New York: A Growth Area for Technology Firms
31 Mar, 2004By: Charles A. Gargano
I. WHY NEW YORK?
A skilled and sophisticated workforce and world-class businesses make New York State a national leader in high-technology, with more than $7.4 billion in exports in 2002, according to the most recent figures. In addition, the American Electronics Association’s Cyberstates 4.0 Report ranks New York State third in the U.S. in high-tech firms and employment.
Phillip J. Bond, Under Secretary for Technology with the U.S. Department of Commerce recently visited New York State to see first-hand the state’s business growth and research and development initiatives. “From nanotechnology to fuel cells and the on-going digital revolution, New York has much to offer to ensure that the United States remains the world’s innovation headquarters,” Bond said.
A closer examination of New York’s high-tech industry indicates that the state is emerging as a world leader in the growing area of electronics, in particular. The electronic industry includes computers and computer peripherals, audio and video equipment, wireless communications equipments, semiconductors and nanotechnology. There are more than 584 companies in this vast industry, and collectively, they employ approximately 57,000 people throughout the state.
The electronics industry is predominantly located in the Mid-Hudson region (Westchester through Poughkeepsie), the Southern Tier (Binghamton and Elmira), Central New York (Syracuse), the Finger Lakes (Rochester), and Long Island. A myriad of leading companies base their electronics operations in these regions, including IBM Corp., Philips Semiconductors, EDO Corp., Northrop Grumman, Symbol Technologies, Lockheed Martin, Harris Corp. and BAE Systems.
All of these regions help to support New York State’s economy – the ninth largest in the world. New York State also is a leading site for Fortune 500 companies that call the state home.
With its aggressive policy of supporting businesses and creating a positive environment for growth, New York State has become a leader in attracting new businesses and helping existing companies expand. Gov. George E. Pataki has created a business environment that has helped New York State earn top national ranking for new and expanded facilities. The Governor has reduced taxes an unprecedented 64 times and helped to create more than half a million private sector jobs.
II. SEMICONDUCTORS: A GROWTH AREA OF ELECTRONICS
Semiconductor manufacturing has emerged as a rapidly expanding sector within the electronics industry. In 1997, Governor Pataki launched Semi-NY, an initiative to make the state a cutting-edge hub of semiconductor manufacturing growth.
Semi-NY expedites projects through pre-qualified industrial sites geared specifically towards chip fabrication across New York State. Each site boasts a minimum of 200 acres, a skilled workforce, superior highway access, and unrivaled incentives to help offset the costs of operating these capital intensive facilities.
For example, New York State has provided $1.5 million over the last two years to establish the 1,350-acre Luther Forest Technology Campus in Saratoga County. The campus will specifically target semiconductor and nanotechnology-related investment and jobs, and is zoned to accommodate up to four semiconductor fabrication sites.
In 2002, as a result of the Semi-NY initiative, IBM opened one of the world’s most advanced 300 millimeter semiconductor facilities that will create 1,000 new jobs in the Hudson Valley. The $2.5 billion investment remains the largest private-sector investment in New York State history, and one of the largest private sector investments in the country since 1995.
That same year, New York’s semiconductor industry reached another milestone when International SEMATECH – a consortium of the 12 major computer chip manufacturers in the world – selected New York as a base for its 300 millimeter Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography program. The consortium invested more than $190 million in New York – versus Europe, the Pacific Rim, or other U.S. location – for its leading position in chip research and development. The site, called International SEMATECH North, is located at the University at Albany.
In 2003, in recognition for his steadfast support of the semiconductor industry, the Governor received the Robert Noyce Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Semiconductor Industry Association.
Most recently, as a testament of New York’s burgeoning high-tech corridor, SONY committed to a $325 million investment in IBM’s state-of-the-art semiconductor manufacturing facility.
III. JOB CREATION IN THE ELECTRONICS INDUSTRY
Companies in the electronic industry have demonstrated continued confidence in New York’s highly trained and professional workforce and its unparalleled technological resources. The best example of this is on Long Island, where EDO Corp. and Northrop Grumman are bolstering Long Island’s technology expertise.
Northrop Grumman, a premier aerospace and defense systems integration enterprise, maintains its Integrated Systems and Aerostructures (ISA) Sector on Long Island, which employs more than 2,500 people. In September 2003, Northrop Grumman hosted the first Long Island Technology Day that included discussions on the future of technology with key industry leaders.
EDO Corp., a global leader in defense aerospace products, recently committed to a $48 million investment to consolidate its Long Island operations in Amityville, and add 375 new jobs.
Other investments and expansions in the electronics industry are mushrooming across the state. This year, BAE Systems Platform Solutions, a leading global supplier of integrated electronic control products and man-machine interface systems for air, space, sea, and ground vehicles, announced that it would relocate two flight-control product lines from California to Johnson City, N.Y., creating 45 new jobs. During 2003, Lockheed Martin Systems Integration broke ground on an aircraft hangar facility that will manufacture US101 medium-lift helicopters, which the company proposes to replace Marine One, the helicopter used by the President.
In addition, over the past two years, Endicott Interconnect Technologies Inc., a world-class supplier of electronic interconnect solutions and equipment in Endicott, N.Y., has committed to an investment of over $110 million, retaining and creating more than 2,500 jobs.
IV. INVESTING IN TOMORROW
Since 1995, the State has fostered the growth of New York''s high-tech industries by supporting the investment of more than $1 billion in the technology business sector, world-class research laboratories and academic centers. As a result, New York has become a major hub for university and industry electronics research.
In 2001, the National Science Foundation awarded three of its six national awards to build state-of-the-art nanotechnology science and engineering centers to New York State institutions. Cornell University, Columbia University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute were awarded $31.4 million in federal funds to create Nanoscale Science and Engineering Centers.
The Governor’s Centers of Excellence, Strategically Targeted Academic Research (STAR) Centers, and Centers for Advanced Technology (CAT) help cultivate research and economic development in critical emerging technologies throughout the State.
Centers of Excellence
The Center of Excellence in Nanoelectronics at the University of Albany, also home to International SEMATECH North, is one of five major Centers of Excellence throughout New York State. The Centers support high technology ventures through a collaborative approach among the State, academia, venture capital companies, and other private and public sector partners. They include Bioinformatics in Buffalo, Environmental Systems in Syracuse, Infotonics in Rochester, and Wireless Information Technology at Stony Brook.
To date, the Centers have attracted unprecedented public and private investments, including Tokyo Electron’s commitment, in 2002, to establish a $300 million research and development facility at Albany’s Center of Excellence in Nanotechnology.
Strategically Targeted Academic Research Centers (STAR)
The North Star Center at the University at Albany/Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute focuses on the development of nanoelectronic devices, optoelectronics, system architecture and other growth areas in the electronics industry. The Center is one of eight STAR centers that provide the infrastructure for breakthroughs in science and technology in New York State.
Centers for Advanced Technology (CAT)
CAT sites support university-industry collaborative research, helping to expedite it into commercially viable products. The Integrated Electronics Engineering Center, a CAT site at the University of Binghamton, pursues research in electronics packaging. The Sensor CAT, at Stonybrook University on Long Island, conducts research in the areas of magnetic, optical, X-ray, and infrared sensors, among others. The CAT in Nanomaterials and Nanoelectronics at Albany Nanotech focuses on semiconductors and microelectronics. Twelve other CAT sites located throughout the State focus on everything from biotechnology to photonic applications.
New York’s electronics industry has become a national leader as a result of these three programs. By 2003, three of the nine companies or universities making the most important breakthroughs in nanotechnology were based in New York State – a higher concentration than any other state, according to The Forbes/Wolfe Nanotech Report.
In addition, the School of Nanosciences and Nanoengineering at the University of Albany, established in January 2004, is the first college of nanoscience in the country. The college currently has 25 faculty members and 75 graduate students, and expects to triple the faculty and enroll 500 graduate students within five years.