August 12, 2011
By: by Larry Rulison Business writer
ALBANY -- A Silicon Valley company that provides high-end analytical services to the semiconductor industry is opening a lab at the University at Albany's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering.
The company, Nanolab Technologies, is based in San Jose, Calif. Chief Executive Officer John Traub says he chose opening an office in the Capital Region over an expansion in Orange County, Calif.
That decision was based not only on GlobalFoundries' decision to build a $4.6 billion factory in Saratoga County, but also on the rapid expansion at the NanoCollege, which was recently awarded a $60 million grant to start a national solar manufacturing research center.
"It's quite impressive," Traub said by telephone Wednesday. "It's a hotbed of activity right now for technology."
Nanolab Technologies helps companies such as computer chip makers and design firms analyze their products for defects using high-end electron microscopes and other equipment that can be prohibitively expensive.
The company also helps these companies fix the problems. It is increasingly looking at working with the solar manufacturing industry, one of the reasons it chose to move to the NanoCollege.
"We see a number of opportunities," Traub said.
Initially, the company will spend $1.5 million on its operations at the NanoCollege, with two hires in the coming months. But that is expected to grow to eight. The company is also planning to invest more than $5 million in the coming years to create what will be known as the Center for Excellence for Surface Analysis.
Customers are expected to be the companies that have a presence at the NanoCollege -- major chip makers and companies that provide equipment to the chip companies -- and others across the state.
The company has already landed its first contract with one of those companies, which was not identified.
Dean Fuleihan, the college's executive vice president for strategic partnerships, says that students at the school should have opportunities to work with Nanolab.
"The paid internship opportunities are going to be great for the students," Fuleihan said.