December 19, 2013

Israeli scientists, engineers arriving next year

By: Larry Rulison

Source: Times Union

5 semiconductor firms will be selected to join partnership in Albany

The first wave of Israeli scientists and engineers participating in a five-year, $3 billion research program with the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering is expected to arrive in Albany early next year.

The Israeli Industry Center for Research & Development, also known as MATIMOP, is likely to select about five semiconductor companies to join the Albany partnership through a competitive bidding process that ends Dec. 31. The Israeli government is funding the program to the tune of about $300 million annually, with the companies required to provide matching funding.

About 150 Israeli scientists and engineers will participate initially, both in Albany and Israel. However, that number is expected to quadruple over the next three to five years as another 15 companies are selected to join. CNSE has said previously that potentially hundreds of Israeli technology workers and their families could move to Albany for work assignments.

"This collaboration is already beginning to deliver tangible results that will generate measurable impact," MATIMOP said in a statement issued jointly with the NanoCollege.

MATIMOP, which is part of what is known as the Office of Chief Scientist within Israel's Ministry of Economy, also said that "reciprocal" educational and research programs are being created between the NanoCollege and several Israeli universities.

One of the areas where the NanoCollege and Israel have already started working together is on the computer chip industry's move to using larger silicon wafers in manufacturing. Chips are currently made using 12-inch, or 300 millimeter, wafers, and a consortium of chip-makers based at the NanoCollege called the Global 450 Consortium, or G450C, is setting up a pilot 450mm line.

The G450C, which was created by New York state, has started to work with an Israeli 450mm consortium called Metro450, and some of the companies that win funding from MATIMOP likely could be seeking to work with G450C members in Albany as well.

Next month, Metro450 is hosting its second annual conference at Technion, Israel's oldest technical university, in Haifa, Israel, and Rand Cottle, a G450C manager from the NanoCollege, is scheduled to speak.

A joint 450mm conference has been scheduled for March in Israel as well, an event that may feature Alain Kaloyeros, CEO of the NanoCollege, as the keynote speaker on behalf of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.