Congratulations to the 8 Hubs that will transform the microelectronics industry in the United States!
On September 20, 2023, Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen H. Hicks announced $238 million in government funding through the CHIPS and Science Act to establish eight Microelectronics Commons Regional Innovation Hubs. This commitment demonstrates a commitment from the Department of Defense to develop this critical emerging technology area. These eight Innovation Hubs will participate in the Microelectronics Commons, a national network focused on creating direct pathways to commercialization for microelectronics researchers. Let’s look at each of these hubs and explore some initial government spending data as part of our ongoing analysis.
Public Spend Forum is also proud to support Commons as a member of one of the Hubs, providing market and innovation ecosystem intelligence. See our ongoing research into Microelectronics at the bottom of this blog.
What is Microelectronics Commons?
The Microelectronics Commons is creating a direct pathway to reduce the country’s reliance on foreign microelectronics and safeguard the nation from supply chain risks. The goal of Commons, as part of the CHIPS Act, are to:
- Enable the transition from laboratory to fabrication for more efficient U.S. microelectronics innovations.
- Expand the United States’ global leadership across microelectronics technical development.
- Accelerate the transition of new technologies to domestic microelectronics manufacturers.
By creating this ecosystem, the Microelectronics Commons seeks to further collaboration already occurring in this emerging tech sector and help researchers and designers make the transition from the “lab to fab.”
The Innovation Hub Awardees
Who are the eight Regional Innovation Hubs that will support the Microelectronics Commons?
These eight Microelectronics Commons hub awardees were selected for their blend of expertise and geographic location. Let’s get to know each one.
Northeast Microelectronics Coalition (NEMC) Hub
The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MassTech) is leading the Northeast Microelectronics Coalition (NEMC) Hub, with Massachusetts serving as its lead hub state. This collaborative boasts a roster of 90 hub members, featuring prominent institutions such as MITRE Corporation, Harvard University, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Boston University, and Brown University, among others. NEMC received $19.7 million in funding, focused on four focus areas: Research and development, facilities and networks, workforce development, and governance.
Silicon Crossroads Microelectronics Commons (SCMC) Hub
The Silicon Crossroads Microelectronics Commons (SCMC) Hub is led by the Applied Research Institute (ARI), with Indiana playing a crucial role as the main hub state. This consortium has received an award of $32.9 million and boasts 130+ members. The governor of Indiana, Eric Holcomb said in a statement, “Located in America’s heartland, Silicon Crossroads builds on the Midwest’s strengths in research and development as well as workforce training at all levels, to build a domestic semiconductor industry, a national security imperative to keep our nation ahead of our adversaries.”
California Defense Ready Electronics and Microdevices Superhub (California DREAMS) Hub
The California Defense Ready Electronics and Microdevices Superhub (California DREAMS) Hub is led by the University of Southern California (USC), with California playing the role of the main hub state. This Hub has 16 hub members and has been awarded $26.9 million. California Senator Dianne Feinstein stated, “Congratulations to USC and my alma mater Stanford for receiving these awards to establish Microelectronic Commons under the CHIPS Act. These innovation hubs will develop cutting-edge technologies in artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, hardware for national defense, and more. These hubs will create good-paying jobs and be a boon for the tech industry in both Northern and Southern California,”
Commercial Leap Ahead for Wide Bandgap Semiconductors (CLAWS) Hub
Headed by North Carolina State University (NCSU), the Commercial Leap Ahead for Wide Bandgap Semiconductors (CLAWS) Hub designates North Carolina as its central hub state. It comprises seven hub members and has received $39.4 million in funding.
Southwest Advanced Prototyping (SWAP) Hub
Southwest Advanced Prototyping (SWAP) Hub is led by Arizona State University, with Arizona as its main hub state. The regional innovation hub will focus on microelectronics education, research and development. SWAP Hub is focused on the development of AI hardware, 5G/6G technologies, and commercial leap-ahead technologies tailored for defense applications. Among its partners are Deca Technologies, Lam Research, Mercury Systems, Siemens EDA, and Cadence. With a membership of 27 dedicated hub members which includes both Sandia National Laboratories and the University of New Mexico, SWAP Hub received $39.8 million in funding.
Midwest Microelectronics Consortium Hub
The Midwest Microelectronics Consortium (MMEC) is the lead awardee for the MMEC Hub, with Ohio assuming the role as the hub’s lead state. MMEC Hub boasts a roster of 65 public, private, and nonprofit entities, including organizations in Ohio. and has secured a grant of $24.3 million. “This ME Commons grant is a monumental win for Ohio because it opens the door to increased job creation, the development of stronger educational pipelines to support the semiconductor supply chain and the potential of new projects within the Department of Defense,” said Pat Tiberi, president and CEO of the Ohio Business Roundtable.
Northeast Regional Defense Technology (NORDTECH) Hub
The Northeast Regional Defense Technology (NORDTECH) Hub received $40 million for Commons. It includes 51 hub members, among which are institutions like NY CREATES’ Albany Nanotech, University at Albany, Cornell University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and industry leader IBM. The lead awardee for this hub is the Research Foundation for the State University of New York (SUNY), with New York serving as the hub’s lead state.
California-Pacific-Northwest AI Hardware Hub (Northwest-AI Hub)
The 8th awardee of the Microelectronics Commons (Commons) regional innovation hubs is The Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University, with the state of California assuming the key role as the hub’s lead state. The Northwest-AI Hub boasts an alliance of 44 hub members and has secured a grant of $15.3 million to advance its mission.
We are thrilled to see the Microelectronics Commons regional innovation hubs come together and become a reality. These innovation hubs represent a groundbreaking step towards strengthening our nation’s position in microelectronics technology and national security.
Government Investment in Related Programs: SBIR/STTR, Grants, OTAs and Other RDT&E Contracts
How is the federal government and defense industry continuing to invest in critical and emerging technologies?
The US government is continuously investing significant amounts towards R&D activities for microelectronics. Based on our analysis to date, the US government has spent close to $6B (FY18-FY22) on microelectronics-related R&D investments through grants, OTAs, and SBIR/STTR awards. The spending has seen a steep growth rate of 134% from $655M in FY18 to $1.55B in FY22.
A few agencies are spearheading the investments, with DOD accounting for close to $2.2B during FY18-FY22. During this period, the National Science Foundation invested around $2.3B, 38% of the total R&D spending. Other agencies focused on microelectronics include NIST, the Department of Energy, as well as NASA.
The R&D investments are also leading to a growing ecosystem and vendor base. During the period of FY18-FY22, the government worked with 2,000+ unique vendors including underserved companies, startups, mature firms, research institutions, and labs. Approximately 22% (443) of the awarded vendors are underserved and either have government set-aside certifications, minority ownership, or self-certified SDBs.
Public Spend Forum’s Role in the Microelectronics Commons and How We Can Help
Let us know how we can help put our market and supply chain intelligence services, comprehensive data and AI-MI technology to work in helping you understand key trends in microelectronics, identify ecosystem partners and dive deep into specific questions. Please visit our solutions page or contact us at email@example.com