Collaboration Is Key To The NY SMART I-Corridor Tech Hubs Designation

Posted on October 23, 2023

CenterState CEO President Rob Simpson speaks at The Tech Garden Expansion Kickoff.

Syracuse, NY - CenterState CEO President Robert Simpson issued the following message to members and stakeholders regarding  the NY SMART I-Corridor's designation as a federal Tech Hub, making the region eligible for millions in federal grant funding. 


Today, President Biden and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced that the NY SMART I-Corridor, comprised of partners from Syracuse, Ithaca, Rochester and Buffalo, has been designated as a federal Tech Hub by the U.S. Economic Development Administration. The federal Tech Hubs program was authorized under the CHIPS and Science Act. It's a hyper competitive program with just 31 designations made. Alongside our partners, the region is now a finalist to compete for up to $75 million in federal funding to support workforce development, innovation and supply chain activities in the semiconductor and related smart systems industry. 

Collaboration has always been the very bedrock upon which we have built success, and this designation is further proof that nothing is impossible if we work together. With this designation, the NY SMART I-Corridor gets to access the largest investment in basic research and development the federal government has made since World War II. Millions in federal funding will come to Central New York as we deal with some of the challenges that we know are on the horizon. 

In my 20 years in this work, I can’t remember ever collaborating with our neighbors down the thruway on something of this magnitude. Our success with this application is the start of the progress we will achieve by aligning our individual capabilities. 

In submitting this application with our partners across the state, we knew we had the ability to be a globally competitive semiconductor hub. Today’s designation is an acknowledgment by the federal government of our strengths and cements this region’s potential in the global semiconductor industry. The NY SMART I-Corridor is singularly positioned to address the vulnerabilities in this national priority by building on our historic strength as a manufacturing powerhouse and unique expertise in microelectronics, sensing and optics. 

Many people worked incredibly hard to get us here. I’m incredibly grateful to Senator Schumer for his advocacy of Central New York and his leadership in creating this Tech Hubs opportunity as part of the CHIPS and Science Act. I am thankful to our partners in Buffalo at the Oishei Foundation, and in Rochester at ROC 2025, Empire State Development and our many partners in this consortium, including Micron, INFICON, Saab, Lockheed Martin, SRC, TTM, Hidden Level, Belden, LaBella Associates, Syracuse University, Cornell University, SUNY Oswego, Onondaga Community College, SUNY EOC, Le Moyne College, SUNY ESF, Armory Square Ventures, IBEW 43, the CNY Building and Construction Trades Council, and so many others. 

Today’s announcement also does not happen without the work of our team here at CenterState CEO. As the organization that submitted the application, our team partnered to lead the crafting of a compelling regional narrative that communicated the combined strength of all our partners’ assets. Their work was vital to today’s success, and it's a privilege to work alongside so many colleagues committed to the future of this region.

This is just the beginning, and we are eager to take the next steps with our partners to execute the vision behind this historic, unparalleled opportunity to impact growth and expand economic opportunities for all. 

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