DoD Ignites Microelectronics Commons Engagements in National Hub Roadshow

March 4, 2024

Mar 04, 2024 – In a three-week tour across the country, representatives from the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OUSD(R&E)), Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC), Crane Division and National Security Technology Accelerator (NSTXL) were joined by Dr. Dev Shenoy, Executive Director of the Microelectronics Commons and Principal Director for Microelectronics to visit all eight Hubs of the Microelectronics Commons, a project established in 2023 by the CHIPS and Science Act. The Microelectronics Commons aims to establish secure domestic onshoring of semiconductors.

“This network of prototyping Hubs is poised to affect a generational revitalization of manufacturing that can be seen and felt across the nation,” stated Dr. Dev Shenoy.

During each visit, leaders were given tours of key facilities, where Hub Leads had the opportunity to present an overview of their work for the Microelectronics Commons program, setting their intentions and goals for year one. The Hubs presented across a range of technology areas: 5G/6G, artificial intelligence hardware, commercial leap-ahead, electromagnetic warfare, secure edge/internet-of-things (IoT) computing and quantum technology. The Hubs also shared their initial lab-to-fab and workforce development capabilities, outlining their plans to establish technical capabilities and form partnerships with local and national organizations.

The first leg of the trip started on the West Coast, including facility visits to the California DREAMS Hub in Redondo Beach, California, the NORTHWEST-AI Hub in Palo Alto, and the SWAP Hub in Scottsdale, Arizona. The California DREAMS Hub provided some strategic-minded program and project highlights and included a tour of Northrop Grumman’s lab facilities that have provided long-term support to DoD programs. NORTHWEST-AI engaged their student population to participate in the event, displaying strong ties with regional universities and industry. SWAP Hub messaged the significance of Commons funding and the changes already taking place as a result in capabilities and workforce and education programs, emphasized in a tour of the facilities in which Commons-funded equipment is soon to occupy.

Week two included two East Coast facility visits: the NEMC Hub in Lincoln, Massachusetts and the NORDTECH Hub in Albany, New York. During the NEMC presentation, Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey set aside some time to engage with the DoD team and announced a $9.2M investment in new technology and workforce development grants aimed at boosting the microelectronics and semiconductor industry. The State of New York’s extensive history of investments in microelectronics technologies, capabilities, and partnerships was showcased through NORDTECH’s overview followed by extensive tours of the NY CREATES facility.

The final week of the roadshow featured visits to the CLAWS Hub in Raleigh, North Carolina; the MMEC Hub spanning from Beavercreek to New Albany, Ohio and the SCMC Hub in Odon, Indiana. The CLAWS Hub showcased its strong purpose-driven mission alignment, significant education program developments, and its strategic partnerships and strategies with the objective to provide an effective research-to-fabrication transition pipeline. The MMEC Hub presentation featured strong backing from the state, which included leadership engagement with JobsOhio as well as considerable engagement and partnership with the Air Force. Lastly, the SCMC Hub spoke of its regional growth and investments in the microelectronics industry, including collaboration with neighboring state governments and unique educational partnerships with EDA vendors and the community to encourage industry participation.

Various leaders and representatives from federal government offices attended the site visits, notably, Mr. Maynard Holliday, Performing the Duties of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Critical Technologies (PTDO, ASD(CT)); Dr. Tom Rondeau, Principal Director for FutureG for the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OUSD(R&E)); Deborah Ross and Wiley Nickel, U.S. Representatives for North Carolina; Steve Mann and Buck Bobbin from the Offices of Senator Chuck Shumer and Kirsten Gillibrand in New York, respectively; Kyle Bridges, State Director for U.S. Senator Tedd Budd; and Trey Lewis, Northeast Regional Representative, Office of U.S. For a full list of government officials who were involved, click here. The government’s participation and support during these site visits are indicative of high levels of collaboration in the effort to re-onshore microelectronics manufacturing capabilities in the United States.

About Microelectronics Commons

The Microelectronics Commons program was awarded in 2023 after Congress passed the CHIPS and Science Act to strengthen American manufacturing, supply chains, and national security. By investing in this network of 8 regional prototyping Hubs with a focus in 6 main technology areas – 5G/6G, AI Hardware, Commercial Leap-Ahead, Electromagnetic Warfare, Secure Edge/IoT Computing and Quantum Technology – the United States is safeguarding our critical microelectronics supply chain. The Microelectronics Commons was awarded through the Strategic & Spectrum Missions Advanced Resilient Trusted Systems (S²MARTS) OTA, managed by NSTXL, which is the premier rapid OT contracting vehicle for the Department of Defense (DoD) in trusted microelectronics, strategic & spectrum mission, and other critical mission areas.

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