SkyWater Technology will take UCF’s place in NeoCity and restart BRIDG
During Monday’s meeting of the Osceola County Commission, the board unanimously agreed to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the county and SkyWater Technology to replace the University of Central Florida’s (UCF) role with BRIDG and NeoCity.
As approved, the county and SkyWater will have at least 60 days to come to a formal partnership agreement. The MOU describes some of the shared goals of the partnership, including:
• Taking UCF’s place in the lease agreement for the Center of NeoVation,
• Operating the Center of NeoVation at its full capacity.
• The resumption of BRIDG as a nonprofit.
• The continuation of BRIDG’s contracts with the Department of Defense (DOD).
• The investment of millions of dollars into NeoCity.
• Applying for the proposed new Federal Advanced Packaging National Manufacturing Institute.
• The creation of at least 220 jobs at the Center for NeoVation.
SkyWater is the only U.S.-owned and U.S.-based pure play semiconductor foundry, specializing in development and manufacturing of integrated circuits. This new partnership not only strengthens current partnerships in NeoCity, including IMEC, TEL, and SUSS, but will likely build upon those relationships and expand upon them, county officials said.
“SkyWater is well-suited to replace UCF’s role within BRIDG and the Center for NeoVation. They understand the specialized capabilities of the facility and have the resources to make the best use of our existing investment,” said Osceola Commission Chairwoman Viviana Janer. “We are excited by the potential of this new partnership and what it will contribute to our overall vision for NeoCity to transform our economy with high-paying technology jobs.”
Thomas Sonderman, SkyWater president and chief executive officer said,“We are pleased with the opportunity to collaborate with Osceola County and hope this encourages more customers to commence or resume work at the Center for Neovation. The Florida fab offers a complementary service model and technology platform to our Minnesota fab. We are very excited about the potential to extend SkyWater’s capabilities and to grow operations at both facilities.”
In 2014, Osceola County, UCF, and the Florida High Tech Corridor Council entered into a partnership agreement to form BRIDG, a non-profit, public-private-partnership to operate an advanced manufacturing center to focus on microelectronics. The purpose of BRIDG was to act as a catalyst to bring high-tech, high-wage jobs to Osceola County.
Under that original agreement, Osceola County would build the infrastructure of NeoCity, which included an advanced manufacturing fabrication lab, known as the Center for NeoVation. UCF agreed to lease the Center for NeoVation for 30 years and operate it through a service agreement with BRIDG.
During the past year, BRIDG was successful at securing multiple Department of Defense contracts that recognized the potential of BRIDG and NeoCity as an emerging leader in securing our nation’s microelectronics supply chain. However, due to State budget cuts UCF terminated its management service agreement with BRIDG.
Following UCF’s decision to end BRIDG, Osceola County quickly began a search to find a new partner who shared the same vision for BRIDG and NeoCity as the County and the Department of Defense – one that brings high-tech, high-wage jobs to Osceola County and establishes NeoCity as a leader in advanced manufacturing of microelectronics.