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The city says that it partnered with the business and local agencies to quickly develop the land.

COURTESY PHOTO: CITY OF HILLSBORO - This new nanotechnology innovation center in an enterprise zone opened in Hillsboro on Thursday, Sept. 29. Hitachi High-Tech America celebrated the grand opening of a nanotechnology innovation center in Hillsboro last week, thanks in large part to a public partnership with the city government.

Hillsboro's economic and community development department says city officials pushed to develop the infrastructure needed to build this kind of technology center in town before selling the land to Hitachi.

The innovation center, located at 3600 N.E. Huffman St., opened on Thursday, Sept. 29, to lots of fanfare, including remarks from Hillsboro Mayor Steve Callaway.

"Now, more than ever, we need to continue supporting Oregon's semiconductor industry with a collaborative business environment and position this industry for future growth opportunities," said Callaway at the grand opening.

Hitachi High-Tech America had three other facilities in Hillsboro, but the innovation center will consolidate all of the company's operations into one site.

Located in the city's enterprise zone, Hitachi will enjoy a five-year property tax exemption on the building.

In a press release, a city spokesperson characterized the Japanese company as "initially skeptical" of buying part of the land on what was previously an undeveloped 46-acre parcel in the Hillsboro Technology Park.

But, the release noted, Hillsboro was able to work with other agencies like Clean Water Services and Portland General Electric to develop roads and utilities to connect to the land.

The city government sold 18 acres to Hitachi to develop the new center.

"In just three short years, we blazed a trail and converted what was once a grass field into a state-of-the-art innovation center that will employ hundreds of workers," said Dan Dias, Hillsboro's economic and community development director. "The City of Hillsboro continues to foster the spirit of innovation and is fortunate to have a mature and expanding ecosystem of the semiconductors supply chain in our community."

Officials are touting the Hitachi nanotech center as an example of how local jurisdictions can work with businesses to fulfill Oregon's goal of bolstering domestic semiconductor manufacturing and research.

Callaway mentioned Hillsboro's role as part of the newly formed Oregon Semiconductor Competitiveness Taskforce to achieve these kinds of new investments in the area.

"We continue to be a ready partner of the state, and we are prepared to support the semiconductor industry and our many semiconductor companies, like Hitachi, during the 2023 Oregon legislative session," Callaway said at the opening.

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