2013: The New New York

By Alain E. Kaloyeros, Ph.D., Professor, Senior Vice President and CEO, College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering

 “The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking,” said Albert Einstein. “It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”

Those words ring especially true in today’s nanoelectronics industry, amid a sea of challenges: global economic unrest; rising pressure on corporate bottom lines; the exploding cost, complexity and pace of innovation; and the escalating demand for better, faster, and cheaper technologies.

Guided by the vision and leadership of Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York represents Exhibit A of a new way of thinking; a true 21st century model for technology, workforce and economic development. The Governor’s strategy, which utilizes publicly led industry-university partnerships, is being deployed to build the modern-day equivalent of the Erie Canal: a vibrant high-tech corridor that allows companies to accelerate innovation at a reduced cost through a unique “burden-sharing” model, while also preparing the next generation of highly trained scientists, researchers, and engineers demanded by industry.

The establishment of the Global 450mm Wafer Consortium (G450C) at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering is proof positive that this is the right strategy at the right time. It’s led Intel, IBM, Samsung, TSMC and GLOBALFOUNDRIES to decide that New York is the world’s best location to develop the next generation of computer chips. G450C will generate thousands of highly paid jobs and billions of dollars in private investment in the Empire State, but just as importantly, it demonstrates the model through which the United States can recapture its identity as the world’s leader in high-tech innovation. 

The intellectual and research power that drew G450C to CNSE is being leveraged to enable a technological superhighway across the state: in the Hudson Valley, growing green energy jobs at Ceres Technologies; in Utica, building IT jobs at SUNYIT; in Syracuse, anchoring and growing defense jobs at Lockheed Martin; in Rochester, where CNSE’s STC Center is driving opportunities in green energy and defense; and in Buffalo, through a developing nanobiomedical and pharmaceutical cluster.

Importantly, New York is supporting this growth by cultivating the world-class workforce demanded by industry. CNSE students are being educated and trained on equipment available nowhere else in the world, while educational outreach programs engage thousands more each year, from K-12 students to former manufacturing workers being retrained for the cleanroom.

Excelsior, or “Ever Upward,” is New York’s official motto. Courtesy of Governor Andrew Cuomo, that is also its strategy for innovation-driven high-tech growth.

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