The U.S. semiconductor industry is faced with a once-in-a-generation opportunity. With its landmark investments in advanced technology, the passage of the CHIPS and Science Act must catalyze a resurgence of leadership in this critical industry. As allocated through the legislation, the creation and management of the National Semiconductor Technology Center (NSTC) can accelerate research, development, and prototyping, uniting the best of what the United States has to offer, from our groundbreaking research universities to industry-leading corporations and innovative entrepreneurship.
While the NSTC will have ambitious, market-shaping technical missions, its long-term success will depend mainly on the strength of its governance. Guided by neutrality and a commitment to the public good, the NSTC must have a clear strategic vision for how the center can best drive the precompetitive technical solutions that this industry needs. Through this vision, the stewards of the NSTC’s mission will earn the trust and confidence not just of its direct partners, but of the entire ecosystem, leading to the kind of breakthrough successes and exponential growth envisioned through the movement that led to this legislation.
With a keen focus on the need for effective governance through neutrality, MITRE Engenuity convened leading organizations and entities from across the semiconductor ecosystem and throughout academia to form The Semiconductor Alliance. This collaborative effort has created a blueprint that reflects industry needs and makes the most of this opportunity to foster a new paradigm for innovation that will impact U.S. technological leadership for this and future generations.
Through our work and research, drawing upon the collective experience of Semiconductor Alliance members, we believe the most critical attributes for an effective and sustainable NSTC must include:
Utilizing this approach for the creation and stewardship of the NSTC will ensure that this once-in-a-generation technological engine creates exponential growth of a critical American industry. By housing innovation within a carefully coordinated network of individually successful hubs and spokes, the U.S. can generate a truly collective vision for the semiconductor ecosystem. Guided by neutrality and a focus on public good, this whole-of-nation effort has the capability to deliver next generation breakthrough technologies with an impact akin to GPS or modern communications that we enjoy today.
Uniting the nation through the NSTC and the similarly focused and closely integrated National Advanced Packaging Manufacturing Program (NAPMP) will catapult the U.S. ahead of competitors by traversing the “valley of death” to bridge the gap between R&D and commercialization on uniquely innovative designs. The creation of the NSTC, done correctly, is a unique opportunity to enable generational impact and ensure that American innovation leads to American growth and leadership for decades to come.