Biden outlines strategy to bolster US chips production

US Department of Commerce announces funding opportunities for large semiconductor supply chain projects, and shares strategic vision around CHIPS Act

The US Department of Commerce (DoC) has shared its strategic vision to strengthen the US semiconductor supply chain.

The DoC has announced a funding opportunity and application process for large semiconductor supply chain projects, and says in the autumn it will release a separate process for smaller projects. 

Large semiconductor supply chain projects include materials and manufacturing equipment facility projects with capital investments of $300mn and above. Smaller projects fall below that threshold.

The move is part of the CHIPS for America investments. 

The CHIPS for America Act was signed into law in January 2021, and provides funding and incentives to support semiconductor research, development, and manufacturing in the US. Its goal is to strengthen the country's semiconductor industry, and ensure its competitiveness in the global market.

'Investing in US' tour will promote CHIPS Act

The announcement comes as the Biden Administration is conducting an ‘Investing in America’ tour, which will involve leading government figures visit 20 states to highlight investments, jobs, and economic opportunity being driven by legislation including the bipartisan CHIPS Act.

“After the pandemic exposed holes and bottlenecks in our semiconductor supply chains that sent shockwaves across our economy, the CHIPS and Science Act is a historic opportunity to ensure our microchip supply chain resilience,” Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said in a White House press release. 

She added: “Thanks to the Investing in America agenda, we’re already seeing billions in private sector investment bolster the semiconductor supply chain. 

“We’re laying out our vision for how we’ll build on that progress by responsibly making investments to ensure resilience and success for the clusters we will create.”

Alongside announcing funding opportunities for larger supply chain projects, the DoC also released a paper called Vision for Success, that outlines strategic objectives for investments in the semiconductor supply chain. 

Goals in the paper include:

  • Strengthening supply chain resilience, by reducing ‘chokepoint’ risks from the geographic concentration of semiconductor manufacturing
  • Advancing US technology leadership by incentivizing major US manufacturing equipment and materials suppliers to increase their US footprints
  • Attracting non-US suppliers of the world’s most advanced equipment, materials, and subsystems to the US
  • Ensuring each CHIPS-funded ‘cluster’ is supported by an ecosystem of reliable suppliers. 
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