May 15, 2007

Legislation For Int'l Sematech Funding Approved By Assembly

By: by MSN Money


Legislation allowing New York state to issue $300 million in bonds to establish International Sematech in Albany, N.Y., was approved May 14 by the New York state Assembly.

New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer praised the Democratic-controlled Assembly for passing his legislation and said he expected the state Senate, where Republicans are the majority party, to pass the legislation soon. The state Senate will take up the legislation over the next couple of weeks, along with other economic development bills, a Senate spokesman said.

International Sematech is a subsidiary of Sematech, an Austin, Texas, consortium of computer microchip manufacturing companies.

The funding will help create the United Nanoelectronics Institute for Technology and Education at the University at Albany's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering.

Sematech president and CEO Michael Polcari praised lawmakers for passing the legislation and thanked the governor and legislative leaders for their backing of the expenditure. He promised that the Sematech consortium partnership with the state will pay off for New York's economy.

"The next several years will really show the worth and value of this relationship, Polcari said.

"What is clear to us, even if we do not understand the technology is this is where the economy is moving," the governor said.

The plan calls for the state to spend $300 million over five years to create the new center. Sematech will contribute another $150 million in cash, at the rate of $30 million a year for the first five years, and contribute another $150 million in cash equivalents over five years.

The investment in research and development will create 4,500 jobs in high-tech companies, along with the 450 jobs that the Sematech consortium will create in Albany, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) said.

Spitzer, Silver and Alain Kaloyeros, the vice president and chief administrative officer at the nanocollege, were quick to reject any suggestion that the state was spending too much money to bring a relatively small number of jobs to Albany.

The money is being invested in the State University System and basic research and development, Kaloyeros said. This will bring far reaching benefits, he said.

Bringing the heart of Sematech's international operations to Albany means the region is competing with Europe on a global scale, according to Kaloyeros. The presence of Sematech will create work for suppliers across the state, he said.

The Sematech consortium includes IBM, AMD, and Intel, among its members.