The US Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) CHIPS for America initiative is seeking public input into two programs aimed at restoring US global leadership in semiconductor manufacturing. Both are authorized under the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) for America Act.
“It is critical to our prosperity and national security that we rebuild our leadership in semiconductor manufacturing,” said Laurie E. Locascio, Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and NIST director. “To do that, we need a nationwide approach to solving this problem. That’s why we ask experts and stakeholders for important guidance as we design these programs to maximize impact while protecting taxpayers’ investment in our country’s future.”
Chips and other semiconductor devices are critical components in artificial intelligence, quantum computing and other advanced technologies, and a mainstay of the consumer products we use every day.
The CHIPS for America initiative has two main components. First, it provides financial incentives to encourage investment in domestic semiconductor manufacturing. Second, it builds collaborative networks for research and innovation that ensure a lasting technological edge. The two Requests for Information (RFIs) announced today cover both aspects of the initiative.
CHIPS incentive program RFI
Through this incentive program RFI, NIST’s CHIPS Program Office is soliciting public input to design and implement incentive programs, including grants, loans, and loan guarantees, to encourage investment in domestic manufacturing capacity and reduce reliance on foreign supply chains.
This RFI follows a previous RFI on “Incentives, Infrastructure, and Research and Development Needs to Support a Strong Domestic Semiconductor Industry” issued by the US Department of Commerce on January 24, 2022, prior to the CHIPS enactment. Responses to the new RFI will be considered in the design of incentive programs along with those from the previous one.
This RFI seeks contributions in several areas, including information on:
- Structuring grants, loans and loan guarantees to ensure they complement, not replace, private sector investment.
- Identifying the key supply chain bottlenecks for US semiconductor fabs.
- Measuring the effectiveness of efforts to combat semiconductor cloning, counterfeiting and relabeling.
- Develop taxpayer protections that prevent recipients from spending CHIPS funds on share buybacks or dividends.
- Identifying the types of investments that have been most effective in fostering inclusive economic growth for workers and communities.
While this RFI specifically seeks contributions on these and other topics, the CHIPS program office welcomes any responses that stakeholders believe will support the development of a strong program that will create a robust domestic semiconductor manufacturing sector.
All submissions received in response to this RFI will be posted on the NIST website. Responses are due by November 14, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Responses can be submitted directly through Regulations.gov using the Comment button, or comments can be sent to [email protected]. Detailed information on how to answer can be found in the federal register.
Manufacturing USA Institutes RFI
This RFI is soliciting public contributions to the development of up to three new Manufacturing USA institutes that will strengthen US leadership in semiconductor manufacturing through advanced research, education and human development.
Manufacturing USA is a network of institutes that brings people, ideas and technology together to solve advanced manufacturing challenges. Like all institutes in Manufacturing USA, those contemplated by the CHIPS Act will be public-private collaborations focused on technology, supply chain, and education and human resources development.
This RFI looks for input on:
- Potential research priorities such as artificial intelligence for chip design, test and measurement technology, new materials and much more.
- The structure and management of the institutes.
- Strategies to encourage co-investment by companies, academic institutions and other non-governmental bodies.
- How research and development activities can be integrated into educational programs to strengthen the current and future workforce.
While the RFI specifically seeks contributions on these and other topics, NIST welcomes ideas on any topic relevant to the development of Institutes in Manufacturing USA and hopes to receive a wide variety of perspectives.
NIST will host informational webinars on October 20, November 2, and November 16, 2022 that will explain how the public can submit comments.
More information about this RFI and instructions for registering for the webinar are available on the NIST website.
All submissions received in response to this RFI will be posted on the NIST website. Responses are due by November 28, 2022. Responses can be submitted directly through Regulations.gov using the Comment button, or comments can be sent to [email protected]. Detailed information on how to answer can be found in thefederal register.
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