New ITIF Report Underscores Need to Increase Semiconductor-Related Federal R&D Investments

Tuesday, Sep 24, 2019, 4:00pm

by Falan Yinug, Director, Industry Statistics and Economic Policy


Given the well-documented economic research linking historical semiconductor innovation to productivity growth, policymakers should consider federal investments in semiconductor technology as a no-brainer and a very wise investment for boosting productivity and driving economic growth.

A newly released ITIF report underscores this point. The report argues federal R&D investment in areas related to semiconductor technology should be given an added and important mission: to boost productivity and thereby drive economic growth and reduce the debt-to-GDP ratio. The report calls for policymakers to significantly increase R&D funding focused on developing technologies that will boost productivity.

SIA has recently called for tripling federal semiconductor-related R&D funding over the next five years to meet our current technology challenges and keep up with global competition. The ITIF report makes the compelling case that increased funding in this type of R&D would also support a broader beneficial goal: growth in our overall economy through boosting productivity.

In fact, a number of the research areas cited in ITIF’s report that will likely drive future productivity (and whose funding should therefore be increased) are areas where semiconductor technology plays a critical enabling role: robotics, autonomous transportation systems, artificial intelligence, microelectronics, and advanced computing. For these areas to develop and contribute to productivity and economic growth, innovations in semiconductor technology will be crucial, as will federal funding for semiconductor-related R&D.

We look forward to working with policymakers in Washington to ensure robust investment in semiconductor-related research to strengthen U.S. technology leadership and our economy.