Columbus CHIPS4CHIPS recruiting effort lands manufacturing company affiliated with MIT, Georgia Tech technology incubators

ATLANTA (WRBL) — For more than a year, the United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley has been leading an effort to bring high-tech microchip processing jobs to Columbus and the region.

The effort – called CHIPS4CHIPS – landed its first startup company that will bring investment and jobs to Columbus before the end of the year. CHIPS4CHIPS is an acronym for Chattahoochee Hub for Innovation and Production of Semiconductors.

Micromize, a pioneering semiconductor manufacturer specializing in energy-efficient electronics for wearables and mobile devices, announced Columbus operations Tuesday afternoon at the Marcus Nanotechnology Research Center on campus at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

“They make little printed circuit boards for wearable technologies like a VR headset, potentially watches,” said Ben Moser, president and CEO of the United Way and the head of CHIPS4CHIPS, a group pushing to address poverty with high-quality technology jobs. “And it also has expanded applications. The company was incubated first at MIT and then came to Georgia Tech to access the research and development that goes on at their packaging lab, the Advanced Packaging Institute, which is globally renowned as the No. 1 Advanced Packaging 3D heterogeneous integration lab in the entire world. And now that company is coming here to Columbus to set up headquarters and manufacturing.”

Micromize is led by Prashant Patil, the founder and CEO.

“Our decision to locate in Columbus was driven by several crucial factors and we are thrilled about the opportunities that this vibrant city presents for our growth and development,” Patil said in a prepared statement. “The work of CHIPS4CHIPS in supporting the semiconductor industry is commendable, and we are excited to be part of this innovative ecosystem.”

The startup company will operate in a Bradley Company owed building on Fifth Avenue in downtown Columbus., Micromize is anticipated to create 15 to 20 jobs initially. Manufacturing and the headquarters will both be located in Columbus.

Columbus was attractive for a number of reasons.

“Its proximity to a port and airport facilitates efficient shipping, and Columbus has played a pivotal role in supporting us by providing essential infrastructure. C4C’s nationally recognized workforce development efforts are a huge benefit, as is the presence of Fort Moore which ensures access to a skilled workforce,” Patil said. “Additionally, Columbus offers an appealing climate with abundant outdoor activities, making it an ideal place for both work and leisure.”

From the start, Moser has said this effort that includes his organization, local businesses and the region’s educational resources is about workforce development.

And using a better-trained workforce to tackle the high poverty in the region.

It is funded with public and private dollars from both sides of the river. The city of Columbus put $1.25 million dollars toward the effort. And Phenix City chipped in another quarter million dollars.

The jobs recruitment effort is tied to federal money earmarked to bring advanced microchip jobs back to the United States.

Late last year, the White House selected CHIPS4CHIPS as one of 22 finalists for the Distressed Area Recompete Pilot Program. If it’s one of the eight to 10 communities picked, it would bring up to $50 million to the Columbus region for workforce development.

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