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What you need to know for 01/19/2018

Two area tech leaders appointed to Obama panel

Two area tech leaders appointed to Obama panel

Two prominent leaders tied to the Capital Region’s burgeoning high-tech sector were named Thursday t

Two prominent leaders tied to the Capital Region’s burgeoning high-tech sector were named Thursday to President Obama’s Advanced Manufacturing Partnership Steering Committee 2.0.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute President Shirley Ann Jackson and GlobalFoundries CEO Ajit Manocha will serve on the 19-member panel to advise on government policy toward advanced manufacturing, according to a White House announcement.

They will join other business, government and academic leaders in what the White House calls “a continuing effort to maintain U.S. leadership in the emerging technologies that will create high-quality manufacturing jobs and enhance America’s global competitiveness.”

Jackson, a nuclear physicist and former chairwoman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, has been president of RPI since 1999, during which time the Troy university has made significant investment in high-tech computing and research capabilities. She is a former co-chair of the Capital Region Economic Development Council.

As head of GlobalFoundries, Manocha oversees a worldwide semiconductor manufacturing company that has established its U.S. manufacturing center at the Fab 8 complex in Malta.

“Manocha has called for innovative approaches to public-private partnerships that will support new advanced manufacturing operations and has pressed that those operations must be part of the nation’s economic strategy,” GlobalFoundries said in a statement Friday.

GlobalFoundries employs 2,100 people at Fab 8’s first factory, where the company has invested $7 billion since 2009. It is now building a $2 billion technology research center where an additional 1,000 people will work by late next year.

GlobalFoundries is also considering building a second manufacturing plant at the Luther Forest Technology Campus site, with an estimated investment of nearly $15 billion.

“Through the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership Steering Committee 2.0, [Manocha] will continue to promote the importance of manufacturing in the U.S. and advance our global competitiveness in industry,” the GlobalFoundries statement said.

The steering committee will be chaired by Andrew Liveris, president, chairman, and CEO of the Dow Chemical Company, and Rafael Reif, president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The Advanced Manufacturing Partnership was created by the president in 2011. The initial steering committee last year recommended a national effort to strengthen the U.S. advanced manufacturing sector; the new steering committee will be following through, working with the National Economic Council, Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Department of Commerce.

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