The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) this week released two requests for information (RFI) focused on how to best implement business incentive programs under the CHIPS Act that is providing funding to help rebuild U.S.-based semiconductor manufacturing capabilities.
The two NIST requests – covering incentive programs and the CHIPS Program Office – seek input on how to best implement the incentive programs loans and loan guarantees.
“The CHIPS for America initiative include two main components. First, it provides financial incentives to encourage investment in domestic semiconductor manufacturing,” NIST said. “Second, it establishes collaborative networks for research and innovation that will ensure an enduring technological edge.”
“It is critically important to our prosperity and national security that we reestablish our leadership role in semiconductor manufacturing,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and NIST Director Laurie Locascio.
“To do that, we need a whole-of-nation approach to solving this problem. That’s why we’re asking experts and stakeholders to provide important guidance as we design these programs for maximum impact while protecting the taxpayer’s investment in our nation’s future,” said Locascio.
The RFIs ask about, among other questions:
- Structuring grants, loans and loan guarantees to ensure that they add to, rather than substitute for, private sector investments;
- Identifying the most significant supply chain bottlenecks for U.S. semiconductor fabrication facilities;
- Measuring the effectiveness of efforts to combat cloning, counterfeiting and relabeling of semiconductors;
- Designing taxpayer protections that prevent recipients from spending CHIPS funds on stock buybacks or dividends;
- Identifying the types of investments that have been most effective in promoting inclusive economic growth for workers and communities;
- Potential research focus areas, such as artificial intelligence for chip design, testing and metrology, new materials, and more;
- Strategies for driving co-investment by businesses, academic institutions and other non-Federal entities; and
- How research and development activities can be integrated into educational programs to strengthen the current and future workforce.
Replies to the RFIs are due by November 14 at RFI@chips.gov.