Compiled by Mark DeSorbo

Moving M+W

NASHUA, NH—M+W Zander U.S. Operations Inc., a designer and builder of chip fabs, is relocating one of its regional offices to the Watervliet in Arsenal, N.Y.—a move that will create a training center to teach workers how to build high-tech buildings.

M+W Zander was the prime contractor for the SUNY Albany NanoTech NanoFab 300 North building where the new training center will have a component. M+W already has 70 employees at Albany NanoTech and in the 18-county Tech Valley region. By the end of the year, the company, a subsidiary of Germany-based Jenoptik Group, expects to add another 50 employees at the Watervliet site.

Forging Fairchild

MOUNTAINTOP, PA.—Fairchild Semiconductor will invest $143 million to expand its 8-inch wafer facility in this neighboring town of Scranton and Wilkes-Barre.

The facility is dedicated to manufacturing power components—a segment worth nearly three-quarters of the company's revenue. The expansion includes refurbishing a 15,000 square-foot cleanroom, and installing tooling and support systems to increase Fairchild's production capacity—particularly for its discrete power line. Upon completion, the plant will be capable of producing 1,200 wafers per day. The move, which will create 320 new jobs over four years, also sees Fairchild partner with the State of Pennsylvania. The state has offered an Opportunity Grant financial package, including an initial grant of $1 million over two fiscal years, training funds, and an offer of low-interest loans through the state's Industrial Development Authority.

LG lives large

DAEJON, Korea—LG Chem Ltd., the nation's largest chemical company, has opened a research center here to focus on the key technologies of nanotech and display materials.

The center will conduct the company's major research projects on nanotechnology and organic light-emitting displays. “The new center holds a great significance; it is the essential infrastructure to develop key technologies for our business,” says Yeo Jong-kee, LG Chem CTO and president. The fabrication facility combines traditional research labs with an aseptic cleanroom to save time on development projects. In the past, LG Chem usually used cleanroom facilities of other chip makers to test new materials, but the new center will eliminate that inconvenience. Nanotechnology, the science of handling molecular-sized structures, can be used to develop strong, ultra-light materials. The chemical maker was recently the first to develop a leak-proof plastic with the precision technology.

Scary sting

FORT DETRICK, Md.— An Army researcher has not shown any symptoms of the Ebola virus after she accidentally pricked herself with a needle that contained a weakened form of the disease as she injected mice as part of a research effort.

Although she has shown no signs of the fatal illness, she may have to remain at Fort Detrick for up to 30 days of isolation. Local government officials have been notified, but no one else is believed to have been exposed. The Ebola virus, named for the river in Africa where it first struck nearly 30 years ago, causes high fever, a rash, and bleeding from the internal organs. Ebola can be passed person-to-person through body secretions. Fort Detrick, about 30 miles from Washington, traditionally has been known for its germ warfare research. In recent years, the facility's biomedical mission has included a role in the investigation of anthrax bioterror attacks on the U.S. Capitol in October 2001.


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