ALBANY, N.Y., May 4 (UPI) -- President Barack Obama will discuss an emerging U.S. innovation economy at a nanotechnology development and education center, the White House said late Friday.
Obama is to travel Tuesday to a $14 billion, 800,000-square-foot NanoTech Complex at the State University of New York's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering on the campus of the University at Albany, the White House said in a statement, changing earlier plans.
Obama was to have gone to a nearly completed $4.6 billion GlobalFoundries Inc. computer chip plant about 20 miles from Albany, but switched "due to logistical reasons," the White House statement said Friday.
The college is closer to Albany International Airport than the chip-making plant and has better parking and a larger space for public events, said GlobalFoundries, which met with a White House advance team the past two days.
GlobalFoundries, which is test-manufacturing computer chips and expects to be fully operational this summer, is also still considered an active construction site, said the Milpitas, Calif., company.
"It's a massive undertaking and they want to have the right accommodations," company spokesman Travis Bullard told The (Saratoga Springs) Saratogian.
Representatives of GlobalFoundries -- formerly part of Advanced Micro Devices Inc., the world's second-largest producer of computer chips -- "will join the president at CNSE," the White House statement said.
About 50 of GlobalFoundries' 1,300 local employees work at CNSE in research roles, Bullard told the newspaper.
"We almost feel like it's happening in another room of our home," he said.
Other high-tech companies involved onsite with CNSE include Intel Corp., IBM Corp. and Applied Materials Inc.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is to join Obama at Tuesday's event, the White House said.
Nanotechnology -- which some scientists and business leaders hail as ushering in the next technology-driven Industrial Revolution -- "promises to be one of the critical foundations for this new innovation economy," a Pew Charitable Trusts Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies report said.
The technology -- which involves manipulating matter on an atomic and molecular scale -- "is still early in its development cycle, although a variety of nano-enabled products are already on the world market in clothing, cosmetics, washing machines and sports equipment," the 2009 report said.
"Numerous novel nanotechnology applications with more radical capabilities and implications are foreseen across the economy, including in aerospace, construction, electronics, environment, medicine and security," it said.
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