TTM Technologies, Saab, Akoustis, L3Harris, Lockheed Martin, Edwards Vacuum, Linde, Lifatec and SRC; business organizations like NY Photonics with 120-member companies, Buffalo Niagara Partnership, and Rochester Technology and Manufacturing Association (RTMA) with 85-member companies, Buffalo Niagara Manufacturing Alliance (BNMA), and the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce; education and research institutions like University of Buffalo, University of Rochester, Rochester Institute of Technology, Monroe Community College, Syracuse University, Cornell, SUNY Oswego, SUNY ESF, SUNY EOC, and Onondaga Community College; workforce development partners like Centerstate CEO, Northland Workforce Training Center, RochesterWorks, RMAPI, UNiCON, WNY Area Labor Federation, Central-Northern New York Building and Construction Trades Council, IBEW Local 43, and many more.

"Building on our nation-leading Green CHIPS legislation, our historic agreement to bring Micron to New York, and major investments in fast-growing sectors like advanced manufacturing, this federal designation brings our state even closer to creating a hub for growth, innovation, and prosperity upstate," NY Governor Kathy Hochul said.

“This initiative has the potential to drive significant economic growth, technological advancement and job creation – not just for this region, but for the entire nation,” said Monroe County Executive Adam Bello. “The NY SMART I-Corridor would harness the unique strengths of each city in the consortium and propel this region into a global powerhouse for semiconductor technology.

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh said, “this designation is another indicator that the Syracuse Surge, our strategy for inclusive growth in the New Economy, is working. We are making Syracuse and Upstate New York a world-leading destination for technology investment."


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