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At G7 conference, Purdue part of plans for expanding semiconductor industry

 Purdue President Mung Chiang (second from right) part of G7 agreement on semiconductors (Photo courtesy of Purdue University)
Purdue President Mung Chiang (second from right) part of G7 agreement on semiconductors (Photo courtesy of Purdue University)

Purdue University was part of a U.S.- Japan semiconductor agreement signed on Sunday during this year’s Group of 7, or G7, summit.

The agreement was signed by Purdue President Mung Chiang during a visit to Hiroshima.

Purdue joined an international partnership between the two countries, agreeing to work together on the advancement of semiconductor manufacturing.

Semiconductor chips are the cornerstone of myriad new technologies, used in everything from smart refrigerators to cars.

Alyssa Wilcox is the chief of staff with the office of the president and senior vice president for partnerships with Purdue. She said the agreement doesn’t yet include specifics but is intended to help bring more semiconductor investments to the region.

“Japan has these companies that are semiconductor focused, we have the expertise here at Purdue University, and we want to celebrate this, grow it, and help the U.S.,” she said.

The agreement includes two Japanese semiconductor companies, Micron and Tokyo Electron.

As more investments have poured into building a U.S. semiconductor industry, there have been some concerns about how companies will find the workers that they need. 

Wilcox said Purdue is quickly becoming a hub for semiconductor expertise.

“We probably have more students and more faculty working in semiconductors than any other university in the U.S.,” she said. “We want to attract companies here – we want our students to be able to have internships with these semiconductor companies.”

The agreement is one in a series of steps taken by the university to support a growing semiconductor industry in the region. Last year, SkyWater Technology announced it would build a nearly $2 billion dollar semiconductor plant in West Lafayette.