The Rochester, Buffalo, Syracuse region achieved a major milestone by securing the federal Tech Hub designation under the CHIPS & Science Act. Senator Chuck Schumer announced this development on October 23, 2023, marking a significant move to establish Upstate New York as a leading semiconductor hub in the United States. The initiative, known as the SMART I-Corridor Tech Hub, covers the three regions.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) recognizes that the investments from the CHIPS and Science Act will play a crucial role in maintaining the United States' global leadership in innovation. Implementing this legislation effectively ensures that ideas, talent, and economic prosperity spread across the nation.
Senator Schumer's office mentions that the SMART I-Corridor Tech Hub will build on his directed investments, catalyzing semiconductor manufacturing and innovation in Upstate New York. This designation puts New York among the exclusive group of 31 regions in America, allowing them to compete for substantial federal funding to transform Upstate New York into a global hub for workforce training, innovation, and semiconductor technology manufacturing.
Rochester Mayor Malik D. Evans believes that private sector investments combined with public-sector support will be a game-changer for the region. Schumer positions Rochester at the heart of the NY SMART I-Corridor Tech Hub, advancing the vision of creating a safe, equitable, and prosperous city.
In Rochester, Corning Incorporated has invested $139 million in Monroe County, creating more than 270 new, well-paying jobs. In the Syracuse region, Micron plans a historic $100 billion investment in a cutting-edge memory fabrication facility, expected to create nearly 50,000 jobs. In Western New York, Edwards Vacuum is investing over $300 million in a 600-job U.S. dry pump manufacturing facility to support the semiconductor industry. Schumer's advocacy has secured $25 million for Buffalo's tech industry through the American Rescue Plan's Build Back Better Challenge, laying the foundation for the attained Tech Hub designation.
Senator Schumer states, "Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse are officially on the road to becoming America's semiconductor superhighway." He believes this Tech Hub Designation will accelerate New York's semiconductor industry, attracting new companies, providing workforce training for tens of thousands of well-paying jobs, and bringing critical industry manufacturing back to Upstate New York.
Schumer's office reveals that the Buffalo-Rochester-Syracuse consortium comprises over 80 members from various sectors. It includes industry, higher education, economic and workforce development, and labor. The consortium's application process was led by designated conveners from each region: The John R. Oishei Foundation in Buffalo, ROC2025 in Rochester, and CenterState CEO in Syracuse.
In August 2022, the White House emphasized the significance of the CHIPS and Science Act in advancing American semiconductor research, development, and production. Schumer has been a relentless advocate for the region's proposal, engaging with U.S. Commerce Secretary Raimondo to underscore Upstate New York's suitability for driving the nation's semiconductor and microelectronics industries forward.
Schumer and his office emphasize that the NY SMART I-Corridor designation will consolidate the combined assets of Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse to facilitate the region's evolution into a globally recognized semiconductor manufacturing hub within the next decade. This initiative will focus on enhancing the quality and quantity of semiconductor manufacturing while strengthening the region's microelectronics and microchip supply chain ecosystem.
Members of the consortium include semiconductor manufacturers and supply chain businesses, business organizations, and education and research institutions actively contributing to the consortium's mission.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul sees the federal designation as a significant step toward creating a hub for growth, innovation, and prosperity in the state.
"The potential of the NY SMART I-Corridor to drive economic growth, technological advancement, and job creation for the region and the entire nation," says Monroe County Executive Adam Bello. "Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh views the designation as a testament to the success of the Syracuse Surge, positioning Syracuse and Upstate New York as a world-leading destination for technology investment."