CHIPS Act funding creates 8 innovation hubs

03 October 2023
Innovation hubs will focus on spurring the economy while also developing physical, digital and human infrastructure in the U.S. Source: GlobalFoundries

The Department of Defense (DoD) has awarded nearly $240 million through the CHIPS and Science Act to build eight microelectronics commons regional innovation hubs in the U.S.

It is the largest award to date under the CHIPS Act.

The hubs are expected to spur economic growth in the regions as well as the overall U.S. economy. The hubs will be used to develop physical, digital and human infrastructure like building education pipelines and retraining the talent pool. The hubs are expected to be self-sufficient by the end of the initial five-year awards.

The goal of the microelectronics commons is to:

  • Deliver new semiconductors
  • Accelerate lab-to-fab transitions
  • Secure America’s R&D future
  • Strengthen domestic chip manufacturing
  • Develop 5G/6G technologies
  • Develop electromagnetic warfare
  • Develop artificial intelligence hardware

In all, more than 360 organizations from over 30 states will play some role in the innovation hubs, the DoD said.

"Consistent with our warfighter-centric approach to innovation these hubs will tackle many technical challenges relevant to DoD's missions, to get the most cutting-edge microchips into systems our troops use every day: ships, planes, tanks, long-range munitions, communications gear, sensors, and much more… including the kinds of all-domain, attributable autonomous systems that we'll be fielding through the Department's recently-announced Replicator initiative,” Hicks said.

NEMC hub

The Northeast Microelectronic Coalition (NEMC) hub is based in Massachusetts and has 90 members that will share a $19.7 million award from the CHIPS Act.

MITRE Engenuity, a division of MITRE Corp., is part of the hub and will help collaborate with manufacturers of chip technologies, defense contractors, semiconductor equipment and materials and local universities.

“Our regional strengths form an ideal foundation for advancing key elements of the nation’s microelectronics strategy to help ensure that American innovation truly leads to American growth,” said Laurie Giandomenico, senior VP and chief acceleration officer at MITRE.

Nokia is also part of the NEMC hub and will build on its launch of fiber-optic broadband network electronics products and optical modules for use in the Broadband, Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) program. It is the first technology Buy America compliant vendor. This includes its recently introduced network-in-a-box program.

Nokia said taking part in the NEMC collaborative will further contribute the Finnish company to growing U.S.’s technology leadership, economic growth and job creation.

SCMC and California DREAMS hubs

The Silicon Crossroad Microelectronics Commons (SCMC) hub will be based in Indiana and was awarded $32.9 million. The main awardee is The Applied Research Institute (AR) with 130 hub members.

Purdue University will be one of the hub members with other participants coming from Illinois and Michigan.

“As we collectively work to grow the nation’s microelectronics base, Indiana will play a key role in the development of these critical national security technologies and capabilities,” U.S. Sen. Todd Young of Indiana said. “More broadly, this announcement shows how the CHIPS and Science Act will connect more of America, including the industrial Midwest, to the innovation economy.”

The California Defense Ready Electronics and Microdevices Superhub (California DREAMS) hub will be based in the U.S.’s most populus state and the main awardee is the University of Southern California (USC). It was awarded $26.9 million with 16 hub members.


The Commercial Leap Ahead for Wide Bandgap Semiconductors (CLAWS) hub was awarded $39.4 million and will be centered in North Carolina focused on creating wide bandgap technologies that have become high demand due to their use in applications like electric vehicles and renewable energy systems.

The Southwest Advanced Prototyping (SWAP) hub will be centered in Arizona with 27 hub members using $39.8 million in CHIPS Act funding.

The Midwest Microelectronic Consortium (MMEC) hub will be based in Ohio with 65 hub members using $24.3 million in funding for the advancement of semiconductors and R&D.

NORDTECH and Northwest-AI Hub

Finally, the Nor. Northeast Regional Defense Technology (NORDTECH) hub will be based in New York with a $40 million award and 51 hub members.

The California-Pacific Northwest AI hardware (Northwest-AI) hub will be based in California with a $15.3 million award with 44 hub members focused on advancing AI semiconductors that will be the basis of numerous technologies soon.


Meanwhile, GlobalFoundries is seeking funding through the CHIPS and Science Act, applying for two full applications with the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The applications are for capacity expansion and modernization of GF’s U.S. manufacturing facilities.

“As the leading manufacturer of essential semiconductors for the U.S. government, and a vital supplier to the automotive, aerospace and defense, IoT and other markets, GF has submitted our applications to the CHIPS Program Office to participate in the federal grants and investment tax credits enabled by the U.S. CHIPS and Science Act,” said Steven Grasso, senior director of global government affairs at GF. “This federal support is critical for GF to continue growing its U.S. manufacturing footprint, strengthening U.S economic security, supply chain resiliency, and national defense.”

Just last month, GF was awarded 10-year, $3.1 billion contract with the DoD to supply the government with secured, domestically manufactured semiconductors.

To contact the author of this article, email PBrown@globalspec.com

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