President Obama speaks at Albany Nano-Tech Complex today

May 8, 2012 — US President Barack Obama toured the University at Albany – State University of New York (SUNY) – Albany Nano-Tech Complex at 12EST today, speaking about the economy in the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering’s (CNSE) NanoFab Extension Building.

Semiconductor foundry GLOBALFOUNDRIES will help host the presidential visit, which had to move from GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ new Fab 8 to the college for logistical reasons. CNSE is a global education, research, development and technology deployment resource dedicated to preparing the next generation of scientists and researchers in nanotechnology. It hosts myriad private-public partnerships with academia and research organizations partnering with global semiconductor equipment and materials suppliers, as well as chip makers. Also read: A day at Albany CNSE: Leading-edge techs, innovation vs. efficiency

GLOBALFOUNDRIES CEO Ajit Manocha will speak during the event as well. Since breaking ground on Fab 8 in 2009, GLOBALFOUNDRIES has created more than 1,300 new direct jobs with the project, drawn from local talent in the region and national and international sources. In addition, the project has created an additional 4,300 construction related jobs and established the largest private Project Labor Agreement in history, generating hundreds of millions of dollars of economic development throughout upstate New York. Fab 8 began production in January 2012, and should ramp to volume production this year.

In January, President Obama visited Intel’s Ocotillo semiconductor manufacturing location in Chandler, AZ, touring Fab 42, which is under construction. The visit carried a similar theme as today’s — advanced manufacturing jobs in America, and improving education to develop future technological leaders from America. Obama is emphasizing the connection between education, innovation, and manufacturing in supporting investment and bringing jobs back to the US, which the administration touts as "insourcing."

"The true engine of job creation in this country is the private sector. There are steps we can take as a nation to make it easier for companies to grow and to hire — to create platforms of success," said Obama at CNSE (via @Obama2012 on twitter). He listed ways to accelerate the US economy, including tax breaks for clean-energy companies and small business owners, support for veterans in the job market, and encouraging US-based manufacturing and exports. "American manufacturers are creating new jobs for the first time since the 1990s," he said, and asserted that half of America’s largest companies are considering moving manufacturing operations from China to the US. "Even when we can’t make things cheaper than other countries, we can always make them better."

From the White House: "The President’s visit to the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at SUNY-Albany demonstrates the important role that partnerships between universities and companies can play in accelerating education, innovation and U.S. manufacturing investment."

The President has proposed a $1 billion investment for a "National Network for Manufacturing Innovation consisting of up to fifteen institutes, each serving as a hub that will help to make US manufacturing facilities and enterprises more competitive and encourage investment in the United States." The White House says that these "hubs," like CNSE, will bring large companies, small and medium enterprises, research organizations and universities, federal agencies, and states together to advance key manufacturing technologies with broad applications. In March, the Administration announced that it "will invest $45 million in existing resources to launch a single pilot institute through a competitive award to be announced later this year."

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