After years of setbacks, Utica’s nanotech project gets $1 billion tenant

Local News

MARCY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — After years of setbacks, the nanotech project in the greater Utica area is getting a major tenant with a $1 billion commitment.

The North Carolina-based company, Cree, announced Monday it will build the world’s largest silicon carbide fabrication facility in Marcy to establish a silicon carbide corridor on the East Coast.

The building is billed as a “state-of-the-art, automotive-qualified 200mm power and RF wafer fabrication facility.”

Cree plans to invest $1 billion in construction and equipment for the New York fab.

According to the company, New York State will provide a $500 million grant from Empire State Development.

The company will likely build on the former campus of SUNYIT, now called SUNY Poly.

The company will also expand its Durham, North Carolina headquarters.

“Silicon carbide is one of the most pivotal technologies of our time, and is at the heart of enabling innovation across a wide range of today’s most groundbreaking and revolutionary markets, including the transition from the internal combustion engine to electric vehicles and the rollout of ultra-fast 5G networks,” said Gregg Lowe, CEO of Cree. “This state-of-the-art, automotive-qualified wafer fabrication facility builds on our 30-year heritage of commercializing breakthrough technologies that help our customers deliver next-generation applications. We look forward to connecting our North Carolina and New York innovation hubs to drive the accelerated adoption of silicon carbide.”

“We’re excited to become part of Cree’s efforts to drive the transition from silicon to silicon carbide, and this partnership will be a key part of our work to strengthen the research and scientific assets that New York State will use to attract the industries and jobs of tomorrow,” said Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President and CEO-designate Eric J. Gertler. “The Mohawk Valley offers a unique combination of valuable high-tech and scientific assets, and this is an important next step in growing our advanced manufacturing infrastructure and investing in our upstate economy.”

Cree will partner with colleges in North Carolina and New York to develop training and internship programs to prepare its workforce for the high-tech employment.

Governor Andrew Cuomo is scheduled to make an “announcement” at an off-campus SUNY Polytechnic Institute facility Monday afternoon.

SUNY Poly was one of the primary projects at the center of the investigation into several of Governor Cuomo’s top aides. SUNY Polytechnic Institute founder Alain Kaloyeros is serving a three year sentence in prison for steering more than $850 million worth of state-funded contracts to allies of Cuomo.

This is a developing story. Check back to and NewsChannel 9 for updates.

For more local news from Andrew Donovan, follow him on Twitter.

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