The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is seeking public comment on a draft memorandum titled Advancing Governance, Innovation, and Risk Management for Agency Use of Artificial Intelligence (AI). According to the Biden Administration, the draft policy would “empower Federal agencies to leverage AI to improve government services and more equitably serve the American people.” The memorandum would establish new agency requirements in areas of AI governance, innovation, and risk management, and would direct agencies to adopt specific minimum risk management practices for uses of AI that impact the rights and safety of the public.
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.
On Thursday, March 9, the White House released the President’s budget outline for 2024, also known as the “skinny budget”. The outline contains general top line information about science and technology budgets including funding authorized by the CHIPS and Science Act. CHIPS and Science programs are set to receive $6.5 billion above FY 2023, a 26 percent increase under the President’s Plan but well short of the targets set in the CHIPS and Science legislation.
CHIPS and Science funding highlights include: $11.3 billion for NSF, $8.8 billion for DOE’s Office of Science, $1 billion for NIST, part of the Department of Commerce, and $4 billion for the Economic Development Administration (EDA), also part of Commerce.
The total for NSF includes $1.2 billion for activities under the new Technology, Innovation and Partnerships Directorate, including $300 million for new NSF Engines Regional Innovation Centers — a 43 percent increase.
More details are expected to be released on Monday, March 12 with the full version of the President’s FY 2024 Budget Plan.
The Biden administration announced the release of first CHIPS for America funding opportunity for semiconductor manufacturing incentives. Administered by National Institute of Standards and Technology within the Department of Commerce, the CHIPS for America program was established by the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022.
The administration also released a separate vision statement outlining strategic objectives for the program as discussed by Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo in a speech at Georgetown University on February 23, 2023.
The vision statement sets out four major goals for the CHIPS program by the end of decade: 1. make the U.S. home to at least two, new large-scale clusters of leading-edge logic chip fabs, 2. make the U.S. home to multiple, high-volume advanced packaging facilities, 3. produce high-volume leading-edge memory chips, and 4. increase production capacity for current-generation and mature-node chips, especially for critical domestic industries.
The funding opportunity is the first in a series to be released under the CHIPS program. According to a new release by the administration, Commerce will release a funding opportunity for semiconductor materials and equipment facilities in the late spring of 2023, and one for research and development facilities in the fall.
Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis beginning with leading-edge facilities with applicants able to submit optional pre-applications starting immediately and full applications starting March 31, 2023. For current-generation, mature-node, and back-end production facilities, pre-applications will be accepted on a rolling basis beginning May 1, 2023, and full applications will be accepted on a rolling basis beginning June 26, 2023. While optional, pre-applications are recommended according the Department.
For more information see the CHIPS for America FAQ.
No, we haven’t abandoned Twitter but we’re just trying things out on Mastodon to see how things go in the Fediverse.
Arch Street is very pleased to announce that we are working with FYI Science Policy News to produce content for their regular bulletins on science and technology policy. FYI is the the editorially independent science policy news service from the American Institute of Physics and is considered the go-to source on science policy information and topical updates. Arch Street’s first bulletin on Regional Innovation Provisions in the CHIPS and Science Act is now live. Special thanks to Mitch Ambrose and Will Thomas of AIP for their encouragement and support.
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) CHIPS for America initiative is seeking public input on two programs that aim to restore U.S. global leadership in semiconductor manufacturing. Both were authorized under the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) for America Act.
The CHIPS for America initiative includes two main components. First, it provides financial incentives to encourage investment in domestic semiconductor manufacturing. Second, it establishes collaborative networks for research and innovation that will ensure an enduring technological edge. The two Requests for Information (RFIs) cover both aspects of the initiative.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Technology Transitions (OTT) recently launched the second Energy Program for Innovation Clusters (EPIC) Prize. The EPIC Prize recognizes the nation’s most innovative incubators in the field of energy. EPIC awards cash prizes to regional incubator teams that submit the most creative and impactful plans, then implement those plans to develop strong clusters, connections, and support for energy startups and entrepreneurs. A total of $4 million is available for multiple awards. For more information about EPIC and how to apply see the program FAQ. Proposals are due by October 25, 2022.
The Department of Commerce appointed 24 members to the Industrial Advisory Committee (IAC), an advisory body providing guidance to the Secretary of Commerce on a range of issues related to domestic semiconductor R&D. The Department emphasized in its release announcing the appointment that the new IAC will not select recipients of federal financial assistance under the CHIPS & Science Act, including semiconductor manufacturing incentives.
The Industrial Advisory Committee was established by Congress in 2021 by the William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act of 2021 (FY 2021 NDAA). According to the Department, the IAC “will provide advice on the science and technology needs of the nation’s domestic microelectronics industry, the national strategy on microelectronics research, the research and development programs and other advanced microelectronics activities funded through CHIPS for America, and opportunities for new public-private partnerships.”
The committee comprises leaders from across the microelectronics field, including academia, industry, federal laboratories, and other stakeholders. The committee will be chaired by Mike Splinter, former CEO of Applied Materials, and Susan Feindt, a fellow and executive at Analog Devices, will serve as vice-chair.
The U.S. National Science Foundation announced a new $20 million investment in Entrepreneurial Fellowships through a multi-year cooperative agreement with Activate.org. The Activate Fellows supported by NSF will be scientists and engineers from a variety of backgrounds and regions across the U.S. who will translate research breakthroughs to new products and services with broad societal benefits.
The Entrepreneurial Fellowships will help make entrepreneurship more accessible for people in less-developed innovation ecosystems, expanding geographic diversity and increasing participation of women and others who have been traditionally underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Over two years, Entrepreneurial Fellows will receive training and at least $350,000 in direct support, plus access to specialized research facilities and equipment through Activate. The fellows will advance their prototypes, refine their business models, build their teams, and secure follow-on funding. The initiative will be run by Activate.org, a nonprofit organization that launched the entrepreneurial fellowship model with the Cyclotron Road program at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and has partnered with U.S.-based funders and research institutions to grow the approach.
The initiative includes three possible pathways for scientists and engineers to participate:
Activate Anywhere — A connected, yet not co-located, community of fellows that allows for any qualified scientist anywhere in the country to benefit from Activate fellowship support and leverage the concentrated resources of traditional innovation centers where Activate has in-residence offerings.
A New Activate In-residence Community — A new in-person location that expands physical communities beyond Activate’s existing locations ensuring that a regional hub exists for any fellow across the country who wants to be in-residence, and to strengthen the national base of resources that any fellow across the network can leverage.
Pre-doctoral Translational Research Experience — A new mechanism aimed at expanding opportunities for diverse talent and overcoming racial imbalance in the science innovation ecosystem by supporting pre-doctoral scientists and engineers and exposing them to nascent science-based startups under the mentorship of Activate’s network.
To learn more about Entrepreneurial Fellowships including how to apply, visit https://www.activate.org/apply.