Vistec relocates in exchange for $30m in economic incentives

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 8:35 am    Post subject: Vistec relocates in exchange for $30m in economic incentives Reply with quote

14 September 2007 Times Union

Vistec relocates in exchange for $30m in economic incentives

The senior management team of Vistec Lithography was in Albany this week and is already impressed with its new home.

Vistec is the United Kingdom semiconductor company that New York political leaders persuaded to relocate to the Watervliet Arsenal this summer in exchange for $30 million in economic incentives.

The company has 36 employees here, including 10 at the University at Albany's College of Nano- scale Science and Engineering on Fuller Road.

On Thursday, Vistec's president, Jai Hakhu, spoke to the Times Union at the college along with Papken der Torossian, chairman of its Silicon Valley-based parent company, Vistec Semiconductor Systems.

"We're very excited to be here," Der Torossian said. "There's no place like this."

While Vistec already has lab and office space at the NanoCollege, it is renovating between 60,000 and 70,000 square feet for manufacturing at the Watervliet Arsenal -- an Army cannon factory that has commercial space -- as part of its $125 million investment here in equipment, facilities and know-how.

Eventually, Vistec will employ between 60 and 80 people between the two sites with a goal to expand.

Hakhu has international responsibilities, and so the day-to-day operations of Vistec's local operations are being managed by Vistec executive Peter Spreen.

Hakhu, a former executive at Intel Corp., is a senior adviser to Golden Gate Capital, the private equity firm that owns Vistec Semiconductor.

In Albany for board meetings, Hakhu and Der Torossian were extremely upbeat Thursday about the future of Vistec in the Capital Region and said they are working with NanoCollege officials to bring other high-profile companies to the region.

"There's nothing like this in the United States," Hakhu said of the 450,000-square-foot, $4.2 billion Albany NanoTech complex that houses the NanoCollege. "I have not seen this anywhere."

Vistec is developing equipment for advanced lithography, which is the process of putting patterns into silicon wafers where transistors go for computer chips. Vistec specializes in electron-beam lithography, which is expected to be the next generation of lithography to help make smaller and smaller components while improving performance.

"The electron beam can achieve that capability," said NanoCollege professor Alain Kaloyeros, who is also the school's chief administrative officer. "Now the time has come."

Hakhu said the company is seeking to more closely align Vistec's new Albany and Watervliet operations with other Vistec Semiconductor subsidiaries in Europe that also do electron beam lithography. The move is designed to make the Capital Region an international research center for the technology.

Hakhu and Der Torossian couldn't stop praising Democratic members of the state Assembly that put together their incentive package, including Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Assembly Majority Leader Ronald Canestrari of Cohoes.

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