With the arrival of GlobalFoundries, Saratoga Springs has once again caught the eye of the world, primed to become one of the major semiconductor manufacturing sites across the globe – a fact that the World Semiconductor Council (WSC) has taken note of. A worldwide organization formed in 1996 that meets in the United States only once every six years, WSC choose Saratoga Springs as its destination of choice this year, arriving Monday, May 21 to hold their week-long conference.
“This year, the [WSC] chose Saratoga Springs, NY, due to the area’s emerging status as a cluster for semiconductor innovation,” the council said in a written statement. “The combined presence of the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at the University of Albany, GlobalFoundries’ investment in a $4.2 billion semiconductor manufacturing plant known as Fab 8, and the recent announcement by the State of New York in partnership with Intel, IBM, GlobalFoundries, TSMC and Samsung of a $4.4 billion investment to create the next generation computer chip technology, all lead to [the] selection of Saratoga Springs.”
According to Todd Garofano, president of the Saratoga Convention and Tourism Bureau, Saratoga Springs stood out to the WSC not only for its semiconductor activity, but also because, “they were really blown away with the hospitality shown to them at another semiconductor conference held here last year.”
While Saratoga knows how to treat its guests (another conference, the SEMI Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing Conference, chose Saratoga Springs as its host city this year and last year, the first time the organization has ever returned to the same place two years in a row) there is, of course, a possible upside for the local community.
“One of the big attractions of this World Semiconductor Council meeting that’s going on is it’s bringing CEOs and top level executives from the world’s largest semiconductor manufacturing companies,” said Garofano. “All it takes is one of those CEOs to say, ‘hey, look at this region and what’s going on here. Maybe my company needs to have a presence here.’ And if that happens, that’s fantastic! The return on our investment is significant.”
Garofano and the Convention and Tourism Bureau have worked closely with the Saratoga Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) to attract conferences like the WSC, which in turn is working to market Saratoga Springs to some of these key semiconductor industry players.
“Being able to show your product – which is your community – is half the battle,” said J. Shelby Schneider, director of marketing and economic development specialist with SEDC. “And getting key decision makers here to understand what’s going on in the business environment and they resources we have can really help. We are building a critical mass for the industry,” she added, “and that’s generating a lot of interest. If they can do business here as well as see what’s going on with GlobalFoundries, the Nanosacle School and [other major players], it really is a win-win for our region.”