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Update on Research Funding via Federal Agencies September 21, 2022

Jhazzye Mosley
September 23, 2022

Research Development's Strategic Intelligence team monitors the federal budget and funding landscape and produces this memo on a bi-weekly basis to share information that may impact ASU research. 

 Science Policy Legislation 

OSTP Request for Information; Draft National Strategy on Microelectronics Research  

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), on behalf of the Subcommittee on Microelectronics Leadership (SML) of the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC), requests comments from the public on the Draft National Strategy on Microelectronics Research, to inform implementation of the CHIPS and Science Act. OSTP is seeking input from stakeholders from across the microelectronics ecosystem including industry, academia, and non-profits to guide this effort. Submissions due October 17, 2022. 


Executive Order on Advancing Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Innovation for a Sustainable, Safe, and Secure American Bioeconomy  

On 9/12, the White House released an Executive Order announcing the launch of a National Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Initiative as part of the CHIPS and Science Act. The initiative will encompass R&D, manufacturing, and workforce development activities across a broad set of federal agencies, including DHHS, DoD, NSF,  DOE, NIH. The fact sheet can be found here.   


Workforce diversity initiatives in the CHIPS and Science act  

An array of provisions in the new CHIPS and Science Act are focused on diversifying the STEM workforce. Together, they provide guidance for education and research capacity-building programs at the National Science Foundation and Department of Energy, and mandate cross-agency initiatives to expand demographic data collection, improve workplace inclusivity, and combat sexual harassment in STEM fields. 


A Strategy for the CHIPS for America Fund   

NIST published a Strategy for the CHIPS for America Fund which outlined how the $50B for the Department for Commerce will be used. Among the items outlined included the following:  

Initiatives to strengthen U.S. leadership in R&D: The CHIPS R&D program will invest $11 billion in a National Semiconductor Technology Center, a National Advanced Packaging Manufacturing Program, up to three new Manufacturing USA Institutes, and in NIST metrology research and development programs.  


Backlogs and bottlenecks: Why the CHIPS and Science Act won’t be a quick fix for U.S. industry  

The CHIPS and Science Act has $13.2 billion dedicated to research and development and building up the semiconductor workforce. Though hopes around the industry are high, there are still several hurdles left for the funding to have the intended impact. Permits and materials may prove to be a challenge in the short term, and one of the biggest issues will be the workforce required to make the chips themselves. 


Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) 

Upcoming DARPA Program to Allay 5G Security Concerns   

The U.S. military and intelligence community often relies on foreign cellular services to communicate. The problem is that such 5G systems may not be secure, said DARPA’s Strategic Technology Office Director Phil Root. An upcoming agency program, called GECCO — generating communications channels to operate — wants to allay these privacy concerns, Root said...  In the upcoming program, DARPA will ask researchers for ideas on how to transmit secure communications through possibly compromised 5G networks, he said.  


Department of Defense (DoD)  

U.S. Space Command calls for investment in technologies for deep space missions  

Lt. Gen. John Shaw addressed the DARPA Forward conference on the topic of space security issues. “As NASA and Artemis go to the moon, one of the challenges that we will have as a nation is understanding that lunar environment,” he said. DoD today performs space traffic control to help satellites in orbit and the International Space Station avoid collisions with other satellites or with debris objects. Shaw said new technologies will be needed to better understand the cislunar space environment, including space-based sensors and vehicles that can operate autonomously for long periods of time without resupply or commands from the ground.   


Department of Energy (DoE)  

Research Infrastructure Initiatives in the CHIPS and Science Act | American Institute of Physics   

Microelectronics R&D centers. Atop the $13 billion the act directly provides for new semiconductor R&D initiatives through the Departments of Commerce and Defense, it directs DOE to establish up to four “microelectronics science research centers,” each funded at up to $25 million annually.  


 National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)  

 NASA Announces Pending Departure of Science Associate Administrator   

Dr. Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, will leave the agency at the end of 2022, after six years of dedicated service. NASA is conducting a nationwide search and open competition for a new associate administrator.