WASHINGTON — The Biden-Harris administration through the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology today launched the first CHIPS for America funding opportunity for manufacturing incentives to restore U.S. leadership in semiconductor manufacturing, support good-paying jobs across the semiconductor supply chain, and advance U.S. economic and national security.
As part of the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act, the Department of Commerce is overseeing $50 billion to revitalize the U.S. semiconductor industry, including $39 billion in semiconductor incentives. The first funding opportunity seeks applications for projects to construct, expand or modernize commercial facilities for the production of leading-edge, current-generation and mature-node semiconductors. This includes both front-end wafer fabrication and back-end packaging. The department will also be releasing a funding opportunity for semiconductor materials and equipment facilities in the late spring, and one for research and development facilities in the fall.
“The CHIPS and Science Act presents a historic opportunity to unleash the next generation of American innovation, protect our national security and preserve our global economic competitiveness,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “When we have finished implementing CHIPS for America, we will be the premier destination in the world where new leading-edge chip architectures can be invented in our research labs, designed for every end-use application, manufactured at scale and packaged with the most advanced technologies. Throughout our work, we are committed to protecting taxpayer dollars, strengthening America’s workforce and giving America’s businesses a platform to do what they do best: innovate, scale and compete.”
The CHIPS and Science Act is part of President Joe Biden ’s economic plan to invest in America, stimulating private sector investment, creating good-paying jobs, making more in the United States, and revitalizing communities left behind.
“Funding decisions will be targeted and strategic to catalyze private sector investment and maximize the impact of every public dollar spent. … If we get this right — and we plan to — the CHIPS for America program will be transformational for this country. The long-term payoff will be reestablishing this sector as an engine of innovation for the U.S. domestic economy.” —NIST Director Laurie E. Locascio
CHIPS for America also today released a “Vision for Success,” laying out strategic objectives building on the vision Secretary Raimondo shared in her speech last week at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. To advance U.S. economic and national security, the department aims to reach the following goals by the end of the 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. Read more about these goals in the Vision for Success paper here.
The first funding opportunity details the application process and outlines how the department will evaluate applications, including a primary focus on how projects advance U.S. economic and national security. Applications will also be evaluated for commercial viability, financial strength, technical feasibility and readiness, workforce development, and efforts to spur inclusive economic growth. Starting today, the department strongly encourages all potential applicants, including those for future funding opportunities, to submit statements of interest so it may gauge interest across the semiconductor ecosystem and begin preparing for application review. Read more about the application and evaluation process here.
Awards will take the form of direct funding, federal loans and/or federal guarantees of third-party loans. Awards are designed to complement — not replace — private investment and other sources of funding, and applicants are strongly encouraged to bring capital to the table. CHIPS for America awards will be made as soon as applications can be rigorously evaluated and negotiated.
Applicants are also encouraged to claim the Advanced Manufacturing Investment Credit (Investment Tax Credit) administered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service. The Investment Tax Credit is a federal income tax credit for qualifying investments in facilities manufacturing semiconductors or semiconductor manufacturing equipment and a critical component of the suite of incentives provided by the CHIPS and Science Act. The Department of Commerce and the Department of the Treasury are coordinating closely on CHIPS funding and the Investment Tax Credit to ensure these incentives work together to further the administration’s economic and national security goals. The Department of the Treasury expects to publish guidance on the Investment Tax Credit in March, in addition to forthcoming Department of Commerce guidance on national security guardrails.
Key priorities that will guide the CHIPS for America program include:
Read more about CHIPS for America and the first funding opportunity:
CHIPS for America includes the CHIPS Program Office, responsible for manufacturing incentives, and the CHIPS Research and Development Office, responsible for the R&D programs, that both sit within the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) at the Department of Commerce. NIST promotes U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life. NIST is uniquely positioned to successfully administer the CHIPS for America program because of the bureau’s strong relationships with U.S. industries, its deep understanding of the semiconductor ecosystem, and its reputation as fair and trusted. Visit www.chips.gov to learn more.