Vermont Designated a Tech Hub by U.S. Economic Development Administration for Semiconductor Technology Project

Source: U.S. Economic Development Administration

Vermont was designated one of 31 Tech Hubs in regions across the country by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA).

This is the first phase of the new Tech Hubs program, which is an economic development initiative designed to drive regional innovation and job creation by strengthening a region’s capacity to manufacture, commercialize, and deploy technology that will advance American competitiveness.  The program invests directly in burgeoning, high-potential U.S. regions and aims to transform them into globally competitive innovation centers.

The program application, submitted on behalf of a consortium of businesses and organizations by the University of Vermont, is focused on building on the strengths of a semiconductor technology called Gallium Nitride at the GlobalFoundries facility and elsewhere in the state. The specific region identified in the application is the Burlington-South Burlington Metropolitan Area, consisting of the northwest counties of Chittenden, Franklin, and Grand Isle. The VTTA will participate as a supporting organization for the Tech Hub.

The Advancing Gallium Nitride (GaN) Tech Hub, seeks to innovate GaN manufacturing, a critical material technology used in the semiconductor production of products for wireless communication and other areas. This Tech Hub will leverage previous investments in GaN technology, regional physical assets, and technical workforce development programs to boost GaN manufacturing through technology innovation and prototype demonstrations. The Advancing GaN Tech Hub will further develop semiconductor technological applications—including high-power, energy efficient systems, 5G/6G cellular base stations, and electrification of military fleet vehicles—bolstering national security and defense priorities.

GlobalFoundries recently was awarded $35 million by the U.S. Department of Defense to develop GaN technology, and UVM opened a new semiconductor student lab in partnership with GF.

Tech Hubs was authorized by the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act, a key part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, which he signed into law in August 2022.  

The Tech Hubs represent a cross-section of urban and rural regions. Designation is an endorsement of the region’s plans to supercharge their respective technological industries to create jobs, strengthen U.S. competitiveness, and protect national security. The Tech Hubs focus on industries that include autonomous systems, quantum computing, biotechnology, precision medicine, clean energy advancement, and semiconductor manufacturing.

The Phase 1 winners were selected from nearly 400 applications from regional consortia that include industry, academia, state and local governments, economic development organizations, and labor and workforce partners. As part of the Tech Hubs competition, each consortium outlined plans for strengthening its region’s capacity to manufacture, commercialize, and deploy critical technologies.

The designated Tech Hubs are now able to apply to receive between $40 million and $70 million each for implementation funding, totaling nearly $500 million.

“President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is rooted in policies that will empower the United States to out-innovate and out-compete the rest of the world. Our Tech Hubs Program is fundamental to that mission and will supercharge innovation across the nation by spurring cutting-edge technological investments and creating 21st century job opportunities in people’s backyards,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “Each of these consortia will help us ensure the industries of the future—and their good-paying jobs—start, grow, and remain in the United States.”

See all the Tech Hubs here

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