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Buffalo-Rochester-Syracuse Tech Hub wins $40 million for semiconductor innovation

The Buffalo-Rochester-Syracuse Tech Hub is one of only 31 designated hubs, from among 400 applicants, and one of only 12 chosen to receive funding from the US Economic Development Administration. @ Sara Miller

The University of Rochester is a lead partner in the three-region consortium focused on semiconductor manufacturing and innovation.

The NY SMART I-Corridor Tech Hub, of which the University of Rochester is a lead partner, was selected as one of only 12 national Tech Hub award winners and is receiving $40 million in funding from the US Economic Development Administration to elevate the burgeoning semiconductor industry in Upstate New York. The NY SMART I-Corridor Tech Hub spans the Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse region and has engaged more than 100 institutions, assembling commitments from industry, academia, labor, non-profit, government, and other private sector members.

The award to the NY SMART I-Corridor Tech Hub follows the designation last year of the three cities as a national tech hub.

“As a lead partner of the NY SMART I-Corridor consortium, the University of Rochester is beyond excited by today’s transformational announcement and I thank the Economic Development Administration for recognizing our potential with this award,” said President Sarah Mangelsdorf. “I firmly believe that no region has more momentum as a center for innovation-led growth, and this funding will enable us to leverage our collective strengths and assets to build an ever-better future together as a global leader in semiconductor research and manufacturing. I commend Senator [Charles] Schumer’s vision and leadership in establishing this program through the landmark CHIPS and Science Act, as well as his efforts to highlight the Buffalo-Rochester-Syracuse region’s potential to be a hub of semiconductor innovation. I also want to recognize the unwavering support from local champions like Congressman [Joseph] Morelle who brought the region together and have us poised for success.”

At a Rochester event held July 2 at Monroe Community College’s (MCC) downtown campus, US Senate Majority Leader Schumer, US Representative Morelle, and local leaders and partners including Peter Robinson, University vice president for Government and Community Relations, celebrated the Buffalo-Rochester-Syracuse region’s prestigious federal Tech Hub designation created in the CHIPS and Science Act.

Schumer announced that the $40 million will “supercharge the I-90 corridor to become America’s superconductor super-highway. It means that in a few years, a quarter of all semiconductors made in the United States of America will be made within a few miles of our I-90 corridor.

“And,” Schumer added, “we have two of the greatest innovation universities right here in the University of Rochester and RIT.”

Said Morelle: “Last fall when we made these original announcements, we were so excited but we knew it was going to be stiff competition with 400 different regions applying. It’s pretty amazing when there are 400 applications and only 12 are chosen around the country and we’re one of them. And the only one in the microelectronics supply chain.”

This past October, Schumer announced that the three-region consortium was one of only 31 regions selected for the Tech Hub designation and that the region’s NY SMART I-Corridor Tech Hub proposal was competing for the next phase of the Tech Hubs Program. Since the announcement of this designation, the NY SMART I-Corridor has brought 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 Buffalo-Syracuse-Rochester consortium initially beat out nearly 400 initial applications in the first phase of the Tech Hubs competition, and was one of 31 proposals selected for the federal Tech Hub designation that allowed them to compete for this funding award.


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