The Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse regions have teamed up to establish the New York Semiconductor Manufacturing & Research Technology Innovation Corridor, or NY SMART I-Corridor. Connected by Interstate 90, the team just submitted its application to enter the Tech Hub National Competition to win federal designation by the U.S. Department of Commerce. If selected, it would be one of 20 new Technology Hubs across the country eligible for $10 billion in federal stimulus investment over the next 20 years.

The Buffalo-Rochester-Syracuse consortium includes over 80 members from the public and private sectors across industry, higher-ed, economic and workforce development, and labor communities. This includes 22 industry groups and firms, 20 economic development organizations, and 8 labor & workforce training organizations. From our region this list notably includes the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, Buffalo Niagara Manufacturing Works, and the WNY Area Labor Federation, among others. There are also 10 institutions of higher education, including the University of Buffalo, University of Rochester, Rochester Institute of Technology, Syracuse University, and Cornell University.

Each of the regions contributed a designated convener to the application: the John R. Oishei Foundation in Buffalo, ROC2025 in Rochester, and CenterState CEO in Syracuse.

The NY SMART I-Corridor Tech Hub proposal seeks to attract new business to the Buffalo-Rochester-Syracuse region to obtain “targeted federal assistance” for several purposes. They include: attracting new companies, strengthening the domestic supply chain, launching startups, supporting innovation and expanding workforce training while adding “good-paying jobs” in underserved communities.

The competition is part of the CHIPS & Science Bill, bipartisan legislation passed last year to specifically encourage the following 10 tech industries as overseen by the U.S. Economic Development Administration:

(1) Artificial intelligence, machine learning, autonomy, and related advances.

(2) High-performance computing, semiconductors, and advanced computer hardware and software.

(3) Quantum information science and technology.

(4) Robotics, automation, and advanced manufacturing.

(5) Natural and anthropogenic disaster prevention or mitigation.

(6) Advanced communications technology and immersive technology.

(7) Biotechnology, medical technology, genomics, and synthetic biology.

(8) Data storage, data management, distributed ledger technologies, and cybersecurity, including biometrics.

(9) Advanced energy and industrial efficiency technologies, such as batteries and advanced nuclear technologies, including but not limited to electric generation purposes (consistent with section 1874 of this title).

(10) Advanced materials science, including composite 2D materials, other next-generation materials, and related manufacturing technologies.

The Tech Hub Competition will be rolled out in two phases. The first is the Tech Hub designation, for which our region just applied. It will be followed by phase 2, implementing awards worth "multi-tens of millions of dollars each." These phase 2 awards will represent a first infusion to fund several key initiatives aimed at making the Tech Hub a success.