July 15, 2008

Leaders Announce Major Investments By IBM And NYS

By: by Capital News 9


ALBANY, N.Y. -- Governor David Paterson said, "We're announcing today that IBM is investing $1.5 billion into our economy." 

State leaders at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at UAlbany admit it's tough to grasp exactly what's being created here -- nano-chips that hold billions of transistors almost too small to imagine used for everything from cell phones to supercomputers. 

IBM Senior VP and Director of Research Dr. John E. Kelly III said, "A one petaflop machine does one quadrillion calculations a second. Every millionth of a second it does a billion calculations."

And they're calculating the latest announcement will create as many as 1,000 new jobs, expanding their operations at Albany Nanotech, upgrading their East Fishkill facility, and creating a new research and development center somewhere upstate.

Senator Joe Bruno said, "AMD's a perfect example, Tokyo Electron is a perfect example. They could have been anywhere in the world. That's what we have to continue to do."

Albany County Executive Mike Breslin said, "We're talking about thousands of jobs. We're talking about services to provide for all those people."

Of course, nothing is free. Taxpayers will be footing the bill to the tune of $140 million to make this happen. But leaders said it's crucial money, because now Albany is competing on the world stage. 

"We're in a global economy," said Bruno. "People all over the world are competing for our businesses that end up in New York State. And if New York doesn't step up and make equity investments like this one, these people will be in Spain, in China, in India and Texas. All of the growth areas in the world."

College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering Senior VP and CEO Dr. Alain Kaloyeros said, "There are two other areas competing with us now. One is in Europe, the other is in China. The danger there is they're willing to spend billions subsidizing the activities so we are at a critical mass. 

To meet the challenge, leaders said it may not only be New York making the investment in the region's high-tech future. 

Dr. Kaloyeros said, "We're ready for the federal government to say, look, whatever you need in research and development, we can do here. It's time for you now to step up to the plate. And they're not going to have a choice, especially in defense."