Feds to spend $5 billion on semiconductor research, production

February 13, 2024

The White House expects to invest $5 billion in the next phase of its efforts to accelerate semiconductor research, development and production in the United States.

The plan includes bolstering the CHIPS For America Research and Development program by formally creating the National Semiconductor Technology Center (NSTC), the centerpiece of the $11 billion CHIPS R&D program.

The NSTC is expected to serve as a public-private consortium that lowers the barriers to participation in R&D and helps build the U.S. semiconductor workforce. The center has been formally established by the secretaries of commerce, defense, and energy; the director of the National Science Foundation; and Natcast, the NSTC’s nonprofit operator.

The center will help “speed up the pace of new innovations” by bringing together government, industry, labor, customers, suppliers, educational institutions, entrepreneurs and investors, the Department of Commerce said.

The plan includes investing hundreds of millions of dollars to create the NSTC Workforce Center of Excellence that will have a presence in several U.S. regions.

Workforce center activities could include synthesizing semiconductor education and training to form a common baseline education program, launching campaigns to attract new students and workers to the semiconductor industry, developing new training methodologies and accelerating access to educational resources, the Department of Commerce said.

“As we create opportunities for good-paying jobs, the workforce initiatives, such as the NSTC Workforce Center of Excellence, will help ensure a diverse, skilled, and prepared workforce across the nation,” Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said.

NSTC Program Director Jay Lewis and Natcast CEO Deirdre Hanford will provide an update on early activities in March 2024.

Opportunities for members of the private sector to express interest in joining the NSTC are now open.

“Our first priority is to build a community whose members will help define the strategy and investments core to the semiconductor R&D ecosystem,” Hanford said.

The CHIPS and Science Act involves the appropriation of $39 billion to the Department of Commerce to fund onshore semiconductor manufacturing through an incentives program.

The program includes $11 billion to advance U.S. leadership in semiconductor R&D through four programs: the NSTC, the National Advanced Packing Manufacturing Program, the CHIPS Metrology Program and the CHIPS Manufacturing USA Institute.

The next phase of the program includes:

  • Investing at least $200 million in a CHIPS Manufacturing USA Institute to create a first-of-its-kind semiconductor manufacturing digital twin institute, which will allow innovators to replicate and experiment with physical manufacturing processes at low cost, helping to significantly reduce U.S. chip development and manufacturing costs, improve development cycle time and accelerate the adoption of innovation semiconductor manufacturing technologies.
  • Funding up to $300 million in new R&D activities in advanced packaging of substrates and substrate materials — a key technology for manufacturing semiconductors.
  • Awarding more than $100 million across 29 projects in the CHIPS Metrology program that address common needs across the microelectronic industry. Current projects are helping to develop measurement instruments, measurement methods and measurement-informed models and simulations for advanced microelectronics design and manufacturing, all of which will help inventors and entrepreneurs more easily scale innovations into commercial products, the Department of Commerce said.

Strategic Partnerships, Inc. can provide information on contract opportunities, plus existing and future government funding. For more information, contact research@spartnerships.com.

Photo by Anne Nygård on Unsplash

Miles Smith

Miles Smith has more than two decades of communications experience in the public and private sectors, including several years of covering local governments for various daily and weekly print publications. His scope of work includes handling public relations for large private-sector corporations and managing public-facing communications for local governments.

Smith has recently joined the team as a content writer for SPI’s news publications, which include Texas Government Insider, Government Contracting Pipeline and its newest digital product, Government Market News, which launched in September 2023. He graduated from Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s in journalism.

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