Gabriela Cruz Thompson is the Director of University Research at Intel Labs, where she is defining the next generation of computing by identifying and funding critical research centers at leading universities world-wide.
- The recently enacted CHIPS and Science Act supports the American semiconductor industry by promoting research and development, manufacturing, and workforce development.
- Intel leaders joined Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and a distinguished panel of science and technology speakers at the San Francisco Exploratorium to mark the act’s historic passage.
- The CHIPS and Science Act, which includes the National Science Foundation for the Future Act, prepares the U.S. to better support learners, educators, and researchers, ultimately facilitating a more inclusive industry and yielding new businesses, new jobs, and more exports.
In a massive leap for American semiconductor research and development (R&D), manufacturing, and workforce development, Congress recently passed the CHIPS and Science Act. The act includes the largest authorization of funding for U.S. research and development at the Department of Commerce (DOC), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the Department of Energy (DOE) in U.S. history. It is also one of the greatest single investments in U.S. manufacturing in decades. Since 1990, American semiconductor manufacturing capacity has decreased from 37% to 12%, primarily due to ambitious chip manufacturing incentives from foreign governments. The CHIPS and Science Act brings us closer to restoring U.S. leadership in semiconductors by providing the following:
- $39 billion for semiconductor manufacturing and R&D incentives through DOC
- $13.2 billion for semiconductor R&D and workforce development through DOC and NSF
- $500 million for international information communications technology security and semiconductor supply chain activities at the State Department
- $1.5 billion for promoting and deploying open and interoperable 5G wireless technologies through DOC
- $81 billion for the NSF over five years ($36 billion over baseline)
- $10 billion for NIST over five years ($5 billion over baseline)
- $67.9 billion for the DOE’s Office of Science and related programs over five years ($30.5 billion over baseline)
- $10 billion for DOC over five years to invest in regional innovation and technology hubs across the country
At Intel Labs, it is our job to dream up and create the future, which is why we are excited to celebrate progress toward semiconductor innovation, as well as the CHIPS and Science Act’s funding for research and education. As the Director of University Research for Intel Labs, I was privileged to join Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Silicon Valley Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, and Intel Board of Directors member Dr. Tsu-Jae King at the San Francisco Exploratorium earlier this month to mark the act’s historic passage. Other distinguished science and technology speakers included Exploratorium CEO Lindsay Bierman and UCSF Vice Chancellor Dr. Kieth Yamamoto.
Intel Labs Director of University Research Gabriela Cruz Thompson at the podium at the San Francisco Exploratorium. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is seated to the left.
Photo by Adam Lau
Intel was invited to participate in recognition of our support for this vital piece of legislation. While the CHIPS and Science Act is largely acknowledged for its manufacturing incentives, it is also designed to promote innovation with funding for research, education, and training. The act does so by allocating over $13 billion to these areas through the creation of a National Semiconductor Technology Center, a National Advanced Packaging Manufacturing Program, and a Microelectronics Commons for lab-to-fab tech transfer. Additionally, the Research and Innovation Division of the CHIPS and Science Act authorizes a $82.5 billion federal budget increase over five years compared to current levels for NSF, NIST, DOC, and DOE research and technology development, as well as workforce development programs.
The federal funding this act promises for semiconductor research, development, and education is unprecedented in my lifetime. It will open exciting opportunities for a new generation of technologists leading innovation in the U.S., offering not only education but also hands-on experience that the industry needs. This landmark legislation could not have come at a better time. As Dr. Tsu-Jay King, UC Berkeley Dean of Engineering, noted, “there is a shortage of qualified candidates to fill available positions in the semiconductor industry. With over a dozen new fabs on the horizon, the need for additional engineers, technicians, and factory workers is only going to increase dramatically.” Other speakers at the Exploratorium highlighted another key aspect of the act: inclusivity. This directly aligns with Intel’s core values and our RISE goal to create a more responsible, inclusive, and sustainable world, enabled through technology and our collective actions.
(L to R) Exploratorium CEO Lindsay Bierman; Intel Board Member Dr. Tsu-Jay King, UC Berkeley Dean of Engineering; Intel Labs Director of University Research Gabriela Cruz Thompson; UCSF Vice Chancellor Dr. Keith Yamamoto; Silicon Valley Congresswoman Anna Eshoo; U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
Photo by Adam Lau
The CHIPS and Science Act’s historic investment will broaden participation in science and technology by making training and education programs accessible across diverse communities. Starting by providing opportunities for more Americans to participate in skilled jobs within science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. STEM education and workforce development activities are essential to strengthening emerging industries and sparking innovations for future technologies. To ensure that people from all backgrounds and communities around the country, especially from marginalized and under-resourced communities, can participate in STEM opportunities, the CHIPS and Science Act authorizes new investments in STEM education and training at every level of education. This includes $13 billion of funding authorizations over five years for STEM education at the NSF to develop a semiconductor workforce.
The CHIPS and Science Act also authorizes a first-of-its-kind NSF Directorate for Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships to support use-inspired and translational research, and to accelerate the development of research and a domestic workforce in key technology focus areas including semiconductors, AI, high performance computing, quantum, cybersecurity, and blockchain. This new Directorate is authorized at more than $16 billion over five years, reaching 27% of the NSF’s total budget in its fifth year. The Directorate will utilize diverse funding mechanisms and models, advance novel approaches and reduce barriers to technology transfer with industry, and create new Regional Innovation Engines with industry and others for multidisciplinary, collaborative, use-inspired and translational research and technology development in key technology focus areas.
Intel has a longstanding relationship with NSF to support technology education and training. In my role at Intel Labs, I serve as our representative with the NSF and facilitate collaboration opportunities. Last year, I was able to testify before the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee in support of the National Science Foundation for the Future Act. Now that the NSF for the Future Act has passed as part of the CHIPS and Science Act, it presents further opportunities for improving STEM education and research training, as well as new public-private research and development partnerships. It establishes new PreK-12 STEM education innovations and encourages the alignment of undergraduate STEM education with workforce needs. Through this legislation, the U.S. is broadening research efforts to better support learners, educators, and researchers, as well as expanding participation opportunities to include people of all backgrounds and experiences. This will ultimately facilitate a more inclusive industry and lay the foundation for future breakthroughs yielding new businesses, new jobs, and more exports.
You must be a registered user to add a comment. If you've already registered, sign in. Otherwise, register and sign in.