Comments about the U.S.-Japan university partnership in computer chip manufacturing

Rochester Institute of Technology is one of six U.S. universities named as part of an international partnership to improve competitiveness in computer chip design, development and manufacturing. Micron Corp. and the National Science Foundation recently announced the partnership—the US-Japan University Partnership for Workforce Advancement and Research Development in Semiconductors for the Future (UPWARDS)— and signed of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at the recent 2023 G7 Summit in Japan.  

U.S. Congressman Joseph Morelle said: “This exciting partnership will leverage RIT’s unique expertise in semiconductor fabrication to ultimately grow our specialized workforce, strengthen our economy, and enhance our competitiveness on the world stage. It is investments like this that further cement Rochester’s place as a leader in innovation. I congratulate RIT on this opportunity and look forward to our continued work together to advance the future of our high-tech economy.”

New York State Senator Jeremy Cooney said: “As the senate sponsor of the Green CHIPS legislation, we promised New Yorkers our investment in the semiconductor industry would pay back dividends. Today’s historic commitment to RIT and our state’s higher education system and future workforce is evidence of the many growth opportunities ahead.”

New York State Assemblyman Harry Bronson said: “Developing the next-generation workforce for the semiconductor industry can begin locally and make a remarkable difference globally. I am excited to see the rest of the world know what we have known for years—that RIT and New York are at the leading edge of developing the workforce of the future. This shows the impact that our work in New York is doing, not just for our state, but for the world.”

“Leading in next-generation technologies requires developing a next-generation workforce,” said Rahm Emanuel, United States Ambassador to Japan. “Semiconductors are critical to our economy and to our security, and the UPWARDS for the Future program will enable the United States and Japan, as allies and economic partners, to build that workforce.”

“UPWARDS for the Future reflects Micron’s long-term commitment to strengthening the semiconductor ecosystems in the U.S. and Japan. Building and sustaining advanced memory semiconductor leadership requires a robust workforce from diverse backgrounds,” said Micron President and CEO Sanjay Mehrotra. “Micron is proud to be at the forefront of this once-in-a-generation opportunity to unite leading educational institutions and foster greater technology innovation.”

“This new partnership will help the U.S. and its allies keep pace with a changing global innovation landscape and combined with NSF’s other recent investments in semiconductor research and workforce development, keep us in the vanguard of global competitiveness. The diversity of the science and engineering workforce on a global scale is not only the right thing to do, but also necessary, as global competition for talent is fierce and investing in a broad demographic of the population is the only way we can accelerate progress and tackle the global shortage of semiconductor workers,” said National Science Founder Director Sethuraman Panchanathan

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