TUCSON, AZ (November 6, 2023) – The Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) has unveiled plans for a significant expansion of the University of Arizona’s Micro/Nano Fabrication Center (MNFC) in Tucson, Arizona. Supported by a $35.5 million investment from the ACA, this expansion aims to bolster the state's semiconductor industry and enhance workforce training in advanced manufacturing technologies.
Advancing Semiconductor Research and Training
The MNFC, housed within the University’s Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, serves as a pivotal cleanroom facility for semiconductor manufacturing and research. With a focus on semiconductors, computer chips, optical devices, and quantum computing systems, the Center plays a crucial role in driving innovation and technological advancement in Arizona's manufacturing sector.
Commitment to Skilled Workforce Development
Governor Katie Hobbs emphasizes the importance of the MNFC expansion in fostering Arizona's semiconductor industry. The investment not only supports research and development efforts but also enhances training and educational modules to cultivate a skilled workforce capable of meeting industry demands.
Pioneering Research and Collaboration
President Robert C. Robbins highlights the University's commitment to innovation and workforce development. The expanded facility is poised to significantly impact students, researchers, and industry partners, driving collaborative efforts to propel Arizona's manufacturing sector forward.
Leveraging Research Talent for Economic Growth
Vice President of Semiconductor Manufacturing, Liesl Folks, underscores the University's role in advancing economic development and national security through research and talent attraction. The MNFC expansion aligns with broader efforts to grow Arizona's manufacturing workforce and foster innovation.
Driving Workforce Development and Innovation
Sandra Watson, President and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority, emphasizes the MNFC's role in supporting workforce development and innovation across the state. The investment reflects Arizona's commitment to semiconductor and microelectronics development.
Collaborative Efforts and Regional Impact
The Southwest Nano-Lab Alliance, comprising universities dedicated to promoting the regional semiconductor industry, will collaborate closely on this initiative. The partnership underscores a collective commitment to advancing workforce development and technological innovation in the Southwest.
Supporting Workforce Training Programs
A portion of the funds will support expanded workforce training programs at partner institutions, including Pima Community College and Central Arizona College. Dr. Jackie Elliott, President and CEO of Central Arizona College, expresses gratitude for the support, highlighting the impact on workforce training in high-tech industries.
Innovative Training Tools for Future Technicians
The College of Engineering plans to develop innovative teaching tools, including a digital twin of the MNFC facility. This virtual reality simulation will streamline training processes, enabling students to familiarize themselves with workflows and equipment remotely.
For media inquiries, contact:
Alyssa Tufts, Arizona Commerce Authority, [email protected]
About the Arizona Commerce Authority
The Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) is the state's leading economic development organization, focused on attracting, expanding, and creating opportunities to strengthen Arizona's economy.
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