The bipartisan Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors for America Fund Act (also known as CHIPS) has passed both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, and President Joe Biden plans to sign the legislation Aug. 9 in a Rose Garden ceremony.

While most media coverage has focused on the bill’s substantial investment in the private sector semiconductor industry, there are several components that are important to state policymakers, particularly in the areas of research, education and workforce development.

The bill is designed to counter increasing competition from China in technological innovation. The $280 billion legislation will “provide for international information and communications technology security and semiconductor supply chain activities, including to support the development and adoption of secure and trusted telecommunications technologies, secure semiconductors, secure semiconductors supply chains, and other emerging technologies.”

The bill will:

  • Support clean water and watershed research in collaboration with state, territorial, local and tribal governments. (p. 148)
  • Support greenhouse gas research, including federal agency coordination with state and local governments. (p. 291)
  • Establish a National Supply Chain Database, through which the federal government will work with state and local governments to minimize “disruptions to the United States supply chain by having an assessment of United States manufacturers’ capabilities.” (p. 357)
  • Support a National Academies study to foster innovative, evidence-based science, technology, engineering and math education practices from pre-K through 12th grade (p. 385)
  • Establish a National Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Teacher Corps Pilot Program that honors outstanding STEM teachers and “rewards them for their accomplishments, elevates their public profile, and creates rewarding career paths.” (p. 393)
  • Develop initiatives, including scholarships-for-service and postdoctoral fellowships, to support a pipeline of professionals in Artificial Intelligence to meet the workforce needs of state, territorial, local and tribal governments. (p. 425)
  • Fund undergraduate scholarships, graduate fellowships and traineeships and postdoctoral awards in science, technology, engineering and math fields. (p. 459)
  • Work through the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research program to expand geographic and institutional diversity in research. (p. 466)
  • Establish a National Secure Data Service demonstration project “to develop, refine, and test models to inform the full implementation of the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking recommendation for a governmentwide data linkage and access infrastructure for statistical activities,” in consultation with state governments. (p. 557)
  • Establish the Directorate for Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships to provide grants to public and private sector entities to advance technology research and development. (p. 562)
  • Provide funding for Regional Innovation Engines to “further the development, adoption, and commercialization in key technology focus areas” through partnerships involving State, territorial, local and Tribal governments. (p. 577)
  • Establish technology planning and capacity building awards for state and local governments, among others, to advance the development and commercialization of technologies. (p. 589)
  • Direct the Comptroller General to evaluate the impact of federal science, technology, engineering and math programs on rural populations. (p. 675)
  • Establish Regional Technology and Innovation Hub Program to encourage state, territorial, local and tribal governments to work with other public and private entities to develop innovation strategies to support economic development and resilience. This includes Strategy Implementation Grants and Cooperative Agreements for state, territorial, local and tribal governments to create job training and other workforce programs to meet the needs of local employers. (p. 742)
  • Establish Regional Clean Energy Innovation Partnerships for state, territorial, local and tribal governments to work with other public and private entities “to enhance the economic, environmental, and energy security of the United States and accelerate the pace of innovation of diverse clean energy technologies.” (p. 790)
  • Establish Coastal and Ocean Acidification Research and Innovation program to “to advance our Nation’s ability to understand, research, or monitor ocean acidification or its impacts, or to develop management or adaptation options for responding to ocean and  coastal acidification.” This would include National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Ocean Acidification Activities grants for vulnerable state, territorial, local and tribal governments. (p. 821)

Recommended Posts