The New Tech Valley: It's Like Silicon Valley, But With Much More Snow

By Tracey E. Schelmetic December 03, 2010

The Wall Street Journal blog Digits posted an interesting piece today on the area that is becoming known as “Tech Valley.” No, it's not in California or anywhere near Boston: it's a corridor in Eastern New York State that stretches from the Canadian border to just north of New York City.

Today, according to the blog, more than 200 high-tech companies have at least some presence in this area. It's also home to the University of Albany’s College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE), which is the first and only educational institution dedicated solely to the research and development of nanotechnology.

Also in the works for the area is a new semiconductor plant being built by chip maker Globalfoundries – Fab 8. The facility, which is expected to open in 2012, will provide the area with 1,400 new jobs. Many of the new employees will be trained at CNSE, but other schools like Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy will also benefit, said the WSJ.

The success of the region with high tech companies is the product of a little foresight on the part of New York State, which in 1998 began to court the semiconductor industry (the U.S. is still one the largest exporters of semiconductors in the world) by offering tax breaks and grants to companies that located in the area. Many companies answered the call, and the region today is becoming a hot spot for high-tech.

One of the most important parts of New York's strategy, says the WSJ, was the establishment of CNSE. Though the state did kick in about $900 million for the building of the school, the rest of the money (an estimated $6.5 billion) came from private companies in the area (many of whom now have facilities on the campus. As a result, CNSE students share their 800,000 square-foot campus with companies such as IBM and Sematech, who do some of their research in the college's facilities.

Read the full WSJ blog at

Tracey Schelmetic is a contributing editor for TechZone360. To read more of Tracey's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Chris DiMarco

TechZone360 Contributor

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