Empire State Development and the State University of New York Announce New Research Partnership with Applied Materials

Empire State Development and the State University of New York Announce New Research Partnership with Applied Materials

Thursday, November 15, 2018 - 15:37
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For Immediate Release: Thursday, November 15, 2018


ESD Press Office | PressOffice@esd.ny.gov | (800) 260-7313

Holly Liapis (SUNY) | Holly.Liapis@suny.edu | (518) 320-1311

Steve Ference (SUNY Poly) | sference@sunypoly.edu | (518) 956-7319

New Materials Engineering Technology Accelerator Will Further Position Albany as a Hub for Groundbreaking Research

Applied Materials to Make $600 Million Private Investment and Partner with New York State to Provide Capital to Promising Startups and Early-Stage Companies Across Upstate

Empire State Development (ESD) and the State University of New York (SUNY) today announced that Applied Materials, Inc., will partner with New York State to establish the Materials Engineering Technology Accelerator (META Center) on the SUNY Polytechnic Institute campus in Albany. ESD will provide a five-year, $250 million capital grant for the SUNY Research Foundation to purchase and install tools in an advanced research and development facility that will further position the Capital Region to be a global materials engineering research hub.

Applied Materials, a leader in materials engineering, has formed an agreement with New York State to establish a major public-private partnership based around research using the State’s infrastructure and equipment. Applied Materials will pay more than $100 million in leases to develop the facility, part of their $600 million investment in the campus. Additional high-tech partners are also expected to locate at the META Center.

"The new Materials Engineering Technology Accelerator in Albany will advance high-tech research as part of a public-private partnership with SUNY," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "Applied Materials’ agreement with New York State will establish a hub to advance research and development and support start-up companies across upstate New York. The META Center will continue to grow the Capital Region’s technology industry, creating jobs and boosting the economy."

"This partnership will foster innovation through public-private collaboration and help to attract the next generation of advanced manufacturing professionals to the Capital Region and New York State," ESD President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said. "By investing in research and development and our high-tech infrastructure, we are investing in the future of New York while strengthening the foundation to make way for new jobs and economic opportunities."

"One central theme of my chancellorship is to double our innovation and entrepreneurship – which means we also want to grow our research enterprise – especially in areas of advanced materials where we are world class," SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson said. "We are proud to be working with Empire State Development and Applied Materials. While our collaboration will be based at the SUNY Poly Albany campus, the research opportunities will be open to students and researchers across SUNY campuses."

As a feature of the new strategic alliance between SUNY and Applied Materials, researchers across the SUNY system will be invited to submit proposals for joint research and development activities with Applied. SUNY’s research investments of up to $25 million will be matched by Applied for up to $50 million in total research funding. The new partnership will also result in internships and research opportunities for SUNY students that are available at no other institute of higher education.

Gary Dickerson, President and CEO of Applied Materials, said, "The META Center creates a world-class innovation platform to support new types of collaboration across the technology ecosystem and will accelerate innovation from materials to systems. We’re excited about building these capabilities in New York and we thank our partners for sharing our vision of the future."

Also, Applied Ventures, the venture capital arm of Applied, and its partners will co-invest $20 million in venture capital for early-stage businesses across Upstate New York, with ESD providing an additional $10 million for a total of $30 million to foster new technology and create high-tech jobs.

Under the terms of the public-private partnership agreement, New York State will invest $250 million to purchase and install tools and equipment at the SUNY campus. Applied Materials will invest $600 million over the first seven years, with much of the investment directly supporting the campus facilities in exchange for Applied Materials' use of the clean rooms and equipment.

The addition of Applied Materials further solidifies the Capital Region’s status as Upstate New York’s "Tech Valley" and ensures the SUNY system will remain at the forefront of cutting-edge research, development and innovation in high-tech industries. Applied is one of the leading semiconductor and display equipment companies in the world, with its materials engineering solutions used to produce virtually every new chip and advanced display around the globe.

The new partnership between New York State and Applied will be the inaugural project for the recently-announced New York Center for Research, Economic Advancement, Technology Engineering and Science (NY CREATES). NY CREATES represents a new partnership between ESD and SUNY to lead industry-oriented R&D and economic development projects that grow the state’s high-tech economy. In addition to advancing new projects with an expanded roster of industry and university partners, NY CREATES will streamline the management of SUNY Poly’s former economic development portfolio while continuing to ensure that State supported high-tech projects will operate more effectively and with transparency, integrity and accountability.

Dr. Douglas Grose, Future President of NY CREATES, said, "By establishing this new research partnership with Applied Materials, we are bringing another global industry leader to SUNY Poly’s Albany campus – which is already a world-renowned center for research and development of advanced technologies. This initiative is a strong building block for the future and will further cement the Capital Region’s status as a leading hub for innovation and next-generation technology."

Under the agreement, Applied Materials will lease more than 24,000 square feet of cleanroom, office, and lab space at SUNY Poly to establish the META Center. Scheduled to open in 2019, the META Center will be a world-class hub for materials engineering R&D, prototyping, and pilot projects for Applied’s existing semiconductor customers as well as new high-tech customers in the fields of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR), advanced optics, big data, life sciences, and autonomous vehicles, among others.

SUNY Polytechnic Institute Interim President Grace Wang said, "As a powerful magnet for collaborative research, development and technology commercialization initiatives, SUNY Poly is proud to embark on this partnership with Applied Materials and New York State to drive the frontiers of research and catalyze advances in next-generation materials and devices. We are thrilled to continue to work closely with Applied Materials and our other on-site industry partners to play a critical role in the success of New York State’s high-tech ecosystem."

Om Nalamasu, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Applied Materials, and President of Applied Ventures, said, "We are excited to expand our materials engineering capabilities in the New York innovation ecosystem with the potential for further academic partnerships. Applied Materials has over 100 academic partnerships worldwide and we look forward to furthering our relationship with New York academic institutions."

Senator Neil D. Breslin said, "These major public-private partnerships that continue to come to Albany prove that the Capital District is a region to invest in. The high-tech, good paying jobs that this partnership brings in will continue to encourage the best and brightest to make their home in the Capital Region."

Assembly Member Patricia Fahy said, "By bringing Applied to SUNY Poly and the Capital Region, we are investing in the future of our students, our workforce and our community, while better positioning our region to compete amid the ever-changing technological advancements across the world. I look forward to seeing the opportunities that will develop as a result of this collaboration. I thank Governor Cuomo for his ongoing commitment to grow the tech workforce in Upstate New York."

Assembly Member John T. McDonald III said, "By providing a strong foundation for research and development, this partnership will enhance the Capital Region’s economic competitiveness, spur new innovations in emerging technology, and advance our commitment to growing jobs across New York State."

Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy said, "Over the years, the Capital Region has become a leader in research and development and nanoscale science and technology, and having SUNY Polytechnic Institute right here in Albany County has always been a great source of pride. This exciting partnership will create hundreds of good paying jobs for our residents and is an acknowledgment of how far we have come and how far we still have to go as we continue to invest in technology of the future."

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said, "Albany is proud to be home to one of the country’s truly great research and development institutions at SUNY Poly, and we are thrilled to welcome Applied Materials to the Capital City. This significant investment by the state demonstrates Governor Cuomo’s commitment to ensuring that New York’s 'Tech Valley' will continue its proud tradition of leading the way on innovation for years to come."

Andrew S. Kennedy, President and CEO of the Center for Economic Growth, said, "We applaud Applied Materials’ commitment to partnering with New York State and SUNY Poly to create this new materials engineering research center in New York’s Capital Region. This investment sends a clear message that New York State is still leading the way in pioneering new technologies for the advanced electronics industry. Furthermore, the Capital Region looks forward to working with Applied Materials on identifying and developing the next leading-edge technologies through the new co-investment initiative."

For nearly two decades, New York State research facilities have been at the center of significant technological advancements and breakthroughs, from developing the machinery and equipment for next-generation wafers to inventing some of the smallest and most advanced computer chips in the world. By hosting industry-leading public-private consortiums, the region’s transformation to "Tech Valley" – a global hub for nanotechnology, semiconductor R&D and manufacturing, and industry leading public-private consortiums – has generated billions in economic activity and tens of thousands of jobs throughout the Capital Region.