White House Launches Interagency Working Group Aimed at Advancing Semiconductor R&D

Friday, Feb 28, 2020, 10:00am

by David Isaacs, Vice President, Government Affairs

In a significant boost to innovation in semiconductors and the many technologies they enable, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) this week announced a new interagency working group focused on advancing semiconductor R&D. SIA applauds this exciting collaborative effort and looks forward to working with the White House and participating agencies in support of semiconductor research.

The White House announcement is a positive next step in the Administration’s ongoing effort to prioritize semiconductor R&D at agencies such as the Department of Energy (DOE), the Department of Defense (DOD), the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the National Science Foundation (NSF). Congress also highlighted the importance of semiconductor research as part of SIA-supported legislative language included in the fiscal year 2020 funding bill that was enacted in December.

Ambitious federal investment in research is a core recommendation of SIA’s policy blueprint, titled “Winning the Future: A Blueprint for Sustained U.S. Leadership in Semiconductor Technology.” That report showed U.S. government investment in research has been declining compared to key global competitors, most notably China. It called for tripling federal investment in semiconductor research over five years to about $5 billion annually and doubling funding for semiconductor-related fields to nearly $9 billion annually.

Federal agencies such as NSF, NIST, DOE, and the DOD support research critical to advancing semiconductor technology and ensuring sustained U.S. leadership in the technologies of the future, including artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and advanced wireless networks such as 5G.

SIA commends OSTP’s launch of this interagency working group and looks forward to collaborating with policymakers in support of semiconductor research, which is critical to America’s economy, national security, and global leadership in the technologies of today and tomorrow.