A growing bipartisan consensus concludes that there is a crucial need to solidify U.S. leadership in scientific innovation through investments in discovery, creation, and commercialization of technology. American’s innovation in semiconductors, in particular, undergirds our entire innovation economy. Unfortunately, our complacency has allowed our competitors – including foreign adversaries – to catch up. While the U.S. leads the world in chip design, most of those chips are manufactured outside the U.S.
On May 27, 2020, Senators Todd Young (R-IN) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY), along with Representatives Ro Khanna (D-CA), and Mike Gallagher (R-WI) introduced the bipartisan Endless Frontier Act, an initiative to solidify United States leadership in scientific and technological innovation through increased investments in the discovery, creation, and commercialization of technology fields of the future. It targets support to ensure new research investments translate into new American companies, manufacturing and high-tech jobs, and opportunities for regions across the country to become global centers of emerging technology industries.
The Endless Frontier Act would provide $100 billion to the National Science Foundation over five years to lead investment and research in artificial intelligence and machine learning; high-performance computing; robotics, automation, and advanced manufacturing; and more.
An additional $10 billion would be authorized to designate at least 10 regional technology hubs, awarding funds for comprehensive investment initiatives that position regions across the country to be global centers for the research, development, and manufacturing of key technologies.
On July 20, 2020, Senators Mark Warner (D-VA) and John Cornyn (R-TX) introduced the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) for America Act which would restore America’s edge in semiconductor manufacturing by increasing federal incentives to stimulate advanced chip manufacturing, enable cutting-edge research and development, secure the supply chain, bring greater transparency to the microelectronics ecosystem, create American jobs, and ensure long-term national security. Representatives Doris Matsui (D-CA) and Michael McCaul (R-TX) introduced this legislation in the House on July 21, 2020.
President Biden has expressed strong support for these competitive efforts, including taking some initial actions by Executive Order. Senator Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has also instructed Senate committees to prepare a legislative package that will have the Endless Frontier Act as the “centerpiece” and include “emergency funding” to implement the CHIPS Act.