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DoD hoping to build microelectronics ecosystem through innovation hubs, seeks public input

March 03, 2022

The U.S. Department of Defense is envisioning a public private partnership of regional innovation hubs that would help support and expand the microelectronics industry in the United States. The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OUSD(R&E)) is seeking input from the domestic microelectronics community through a Request for Information it issued last week as it works to “foster a pipeline of innovation ideas and talent residing in university labs and small business R&D teams” through what it is calling a Microelectronics Commons.

The RFI notes that U.S. research and development “kick-started the enormous semiconductor industry and continues to lead the world in developing the next generation of disruptive technologies including: new materials, devices, circuits, architectures, and design tools,” but says that in recent years that innovation has been threatened as emerging hardware technologies have become more reliant on offshore sources for manufacturing, prototyping and investment.

The Microelectronics Commons would focus on critical on-shore prototyping to move innovations from universities, start-ups and small companies to manufacturing. The RFI seeks input from a broad range of institutions, including academia, startups, small businesses, technology incubators, government labs, federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs), the defense industrial base, and domestic semiconductor manufacturers. 

Responses to the RFI, which are due by April 5, 2022, can be provided as a white paper not to exceed 10 pages and will not be made public.

dept of defense, innovation, semiconductors, hub, rfi