- It’s no secret that the CHIPS and Science Act thrust multibillion-dollar megaprojects into the construction spotlight. But now, the Biden administration wants to make sure smaller projects also can take a piece of that action, too.
- The Commerce Department announced last week a new initiative to funnel $500 million in CHIPS Act funding to projects with capital investments below $300 million that support the construction, expansion or modernization of semiconductor-related facilities in the U.S.
- Called Chips for America, the initiative aims to strengthen supply chains, promote smaller suppliers, create jobs and improve domestic semiconductor manufacturing, according to the release.
The funding opportunity builds upon the department’s announcement in June to expand funding in larger supply chain projects. That program targeted projects with total capital investment of $300 million or more.
Since announcing this opportunity for larger projects, the Commerce Department has received over 500 statements of interest and over 100 pre- and full applications from companies seeking to build semiconductor projects across 42 states, according to the release.
Smaller projects eligible for funding will produce either equipment, chemicals, gasses or other materials critical to manufacturing semiconductors in the United States, according to the release.
Supply chain investments, even for smaller projects under $300 million, can help regions increase economic resilience, create new pathways to good jobs and bring emerging technology innovation to their communities, according to the announcement. These investments aim to strengthen supply chain resilience, advance U.S. technology leadership and support domestic fab clusters with a reliable ecosystem of suppliers, according to the Commerce Department.
To access funding, smaller businesses and projects will need to complete a two-step application process:
- Applicants will be asked to submit a concept plan describing how their proposed project addresses core strategic objectives, such as U.S. economic and national security. These concept plans will be accepted between December 1, 2023, and February 1, 2024.
- The Department of Commerce will review these initial plans and invite the most promising applicants to submit a full application for CHIPS incentives. The application submission dates for this phase will be communicated to applicants individually upon notifying them of their selection.
“The smaller supply chain projects enabled by this funding will play a crucial role in creating a sustainable U.S. semiconductor ecosystem, providing large chipmaking facilities with access to the equipment, materials and supplies required to boost U.S. domestic manufacturing,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology Laurie Locascio in the release.