US Government picks 31 regional tech hubs to encourage US innovation

The United States Commerce Department is naming 31 regional tech hubs from 370 applicants. This act will make these 31 regions eligible for 500 million dollar federal government funding to help encourage innovation across a variety of sectors.

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo told reporters the program aimed to diversify the United States away from its traditional tech hubs like Silicon Valley, Seattle and Boston.

"Those tech ecosystems are concentrated in just a few places around the country," Raimondo said. "They don't reflect the full potential of our country... They don't corner the market on great ideas."

This program is the part of the US President Joe Biden government's endeavour to help fund key sectors like electric vehicle manufacturing, green energy, and semiconductors to bring private investments.

This actions are taken to counter China's growth in these sector and the threat it poses to the global security.

White House National Economic Director Lael Brainard said the regional tech program makes "smart public investments in critical technologies in every region of the country."

The Biden administration this month announced seven "hydrogen hubs" in 16 states would share $7 billion to jump-start the emerging industry.

The designated regional tech hubs are in places like Montana, Wisconsin, upstate New York, Vermont, Nevada, Illinois and Puerto Rico, and are focused on areas including semiconductors, clean energy, critical minerals, biotechnology, artificial intelligence and quantum computing.

"People shouldn't have to move to get a good job," Raimondo said, noting many of the hubs are in small cities.

These developments come as the US is preparing for its next Presidential election in the month of November next year in 2024.

A Washington state and Idaho hub will focus on developing new materials for more fuel-efficient next-generation aircraft, while an Oklahoma hub seeks to commercialize autonomous systems in areas like agriculture and pipeline inspections. A Wisconsin program aims to develop personalized medicine.

The hub designations are no guarantee of federal funding.

Raimondo said the administration next year plans to award about five to 10 of the 31 tech hubs up to $75 million each.

Congress approved $500 million for the program in August 2022 as part of the landmark "Chips and Science" law that provides $52 billion for U.S. semiconductor production and research to better compete with China.

Biden this year asked Congress for $4 billion to fund additional regional tech hubs. Congress has not yet approved a full-year budget for the current fiscal year.

The US does not want to allow China to get any lead in manufacturing semiconductors of higher technology, which are a crucial part of military and other strategic fields. 



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