Biden admin reveals 31 R&D tech hubs, with $500m up for grabs

Nothing more fattening than CHIPs: Up to ten locations get initial funding, more to come

The Biden administration Monday announced 31 regional tech hubs across the US poised to spur development and manufacturing of key technologies.

In total, $500 million of initial funding has been authorized for the program as part of an economic development initiative under the $280 billion CHIPS and Science Act signed into law last year, with $10 billion available over the next five years. The goal of Monday's announcement is to establish centers for the advancement of semiconductors, clean energy, critical minerals, biotechnology, precision medicine, artificial intelligence, and quantum computing technologies.

"President Biden's Investing in America agenda is rooted in policies that will empower the United States to out-innovate and out-compete the rest of the world," US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said in a canned statement.

"Our Tech Hubs Program is fundamental to that mission and will supercharge innovation across the nation by spurring cutting-edge technological investments and creating 21st century job opportunities in people's backyards."

While the sites have been designated, how that $40-70 million per site hasn't been established yet. According to the Commerce Department, between five and ten hubs are expected to receive funding during the second phase of the project to run between three and eight projects. That isn't going to leave much for the rest of the hubs.

Alongside the 31 locations, announced Monday, The DoC's Economic Development Administration also awarded 29 development grants designed to help communities prepare to compete for future tech hub designations.

A full list of tech hubs assignments by state can be found here.

The location of these hubs was apparently chosen to ensure economic benefits are distributed throughout the US, and don't end up concentrated in the expected coastal cities. The Commerce Department claims nearly three quarters of the tech hubs directly benefit small, rural, and/or historically underserved communities.

The announcement comes less than a week after the Biden Administration announced sweeping trade restrictions designed to stifle development of AI technologies and semiconductor manufacturing capacity by Chinese companies. ®

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