Today U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand launched their push to secure federal funding for a public-private partnership between SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) and a consortium of local companies in their proposal to create a nanotechnology testbed site in Utica, NY. Schumer and Gillibrand explained that SUNY Poly, along with local companies SEMATECH, Edwards Vacuum and INFICON, have applied through the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Economic Adjustment Assistance Grant program to establish an Advanced Manufacturing Performance (AMP) Center at SUNY Poly’s Quad-C in Utica, which would allow it to focus on the research and development of nanotechnologies for advanced manufacturing. Schumer and Gillibrand said that an AMP Center at Quad-C will spur growth at SUNY Poly’s Utica campus and further support the nanotechnology ecosystem across New York. Schumer and Gillibrand said the proposed Utica AMP Center, and the $1.25 million in EDA funds that could make it a reality, would bring more nanotechnology companies to the Mohawk Valley and spur regional economic development by bringing good-paying, high-tech jobs to the area.
“Sophisticated research facilities at Quad-C, a highly skilled-workforce and public-private investment make Utica an ideal location for an Advanced Manufacturing Performance Center. Upstate New York’s Nanotech Corridor is home to the finest scientific minds and research resources in the field of nanotechnology, and this proposed center is exactly what the Mohawk Valley needs to add to this already promising industry,” said Senator Schumer. “That is why I am calling on the EDA to select the SUNY Poly-led application that will get this project moving. Bringing the AMP Center to Utica would be a win-win-win for the Mohawk Valley, SUNY Poly and its corporate partners, and the local residents who could greatly benefit from the high-tech, good-paying jobs this groundbreaking research would bring to Central New York.”
“Investments in research and development are critical to boosting the local economy, revitalizing our communities, attracting new businesses and creating new jobs,” said Senator Gillibrand. “The cutting-edge research at SUNY Poly along with industry partnerships positions the proposed Advanced Manufacturing Performance Center to further advance the state’s premier nanotech manufacturing sector in the Mohawk Valley and Central New York. I will continue to push for funding that leverages the state’s strong community of research universities and industry partners to spur economic development and job creation.”
Nanotechnology is an advanced form of scientific manipulation of matter in varying sizes. Since nanotechnology often deals with particles on an extremely small (“nano”) scale, any research on the subject requires sophisticated equipment and a significant technological investment. Schumer and Gillibrand said federal EDA funding would serve as a major leap forward that would spur nanotechnology research in Upstate NY and the Mohawk Valley. This consortium application is the result of a public-private partnership between SUNY Poly and SEMATECH. Schumer and Gillibrand said the combined research resources of both institutions, as well as the resources and infrastructure provided by the application’s additional consortium patterns, would allow a wider scope to be applied to nanotechnology research.
Schumer and Gillibrand said the requested $1.25 million in EDA funding would be used to install two testbeds and inspection capabilities in Utica, as well as provide the AMP Center the necessary resources to begin advanced manufacturing initiatives and establish long-term workforce development objectives for high-tech industries. Schumer and Gillibrand said the AMP Center would serve as a testbed site for research in the semiconductor industry, specifically photovoltaic, power electronics, and LED lighting. By establishing the AMP Center in Utica, the Mohawk Valley could attract high-tech companies and enhance its contribution to New York’s Nanotech Corridor as it looks to become a global leader in research and development.
Schumer and Gillibrand said the partnership agreement between SUNY Poly, SEMATECH and Edwards allows each partner to focus on one aspect of the Center’s management. SUNY Poly will manage the Center’s strategic direction and coordinate the involvement among key stakeholders across the state. SEMATECH will oversee the Center itself and oversee technology development programs. As the first partner in the application’s consortium and a leading expert in vacuum technology, Edwards will provide expertise in vacuum system technology and design during the infant stages of the Center.
In addition to the $1.25 million sought from the EDA application, the AMP Center would receive a matching $1.25 million from the State of New York. This would allow it to leverage the initial federal funding for the roughly $2.5 million project. SUNY Poly anticipates that if the EDA can approve their application in an expeditious fashion, the Center can be operational by the fourth quarter of 2016.
A copy of Senator Schumer’s and Gillibrand’s letter to the Department of Commerce appears below:
Dear Secretary Pritzker,
We write in support of the application submitted by the Research Foundation for the State University of New York (SUNY) on behalf of SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly), and a consortium including SEMATECH, Edwards Vacuum and INFICON, for funding from the Economic Adjustment Assistance Grant administered by the Economic Development Administration. This funding would support the creation of the Advanced Manufacturing Performance (AMP) Center.
The AMP Center will build on the New York nanotechnology ecosystem driven by SUNY Poly to create a manufacturing testbed site in Utica, New York focused on issues in advanced manufacturing across multiple sectors in the state and country. The Nanotech Corridor, which is a core of New York State’s strategic plan for economic growth, began with the establishment of SUNY Poly headquartered in Albany, with research, development, and deployment sites across upstate New York. SUNY Poly has driven the nanotechnology advanced manufacturing ecosystem in New York, and the AMP Center will build on these efforts, further supporting the Nanotech Corridor.
The requested funding will be used to support Phase I of the project, which will lay the groundwork necessary for creation of the AMP Center and build industry support for technology development programs for sub-systems and site-services companies serving the advanced manufacturing industry. The Center will first focus on defectivity and contamination control, and will expand to other areas including energy environmental efficiency, data analytics, manufacturing logistics, manufacturing supply chain management, enhanced delivery capabilities, waste reduction, and advanced manufacturing facilities. SUNY Poly is a primary driver of the New York nanotechnology ecosystem and will serve as the program manager for the AMP Center. SEMATECH is a non-profit consortium that performs research in advancing semiconductor technologies and will serve as the technology manager for the AMP Center, while Edwards Vacuum is a leading vacuum and abatement system manufacturer serving the worldwide semiconductor market and will serve as lead industry partner. The requested funding will specifically be used by SUNY Poly and its partners to install the first two testbeds and inspection capabilities, beginning the first research project, establishing baseline processes, and building core staff. This will include nanoparticle detection and component testing in vacuum based processes to demonstrate feasibility, and will provide testing and validation capabilities in a neutral environment with data analytics. In general, the funding will lay the groundwork necessary for future expansion and continue to build industry support.
We ask that you please give this application your full consideration.
Charles E. Schumer
United States Senator
United States Senator