If your business supplies the high-tech industry, then Fulton County is the place to be. The county is situated in the heart of New York’s nanotechnology triangle. NY Creates, a world-leading organization for research, development, and commercialization, is the southeastern point. GlobalFoundries, a leader in semiconductor design, development, and fabrication, represents the northeastern point.
Completing the triangle an hour west6 of Fulton County is Wolfspeed, a global leader in silicon carbide technology and production. As these three organizations expand, so do the opportunities for suppliers. Fulton County is ripe with shovel-ready sites and buildings to accommodate businesses that provide the infrastructure for this growing segment of the global economy, and the Fulton County Center for Regional Growth’s team of specialists is there to assist through the whole process.
“Fulton County is right in the middle,” said LaMar Hill, who works in the NY Creates president’s office. “The supply chain of this industry usually locates close in proximity to where research and development happens. I believe there’s a tremendous opportunity to provide supply-chain support for this industry in our region.”
According to the Semiconductor Industry Association, the industry is projected to generate $452 billion in revenue worldwide. The U.S. market’s share of that is about 47 percent.
Hill describes NY Creates as “a giant research and development mecca to support the semiconductor industry,” as it works collaboratively with countries across the globe in support of their work in the industry. “All companies that build integrative circuits can come and do research. It’s the only facility of our kind in the United States,” Hill said. NY Creates has an annual operating budget of $300 million and 500 employees who manage the research facility.
That facility is about to get bigger, as NY Creates recently invested $15 billion in its Albany site. The organization has been growing rapidly over the past three decades and continues to do so, drawing high-tech companies to the region.
The company has expanded significantly in its leading-edge role in the shift from silicon to silicon carbide. It has a device pipeline total of over $15 billion and plans for an increased production capacity 30 times larger than its previous facility.
GlobalFoundries is also expanding. In July 2021, the company announced that it would invest $1 billion in the expansion of its most advanced manufacturing facility in upstate New York. According to Peter Benyon, Fab 8 Vice President and General Manager of GlobalFoundries, the expansion will address the global chip shortage and expand manufacturing capacity by providing new tools and equipment to fill out existing space in its Fab 8 clean room.
“This new capacity will serve the growing demand for secure, feature-rich chips needed by high-growth markets including automotive, 5G connectivity, and the Internet of Things,” Benyon said. “The facility will also support national security requirements and ensure a secure supply chain.” Leadership at GlobalFoundries also decided during 2021 to move its headquarters from California to New York State. This move brings CEO Tom Caulfield back to his roots where he spent 16 years in East Fishkill, NY.
The expansion at GlobalFoundries will create over 1,000 new high-tech jobs and indirect jobs, including high-paying construction jobs, Benyon said. A Georgetown University study on the economic impact of GlobalFoundries Fab8 on the Upstate New York Region concluded that the company created over 20,000 induced and indirect jobs. “We are confident that Fulton County shares in that economic success with more opportunity to follow in the coming years,” Benyon said.
Expansion in the high-tech industry surrounding Fulton County positions the county as a prime place of opportunity for businesses that produce goods and offer services that high-tech companies need to complete their work. “I believe the entire region, if it chooses to enable itself, could be part of supporting the supply chain necessary to support the primary industry,” Hill said.