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US Commerce Department | Credits: Shutterstock
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31 regional tech hubs secure $500M federal funding for innovation, expansion

Washington DC, United States: Thirty-one (31) regional tech hubs from around 370 applicants have been named by the US Commerce Department, which will be eligible for US$ 500 million in federal funding.

According to Reuters, this will help spur innovation across a variety of sectors. The aim behind the newly launched program is to diversify the United States away from its traditional tech hubs, including Silicon Valley, Boston and Seattle, as per the Commerce Secretary – Gina Raimondo.

While having a conversation with the reporters, Raimondo stated, “Those tech ecosystems are concentrated in just a few places around the country. According to Reuters, she added, “They don’t reflect the full potential of our country…. They don’t corner the market with great ideas.

President Joe Biden’s plan

This program is launched under President Joe Biden’s plan to give a helping hand to important areas like making batteries for electric cars, creating computer chips, and clean energy. This way, he hopes to get more businesses excited about investing in these cool industries.

President Joe Biden | Credits: Google Images

White House National Economic Director’s remark

Lael Brainard, White House National Economic Director, while commenting on the regional tech program, said that it makes “smart public investments in critical technologies in every region of the country,” as per Reuter.

Seven ‘hydrogen hubs’ in 16 states

This month, the Biden administration revealed a plan to allocate $7 billion across 16 states to kickstart the emerging hydrogen industry by establishing seven “hydrogen hubs.” These hubs, located in regions like Montana, Wisconsin, upstate New York, Vermont, Nevada, Illinois, and Puerto Rico, will concentrate on advancing fields such as semiconductors, clean energy, critical minerals, biotechnology, artificial intelligence, and quantum computing.

In this regard, Raimondo outlined, “People shouldn’t have to move to get a good job.” This statement was given to her because major hubs are situated in small cities.

The hub in Washington state and Idaho will prioritize creating advanced materials for more fuel-efficient next-gen aircraft, while another in Oklahoma aims to make autonomous systems for uses like farming and pipeline checks a reality. In Wisconsin, a program is dedicated to advancing personalized medicine. It’s important to note that being designated as a hub doesn’t guarantee federal funding.

In addition to this, Raimondo shared the future plan of the Biden administration and underlined that it plans to fund, worth US$ 75 million each, about five to ten of 31 tech hubs by next year.

Newly approved law by Congress

Reportedly, Congress, in August 2022, approved a program under the landmark “Chips and Science” Law. It is anticipated that this will provide around US$ 52 billion for the United States’ semiconductor production and research. It is an initiative by the government to compete with China in a better way.

Credits: Google Images

Additionally, in the current year, Biden asked for US$4 billion from Congress to support the establishment of more regional tech hubs, but a full-year budget for this fiscal year has not been approved by Congress.

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