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Biden Administration Doles Out $504M To 12 Regional Tech Hubs

Twelve tech hubs across the country are collectively getting a half-billion dollars in federal grants to expand research in artificial intelligence, semiconductor manufacturing and clean energy. 

Federal funding will develop 12 tech hubs across the country.

The funding is among the first distributions of the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, which earmarked $280B to spur regional economic development and reduce dependence on foreign suppliers in the tech industry, according to an announcement by the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

In many of the regions, the funding will be used to develop new manufacturing facilities or upgrade existing infrastructure. The initiative hopes to diversify where technology-related economic activity is concentrated in the country.  

Among the awardees is the South Florida ClimateReady Tech Hub, which focuses on bringing clean cement and concrete to market. The hub will receive $19M to scale its concrete technologies, specifically to low-lying areas and areas most impacted by extreme weather events. 

The state is the nation's most vulnerable to climate change, often enduring billion-dollar hurricanes, historic flash floods and skyrocketing property insurance costs. 

A rendering of the South Florida ClimateReady Tech Hub

The New York Semiconductor Manufacturing and Research Technology Innovation Corridor will receive $40M to establish a semiconductor cluster in the region. That includes developing a larger supply chain network and semiconductor research and development assets. 

In Colorado and New Mexico, $41M will go toward constructing open-access quantum labs. 

In South Carolina and Georgia, $45M will be used to expand infrastructure for clean energy. That includes upgrading an existing grid testing facility and developing a full-scale multimodal grid operations center. 

In October, the Biden administration designated 31 communities as regional tech hubs that could compete for the $500M pot. Then the EDA selected 12 projects within those communities for the first round of funding. More than 370 applications spanning 49 states and four territories were submitted for the program.

The program has been authorized for $10B over five years, though only $541M has been appropriated to the EDA so far.

The CHIPS Act has already increased construction of semiconductor manufacturing facilities, with several multibillion-dollar plants receiving funding. Spending on factory construction more than doubled last year, with manufacturing accounting for roughly 13% of nongovernment construction in June 2023.