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Austrian firm withdraws from chip-fab project at Marcy Nanocenter

By Eric Reinhardt


MARCY, N.Y. — The Austrian firm that had planned to invest in a wafer-fabrication facility at the Marcy Nanocenter has decided not to pursue the project, Empire State Development (ESD) confirmed to BJNN in a statement Monday.

Austrian–based company ams AG had planned to bring 1,000 new jobs and invest more than $2 billion in a wafer-fabrication facility that’s planned for the Nano Utica site.

In its statement, ESD had noted that the agency assumed the lead role on SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) projects in September and “immediately engaged” with ams AG officials to “reinforce” New York’s commitment to moving forward with the project in the Mohawk Valley.

“Unfortunately, under the previous management of SUNY Poly, the project experienced several long delays and, as a result, ams AG recently informed us of its decision to withdraw from the planned chip-fabrication project at the Marcy Nanocenter,” the statement said.

“Disappointing is not just the only word,” Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente said at a news conference last Friday. “I’m very angry that the delays and uncertainty at the state level that have hampered this project for a number of months have caused the delay of this company coming to Oneida County.”

Picente’s comments were part of a news article and video on the website of Time Warner Cable News.

ESD overseeing
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sept. 23 directed ESD to assume the lead role on SUNY Poly’s economic-development projects, Howard Zemsky, president, CEO, and commissioner of ESD, said in a statement issued Nov. 17.

Cuomo made the change following the arrest of former SUNY Poly president Alain Kaloyeros as part of a case involving federal corruption and fraud charges in the awarding of millions in state contracts.

Soon after Cuomo directed ESD to oversee the project, Zemsky traveled to Austria to meet directly with ams AG leadership to “ensure the company fully understood” New York’s “commitment to bringing the project to fruition in the Mohawk Valley.”

Despite ams AG’s decision, ESD contends the development prospects for the Marcy Nanocenter “are very bright.”

“We are moving forward with plans for the facility and are confident that we will find a new anchor tenant in short order. ESD and local partners are already working tirelessly on potential alternatives consistent with the region’s economic development strategies and we are actively in discussions with other chip fabrication opportunities for the Marcy Nanocenter,” the agency said.

The state “remains optimistic” about chip-packaging operations starting at Quad-C next year in collaboration with General Electric (GE) Global Research and its partners, as part of the New York Power Electronics Manufacturing Consortium (NY-PEMC).

Quad-C is short for computer-chip commercialization center.

Besides the ams AG announcement, Cuomo had also announced GE Global Research would expand its New York operations to the Mohawk Valley as part of the August 2015 announcement.

GE Global Research will be the anchor tenant of Quad-C at SUNY Poly’s Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) in Marcy.

New York expects SUNY Poly, GE, and affiliated corporations to create nearly 500 jobs in the Mohawk Valley in the next five years and another 350 positions in the subsequent five years as well, according to an August, 2015 news release from Cuomo’s office.

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