December 15, 2006

HVCC, UAlbany Nanocollege Announce GetNANO Program

By: by Richard D'Errico, The Business Review



Hudson Valley Community College and the state University at Albany's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering announced a program on Thursday in which HVCC students would get training at the nanocollege.

The new program will be known as GetNANO, which stands for global education and training for nanotechnology.

During a ceremony, the president of HVCC, Andrew Matonak, and UAlbany NanoCollege Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer Alain Kaloyeros signed a memorandum of understanding for the new program. The goal is to train students who will be involved in the development of future computer microchips.

"Nowhere, I repeat, nowhere will you meet students more prepared than Hudson Valley students," Kaloyeros said.

Matonak called the agreement between HVCC and UAlbany "just another step in the partnership we have."

"We have tremendous momentum going on with nanotechnology in the region," he said. "None of this stuff would happen without all of us coming together."

With 80 percent of Hudson Valley students staying in the region after graduation, Matonak said it was important to prepare grads with skills to stay in the area.

The importance of developing skills associated with computer microchip manufacturing was highlighted because of Advanced Micro Devices Inc.'s plan to build a $3.2 billion computer microchip manufacturing plant in the Luther Forest Technology Campus in Saratoga County.

Doug Grose, senior vice president at AMD, said when AMD decided to locate a plant at Luther Forest, one key factor was access to a trained workforce.

"This is going to play a critical role," Grose said of the program. He said knowing the region was building a work force gave "AMD great optimism."

AMD officials said there had been no new news to report regarding the completion of the contract to build in the area. At this point, AMD or the state could walk away from the deal.

Also Thursday, Einhorn Yaffee Prescott Architecture and Engineering P.C. announced plans to launch a training initiative in conjunction with the getNANO program that will involve students in the building of energy efficient, high-tech buildings. That program is still in the discussion stage, according to the Albany, N.Y., engineering firm.

"The most exciting thing going on in our firm is not happening on the other side of the world or on the other side of the country," said EYP president and CEO Tom Birdsey. "It's happening right here and right now."