NSF announces $45 million for joint university-industry semiconductor research

On September 18th, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded $45.6 million for 24 semiconductor projects under the NSF Future of Semiconductors (FuSe) program, part of NSF’s CHIPS and Science Act research and education efforts.

According to a press release by NSF, the new funding will support 24 research and education projects through 61 awards to 47 institutions, including eight to minority-serving institutions and seven to NSF Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) jurisdictions, and addresses three research topics:

Collaborative Research in Domain-Specific Computing

Advanced Function and High Performance by Heterogeneous Integration

New Materials for Energy Efficient, Enhanced-Performance and Sustainable Semiconductor-Based Systems

The FuSe program is a funded in part by four semiconductor manufacturers — Intel, IBM, Samsung and Ericksson. According the FuSE solicitation, the four companies have committed to providing annual contributions to NSF for the purpose of funding proposals awarded under this solicitation although the total industry contribution remains unclear from the information provided by NSF.

Under the program, NSF and each participating company will receive a non-exclusive, worldwide, paid-up, non-transferable, irrevocable royalty-free license to all intellectual property rights in any FuSE-derived inventions, consistent with the Bayh-Dole Act, which governs intellectual property rights under federally-supported research grants and contracts.

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