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CHIPS for America to invest up to $1.6 billion to accelerate U.S. capacity advanced packaging

The U.S. Department of Commerce recently issued a Notice of Intent (NOI) to open a competition for new research and development (R&D) activities to accelerate domestic capacity for semiconductor advanced packaging.​ As part of CHIPS for America, the National Advanced Packaging Manufacturing Program plans to invest up to $1.6 billion to fund innovation in five R&D areas related to semiconductor advanced packaging. ​

National Semiconductor Technology Center Consortium seeks proposals to address workforce challenges in the semiconductor industry

Natcast, the nonprofit entity that operates the National Semiconductor Technology Center (NSTC) Consortium, recently launched the NSTC Workforce Partner Alliance (WFPA) program. ​The program seeks to address workforce challenges in the U.S. semiconductor industry by supporting projects that close skills and labor market gaps for researchers, engineers, and technicians in semiconductor design, manufacturing, and production. ​The WFPA will fund between four and ten projects with budgets between $500,000 to $2 million per award. While not required, proposals that include complementary funding or leverage public resources will receive strong preference.

SBA to pilot 7(a) lines of credit against sales or assets to allow loans to more companies

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) recently announced plans to launch a 7(a) Working Capital Pilot (WCP) Program later this year. The program will offer a lines of credit, made by 7(a) lenders and backed by the SBA. It is designed to give greater flexibility than a traditional term loan. This pilot program, according to an SBA press release, will include both a “transaction-based” and “asset-based” model, allowing borrowers to leverage sales or assets to access working capital. Depending on the details of the capital structure that are revealed when the program launches, these models may enable both newer technology companies that have sales but few assets and legacy companies that have assets but insufficient cashflow to invest in new technologies with the opportunity to access financing through SBA’s popular 7(a) vehicle.

House Republicans advancing legislation to restructure NIH

House Committee on Energy and Commerce Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers recently published Reforming the National Institutes of Health: Framework for Discussion. The blueprint calls for reducing the number of NIH institutes and centers (ICs) from 27 to 15, largely by merging some of them. The reorganization and proposed funding levels are illustrated in Figure 1.

Book Notes: Co-Intelligence: Living and Working with AI

Note: This brief quasi-book review/book synopsis is the first item in an experimental new section of SSTI’s newsletter, potentially joining other regular sections such as Useful Stats, Fed/Leg News, State News, Member Updates, and Recent Research. Its periodic continuation after the contributions we present over the summer will depend on feedback from our members and Digest readers. Comments may be shared with skinner @ ssti.org

Tech Hubs: EDA announces implementation awards

The Economic Development Administration today announced $504 million in funding across 12 Tech Hubs, the culmination of a 14-month selection process to choose the first regions funded for implementation projects under the program. The 12 Hubs receiving implementation awards are listed in the graphic below.

SBA seeks regional clusters; nonprofits welcome to apply

The Small Business Administration recently released a new solicitation for the Regional Innovation Clusters initiative. Unlike what SBA has done in recent years, and returning to the program’s roots, all nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply alongside for-profit firms. In a change from prior solicitations, proposals must include whether the work will support an emerging or mature cluster. The timeline is relatively tight: submissions are due July 26.