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IBM Extends Research Partnership with University at Albany's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering

Published on March 30, 2009 at 6:28 PM

IBM Corp. has extended its research partnership with the University at Albany's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering for five more years.

The continued research and development partnership is expected to bring IBM's (NYSE: IBM) investment in Albany NanoTech to more than $1 billion by 2013, John Kelly, IBM's senior vice president and director of research, told a crowd of about 400 gathered today at Albany NanoTech.

IBM was the first company to invest in Albany NanoTech. Today, more than 250 public and private entities partner in the college's research programs.

Today's announcement came in conjunction with an official ribbon cutting for NanoFab East 300, the college's fourth nanotechnology research building. The $150 million facility includes 250,000 square feet of office, laboratory and classroom space and 15,000 square feet of cleanroom space.

The new research building is expected to generate 600 jobs and add $1 billion to the Capital Region economy, said Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Brooklyn, a longtime supporter of Albany NanoTech.

The state invested $5 million in the new research facility. In all, it's invested $900 million in the college research facility since its inception in 1997.

"It is clear that the future of economic development is in this model," Silver said of the college's partnership with private companies.

NanoFab East will be fully occupied by the end of April, said Alain Kaloyeros, Albany NanoTech's vice president and CEO. Businesses began moving into the new space a few months ago.

Smaller companies will occupy the first floor of NanoFab East, International Sematech will move to the second floor, IBM will occupy the third floor and the college will use the fourth floor. Most of the research and development there will be in the field of nanoelectronics.

International Sematech, a consortium of at least 18 manufacturers that make computer microchips, recently moved its headquarters to Albany from Austin, Texas.

Private investments in the $4.5 billion campus total $3.5 billion.

Today's announcement at the 800,000-square foot nanotechnology campus on Fuller Road comes just days after IBM confirmed plans to cut its U.S. work force. The company hasn't confirmed numbers but union officials expect as many as 5,000 workers will lose their jobs. Another 5,000 were laid off during a previous round of cuts in January, including 274 at the company's Fishkill operations in Dutchess County.

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