AFTER YEARS OF ADVOCACY, SCHUMER ANNOUNCES FIRST PHASE OF $500 MILLION IN GRANTS ARE NOW OPEN FOR UPSTATE NY COMMUNITIES TO APPLY FOR FIRST-EVER REGIONAL TECH & INNOVATION HUB COMPETITION SCHUMER CREATED IN HIS CHIPS & SCIENCE BILL
Regional Technology Hubs Program, First Proposed By Schumer In His Endless Frontier Act And Funded Created Through His CHIPS And Science Bill, Will Use Fed $$$ To Spur Innovation Across The Country To Lead In Research, Manufacturing, And Entrepreneurship In Key Industries
$500 Million Represents First Phase Of The $10 Billion To Help Regions, Like Those In Upstate NY, Build The Technology Of The Future And Bring Manufacturing Back To America; Schumer Created Tech Hubs Program With Cities Like Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse And Other Upstate Communities In Mind And Now They Can Begin The Process For Tapping This Massive Fed Investment
Schumer: Landing A Fed Tech Hub Would Be Transformational To Upstate NY
After years of advocacy, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer today announced that the first phase of the Regional Technology and Innovation Hub (“Tech Hubs”) Program, created in his CHIPS and Science law, has launched, opening up an opportunity for Upstate NY communities to tap $500 million in grants.
The $500 million is part of a $10 billion authorization from his bill to stimulate mid-size cities and broader regions with investments in new technologies, with a focus on translating research and development (R&D) into new businesses, bringing manufacturing back to America, and helping build the workforce of the future. Schumer said Upstate communities like Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and more will now have the opportunity to compete for planning grants and to be designated as a Tech Hub to fully develop how communities would use a larger Tech Hub grants to spur economic development, create good-paying jobs, and expand U.S. innovation and manufacturing.
“I created the Tech Hubs competition in the CHIPS & Science Bill with Upstate NY in mind. From our world-class workforce, to surging expansion of new investment in industries like semiconductor production and high concentration of renowned higher education and research institutions, Upstate NY has all the right ingredients to help bring manufacturing back to America and ensure we remain a leader in the technologies of the future,” said Senator Schumer. “The first phase to tap $500 million in federal investment that was announced is the official launch for major federal funding that can fundamentally transform Upstate NY.”
Schumer added, “The Tech Hubs program is about ensuring America’s future is being built in the places that helped build our nation, breathing new life into America’s legacy as a manufacturing and innovation powerhouse, and creating thousands of good-paying jobs that will sustain communities for generations to come. I firmly believe Upstate New York has everything it takes to help make that dream a reality, and help America maintain its competitive edge, all while taking us to the next frontier in technology.”
Schumer explained that the Tech Hubs program is being rolled out in two phases. The first phase of awards, which Upstate communities can now apply for, will designate promising Tech Hubs across America and provide strategy development grant awards to accelerate their development—applicants choose to apply for one or both of designation and a strategy development award. A second phase will provide significant strategy implementation awards to help Tech Hubs reach their full potential, but only regions that were designated in the first phase will be able to apply for these implementation awards.
- PHASE 1: Designating Tech Hubs and Strategy Development Grants—EDA expects to designate at least 20 Tech Hubs across the country and will separately award approximately $15 million in strategy development grants to accelerate the development of future Tech Hubs. The Tech Hubs designation will be a widely-recognized indicator of a region’s potential for rapid economic growth. The deadline to apply is August 15, 2023. The designated Tech Hubs will be invited to apply for Phase 2 implementation awards.
- PHASE 2: Implementation Grants—EDA expects to make at least 5 implementation awards with the remaining available funding to designated Tech Hubs. Contingent on future funding levels, EDA aims to invest in more Hubs to expand the Program’s portfolio of technologies and places and may make follow-on investments in successful Hubs with opportunities for additional impact. EDA expects to release the notice of funding opportunity for Phase 2 in Fall 2023.
According to the EDA, applicants in Phase 1 will primarily be reviewed on their articulation of the alignment of the region’s existing assets, potential, and overall strategy with its opportunity to become a global leader in its technology area. The Phase 1 application is now open with a three-month application window.
The announcement of designations and the Phase 2 application window will open in Fall 2023. To qualify for the Tech Hubs program, each applicant will need a partnership that includes one or more companies, a state development agency, worker training programs, a university and state and local government leaders.
According to the Department of Commerce, successful proposals will demonstrate a region’s capabilities in, and focus on, its primary technological strength and the potential for Tech Hubs investments to enable a region’s primary innovative industry to become a global leader in that critical technology area within a decade. Regions are not bound by specific borders, but rather will focus on identifying sections of the country with the assets, resources, capacity, and potential to become globally competitive in critical technologies and industries. Applicants will select a technology industry to focus on that fits under the umbrella of a list of 10 Key Focus Areasidentified within the CHIPS and Science bill. The full Notice Of Funding Opportunity which outlines the application in detail can be found here.
Schumer originally proposed the regional technology hub program in his Endless Frontier Act to support regional economic development in innovation, arguing that technology hubs would carry out workforce development activities, business and entrepreneur development activities, technology maturation activities, and infrastructure activities related to the technology development. Schumer made this idea a reality in his CHIPS and Science bill last year, which included the $10 billion authorization for Tech Hubs. Schumer secured this initial infusion of $500 million to begin implementation of the Regional Technology and Innovation Hub Program in the end of year spending bill last year.
Schumer has been preparing Upstate NY for this opportunity, working relentlessly to boost its tech and manufacturing sector. With Schumer’s direct advocacy, Buffalo has already received major federal investments for its growing tech industry through the Build Back Better Challenge, securing $25 million in a competitive process that pitted Western New York against hundreds of U.S. regions cities in the battle to be selected as a tech hub. Schumer has long said that Upstate NY has all the right ingredients to secure a federal technology and innovation hubs, citing assets like the region's workforce, universities, and manufacturing base. In addition, Schumer delivered $63.7 million for the New Energy New York project to make Binghamton University, the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes a national hub for battery research and manufacturing, further positioning Upstate New York for federal investment in the state’s innovation economy.
This is on top of the billions in investments the semiconductor industry has proposed seen thanks to Schumer’s Chips & Science Bill. In New York State alone, Micron has announced an historic $100 billion investment to build a cutting-edge memory fab in Central New York. GlobalFoundries plans to build a second fab in the Capital Region, that will be a key supplier to the auto and defense industries, onsemi recently acquired a fab in the Hudson Valley to be home to the only 12-inch power discrete and image sensor fab in America, and Wolfspeed recently opened the first, largest, and only 200mm silicon carbide fabrication facility in the world in the Mohawk Valley. In addition, suppliers like Corning Incorporated, which manufacturers glass critical to the microchip industry at its Canton and Fairport, NY plants, as well as Edwards Vacuum, which recently announced a $319 million investment to build a U.S. dry pump manufacturing facility in the Western New York Science & Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP) to supply the microchip industry.
Schumer has been the leading champion of bringing tech manufacturing back to America and Upstate New York in particular. Going back to 2019, Schumer proposed a major tech investment “moon shot” in cutting-edge technologies like semiconductors to out-compete China. Schumer then spent the next three years working to pass into law this vision – ultimately manifesting itself into the CHIPS and Science Act, which makes a generational investment in innovation and manufacturing, including providing over $76 billion in new federal incentives for microchip manufacturing and research and development in the U.S.