During Monday’s meeting of the Osceola County Board of Commissioners, 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.
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.
As approved at Monday’s meeting, 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 non-profit;
- 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; and
- 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.
A number of local leaders called into to offer their support for the passing of item 19 on the meeting’s agenda.
Project Bromine is a good thing… a private company taking a crucial role in advancing a diverse economy in Osceola County is what is needed.
School District of Osceola Superintendent Dr. Pace showed her support of Project Bromine in saying, “Project Bromine would be very exciting for us to continue to fulfill the true vision and dreams behind what NeoCity set out to be.
“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.”
“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,” said Thomas Sonderman, SkyWater president and chief executive officer. “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.”