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7/17/2014 10:28:39 AM

Democrat & Chronicle: Nanotech project another boost to local economy

Democrat & Chronicle

He said he hasn't started his re-election campaign in earnest, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo spent a good deal of time accentuating the positive during a stop in Rochester on Wednesday. His announcement of a high-tech facility locating at a Greece business park, to be accompanied by 500 new jobs, reflects a regional business climate that, if not yet sunny, at least isn't operating under the dark storm clouds of recent years.

The new New York Power Electronics Manufacturing Consortium, to operate in Albany as well as the Canal Ponds Business Park in Greece, is a boost for western New York in general, and Rochester in particular.

The state is joining with high-tech firms — notably General Electric and Sematech, the latter of which is leaving Texas — to create the consortium, and the investment is substantial: $135 million from New York and some $365 million from the private companies. Plus, as part of the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering in Albany — as is the state's entire "nanotech corridor," including the Smart Systems facility in Canandaigua — the facilities will qualify for tax-free status under the governor's Start-UP NY initiative.

Call it a case of good things coming in small packages. Nanoscale science involves engineering at the atomic or molecular level — the kind of technology used in researching and developing ever-smaller wafers for medical and communications devices. And the state has become a magnet for such work, with the Greece facility the latest to join the corridor.

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