Semiconductor bill to fund 20 regional technology hubs
The CHIPS and Science Act authorized $10 billion for the hubs, in an effort to expand tech jobs and manufacturing beyond the country’s traditional innovation powerhouses.
The bipartisan legislation President Joe Biden signed yesterday to boost the United States’ semiconductor manufacturing also includes money to create 20 “regional technology and innovation hubs.”
The $54.2 billion CHIPs and Science Act allocates $10 billion over four years for the Department of Commerce to create 20 hubs in areas that are not leading centers for technology. A summary of the legislation said the hubs will focus on developing technology, creating jobs and expanding innovation.
At least three new hubs will be designated in each of the Economic Development Administration’s six regions. A White House fact sheet on the CHIPS and Science Act said the hubs will look to bring together state and local governments with “institutes of higher education, labor unions, businesses, and community-based organizations to create regional partnerships to develop technology, innovation, and manufacturing sectors.”
The fact sheet said the hubs will “position communities throughout the country to lead in high-growth, high-wage sectors such as artificial intelligence, advanced manufacturing, and clean energy technology.”
The legislation also designates $1 billion to reauthorize the EDA’s RECOMPETE pilot program, which provides grants to support permanently distressed communities with job creation, increasing local incomes, supporting economic development and developing infrastructure and housing.
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, said in a statement that the legislation and its investments “in research and in high-tech workforces are critical to the economic strength of cities across the country.”
And in an analysis of the bill just after its passage in Congress, Mark Muro, a senior fellow and policy director at the Brookings Institution’s Metro program, said the hubs “are a serious bid to counter excess concentration and nudge new places onto the U.S. growth map.”
“In short, these items — mostly unheralded in media coverage — represent a genuine recognition that innovation (and the nation’s competitiveness) are increasingly intertwined with and dependent on social and spatial inclusion,” Muro continued. “Without those, too much is left aside.”