The Commerce Department (DOC) and the Department of Defense (DoD), signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) last week to broaden their collaboration on the production of semiconductors for U.S. defense capabilities.

The action comes as a “crucial step forward” to build up and implement the CHIPS and Science Act approved by Congress last year, which is focused on lowering reliance on foreign-made semiconductors and building up U.S. chip manufacturing capabilities.

“This agreement is an important step forward in increasing the capacity and resiliency of our domestic semiconductor industrial base,” said Dr. Laura Taylor-Kale, assistant secretary of Defense for Industrial Base Policy.

“It is essential for DoD and DOC to consult one another to ensure we are making complementary investments that support a robust semiconductor industrial base,” Taylor-Kale emphasized.

The MOA will align the departments’ semiconductor priorities by “sharing information on the semiconductor needs of the Defense Industrial Base,” DoD said, as well as providing “funding to support emerging technologies that are critical to future U.S. national security programs.”

“Advancing U.S. national security is a top priority. Our Departments must work together and align on where and how we are making investments to strengthen the U.S. industrial base,” stated Michael Schmidt, CHIPS program office director at the DOC.

“This agreement will enable our teams to coordinate the national security review of applications, produce semiconductor chips in America that our military relies on, and bolster our domestic supply chain resiliency,” stated Schmidt.

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Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.