tech hubs

160+ organizations sign letter asking Congress to fund Tech Hubs in FY 2025

SSTI and more than 160 state and local governments, institutions of higher education, businesses, trade associations, and nonprofit organizations sent a letter to Congress asking for Tech Hubs appropriations in the FY 2025 budget. As the letter points out, “America’s economic and security needs depend on the country’s ability to remain at the forefront of technological frontiers,” and the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act envisioned a scale for this effort that would see approximately $6 billion in funding through FY 2025—well above the $541 million that Congress has provided to date. Read the full letter, add your organization’s support, and share with your regional stakeholders. 

Call to action: Sign a letter supporting Tech Hubs appropriations

As part of the CHIPS & Science Act, Congress created the Tech Hubs program to help more regions become leaders in key technology sectors through substantial investments into regional consortia. It authorized spending $10 billion on the program from FY2023 through FY2027. But appropriations for the program are not keeping up with the vision that was embraced by strong bipartisan majorities in both chambers. For FY2023, Congress appropriated $500 million for the program, and it followed that up with only $41 million for FY2024. The need for the program has not changed. If you believe the program should receive funding in line with the vision Congress laid out in the CHIPS & Science Act, we invite you to join us and let Congress know by signing a letter that will strongly voice support for the program. Read the full letter and sign on today.

EDA designates 31 Tech Hubs, makes 29 Strategy Development Grants

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) announced the designation of 31 Tech Hubs in regions across the country and 29 Strategy Development Grants. This announcement marks the first phase of the new Tech Hubs program, an economic development initiative authorized in the CHIPS and Science Act and designed to drive regional innovation and job creation by strengthening a region’s capacity to manufacture, commercialize, and deploy technology that will advance American competitiveness.

Secretary Raimondo and Director Panchanathan provide update on regional innovation programs

Last week, a Senate committee heard Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and National Science Foundation Director Sethuraman Panchanathan discuss CHIPS & Science Act program implementation (similar to a September hearing in the House). Both agency leaders affirmed rapid progress toward making funding announcements on major programs and reminded the committee that more funding is needed to meet the vision Congress defined in its legislation.

SSTI joins letter asking Congress to fund Tech Hubs

A group of technology-related organizations, including SSTI, is asking Congress to support the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Regional Technology and Innovation Hubs program with additional, substantial appropriations in FY 2024. This new letter is a follow-up to one sent by SSTI and a broader group of organizations earlier in the year. So far, the appropriations committees in each chamber have proposed $41 million for Tech Hubs in FY 2024. While this amount is consistent with the level funded by last year’s regular appropriations bills, it is much less than the $500 million in total provided in FY 2023—and well short of the $3 billion authorized by the CHIPS and Science Act. SSTI’s Innovation Advocacy Council and organizations signing onto both letters continue to urge Congress to fund the program at its authorized level so that EDA can implement Tech Hubs at a scale that can achieve its mission of catalyzing globally competitive regional economies throughout the country.

EDA receives 378 applications for Tech Hubs competition

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) has received 378 applications from 48 states for Phase 1 of the Regional Technology and Innovation Hubs (Tech Hubs) competition. In total, 48 states and three territories submitted 378 Tech Hubs Phase 1 applications.

EDA says Tech Hub consortium members do not have to register in EDGE

In an email sent out this morning, EDA announced, “Given the high volume of applications, EDA is now only requiring the Lead Organization to register in EDGE.” EDGE is EDA’s new grants management platform. The email encourages applicants to “please focus on getting your application materials prepared and having the Lead Organization submit them in EDGE. Application acceptance will not be affected if consortium members are not registered in EDGE. If you have already submitted an application or if your application already includes consortium members, no further action is needed.”

EDA opens Tech Hubs competition

When Dan Berglund, SSTI’s president and CEO, testified in a hearing before the House on an early draft of the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, he noted that funding from the federal government that addresses the whole innovation system rather than individual elements of the system would be critical to building a regional innovation economy and different than any other federal program. With last Friday’s release of the first notice of funding opportunity for the Regional Technology and Innovation Hubs (Tech Hubs) program that approach is becoming a reality. The program is intended to make investments that will help transform regional clusters in specific and critical technologies into globally competitive economies.

Information on Tech Hubs programs released, key questions unanswered

Late last week, the Economic Development Administration (EDA) released “Tech Hubs Program Fact Sheet,” which provides some information on where the Tech Hubs program is headed. However, the sheet leaves many questions unanswered and raises new questions about how the program will be administered. The program, authorized in the CHIPS and Science Act at $10 billion, received $500 million in funding to date. EDA indicates it will use $15 million for strategy development grants and the remaining funding for at least five implementation awards. Questions about the sequencing of applications, rural eligibility and timeline were not addressed in the information EDA put out, and SSTI’s request for clarification on these points went unanswered as of press time.

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