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Partnership to bring 500 jobs to Rochester

The state will partner with more than 100 private companies, led by Sematech and IBM, to launch the New York Power Electronics Manufacturing Consortium.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced the partnership Wednesday at the Rochester facility of SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering.

The consortium will invest more than $500 million and create thousands of high-skilled, high-paying jobs in upstate New York over the next five years — including at least 500 in Rochester, focusing on the development and manufacture of the next generation of materials used on semiconductors.

“This partnership in Rochester will continue the success of the nanotechnology industry which has put the upstate economy on a much different trajectory and is making a real difference in our communities,” Cuomo said. “Nanotechnology is no longer just a child of the Capital Region. The revolution has spread all across New York, advancing our capacity to compete on an international scale and bring jobs and investment to this state.”

The New York Power Electronics Manufacturing Consortium is a public-private partnership that will help develop the next generation of materials used on semiconductors at state-owned research and development facilities.

The next generation of semiconductors, managed through the newly merged CNSE and SUNY Institute of Technology, will enable power devices to get smaller, faster and more efficient as the current material — silicon — has reached its entitlement.

“New York is an attractive place to do business for companies across the globe and this partnership is another example of the governor’s commitment to excelling in this industry,” Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy said.

Ronald D. Goldblatt, president and CEO of Sematech, said the Power Electronics Manufacturing Consortium is a compelling and groundbreaking effort that will further solidify New York state’s continuing leadership in high tech R&D and manufacturing.

The site will act as a global “open-innovation,” user-shared facility, which will enable the expansion and growth of major corporate partners, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises with a particular emphasis on minority and women firms and enterprises.

Sematech and IBM will be the lead partners in the Rochester lab, which will research and develop next generation technology for gallium nitride devices. That is in addition to the governor’s announcement Monday that General Electric will lead the Albany facility in developing and producing low cost, high performance 6-inch silicon carbide wafers.

The gallium nitride devices developed in Rochester and the silicon carbide wafers in Albany outperform pure silicon in power density, performance, reliability and efficiency, according to a release.

Some of the applications for gallium nitride devices include climate control and management of data centers and automated manufacturing plants, backup and support of critical facilities such as hospitals, fire departments and governmental buildings, as well as green energy development, electric vehicles, passenger rail, commercial and military aircraft and ships, and smart power grid design.

“Using the success of Albany’s model, Rochester has seen a great amount of development, investment and job creation in the nano-driven technology sector,” said Assembly Majority Leader Joseph D. Morelle. “This combination of innovation and target partnerships will only continue to grow this already booming industry.”

State Sen. Joe Robach said Rochester is at the forefront of developing modern technology and the partnership will not only create jobs for Rochester, but act as a catalyst for more industry growth and a continued momentum of high-tech development in the region.

The partnership is enabled by the START-UP NY tax free initiative, in addition to $135 million in New York state funds provided to CNSE for the establishment of the NY-PEMC facilities, which will attract $365 million in private funds and know-how to support personnel, equipment and process flow, tool installation, facilities and materials for a total five-year investment of $500 million.