Today, the North Carolina Department of Commerce launched two new initiatives and web pages aimed at strategically positioning North Carolina consortia and companies for potential federal designation as Regional Technology and Innovation Hubs (Tech Hub), and for other federal investments enacted as part of the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022.
In a competitive process, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is seeking applications for the selection of 20 federally designated regional Tech Hubs across the country, with $500 million in appropriated funding support available in 2023 to help these hubs drive U.S.-based technology, innovation and job growth. Commerce.nc.gov/TechHubsforNC will serve as a point of entry for interested consortia to coordinate with the State and other partners on these applications.
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s CHIPS Program Office has also released its first funding opportunity, which seeks applications for projects for the construction, expansion, or modernization of commercial facilities for the front- and back-end fabrication of leading-edge, current-generation, and mature-node semiconductors. For this and future funding opportunities from the CHIPS Program Office, Commerce.nc.gov/CHIPSforNC will provide the most updated information, state data and resources for businesses to use in their applications.
“North Carolina is a leader in innovation and technology,” said N.C. Governor Roy Cooper. “The Regional Tech Hubs provide a once-in-a-lifetime federal partnership opportunity to position North Carolina as a global competitor in clean energy, chips manufacturing and other emerging technology to create good paying jobs right here in our state.”
According to EDA, the Tech Hubs Program is an economic development initiative designed to drive regional technology- and innovation-centric growth by strengthening a region’s capacity to manufacture, commercialize, and deploy critical technologies, including but not limited to artificial intelligence, biotechnology, advanced energy and industrial efficiency technologies. This program will invest directly in regions like North Carolina with the assets, resources, capacity, and potential to transform into globally competitive innovation centers in approximately 10 years while catalyzing the creation of good jobs for American workers at all skill levels, both equitably and inclusively.
North Carolina’s more than 475,000-strong manufacturing workforce and growing Semiconductor Industry is poised to take advantage of current funding opportunities from the CHIPS Act for fabrication, and future funding opportunities for semiconductor material suppliers and equipment manufacturers, as well as research and development.
“North Carolina ranks the #1 state for business because of our collaborative public-private partnerships, business-friendly environment, network of top-rated universities and colleges, existing industry clusters, and strong talent pipeline,” said N.C. Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders. “The TechHubsforNC initiative spotlights North Carolina’s assets and how we can help drive innovation, technology and good jobs.”
The application period for Regional Tech Hubs is open through August 15, 2023. For more information on program eligibility and partnership opportunities, visit Commerce.nc.gov/TechHubsforNC.
The application periods for CHIPS for America funding opportunities for businesses are rolling, and may be dependent on specific funding opportunities. For more information on CHIPS Act funding opportunities and resources, visit Commerce.nc.gov/CHIPSforNC.
About TechHubsforNC and CHIPSforNC: The TechHubsforNC and CHIPSforNC state partners include the NC Department of Commerce, in conjunction with the Office of the North Carolina Governor, the NC Office of State Budget and Management, the NC Board of Science, Technology & Innovation, the NC Community College System, NCWorks, the North Carolina Business Committee for Education and other executive branch organizations. The primary focus is working to strategize, coordinate, facilitate, and support NC-based consortia and companies, including consortia that include both public and private NC-based organizations planning to submit applications for Tech Hubs designation and other CHIPS Act funding.