Biden Admin Launches 31 ‘Tech Hubs’ to Boost US Innovation

Biden Admin Launches 31 ‘Tech Hubs’ to Boost US Innovation
President Joe Biden speaks during an event at the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building at the White House on Oct. 23, 2023. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

The Biden administration is initiating 31 new “tech hubs” around the United States to be used as a way of increasing economic growth, according to an Oct. 23 announcement.

President Joe Biden and Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo have announced the designation of dozens of communities as Regional Innovation and Technology Hubs through the Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration.

These tech hubs will act as catalysts for investment in critical technologies, with the aim of bolstering economic growth, national security, and job creation, according to the administration.

The tech hubs program, authorized by the CHIPS and Science Act signed by President Biden in August 2022, is part of the president’s “Bidenomics” agenda.

The 31 tech hubs are set to focus on developing and expanding technology industries, including semiconductors, clean energy, biotechnology, artificial intelligence, and quantum computing, in various regions.

The tech hubs will bring together private industry, state and local governments, educational institutions, labor unions, and nonprofit organizations to compete for up to $75 million in implementation grants. The administration claims that these grants will further develop critical fields, make transformative investments in innovation, enhance supply chain resilience, and create job opportunities.

President Biden’s Investing in America agenda has reportedly attracted significant private-sector investments in key areas driving U.S. competitiveness, according to the White House. Since President Biden took office, private companies have announced more than a half-trillion dollars in clean-energy and manufacturing investments.

These investments include $230 billion in semiconductor manufacturing, nearly $140 billion in electric vehicle and battery manufacturing, and $20 billion in biomanufacturing, according to the announcement.

The administration claims that these investments will position U.S. businesses and workers to outcompete their global counterparts in the economy of the future while also strengthening national and economic security.

The tech hubs program is the administration’s attempt to address the historical concentration of economic growth and opportunity in a few coastal cities. The selection process for the tech hubs was designed to represent the diversity of the United States, and more than 370 applications were received from 49 states and four territories.

The administration claims that these tech hubs will bring the benefits of scientific and technological innovation to communities across the country, with a focus on benefiting small and rural areas, as well as historically underserved communities. The Department of Commerce is also awarding 18 Strategy Development Grants to help communities to build economic development plans for future rounds of the tech hub program.

Each of the 31 tech hubs—located in 32 states and Puerto Rico—focuses on specific industries and technologies. Here are some examples:

The Tulsa Hub for Equitable & Trustworthy Autonomy (THETA) in Oklahoma aims to become a global leader in developing and commercializing autonomous systems for various applications, including agriculture, pipeline inspections, and regional transportation.

The Ocean Tech Hub in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, led by the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, aims to develop, test, and commercialize emerging maritime artificial intelligence and machine learning-enabled robotics and sensors.

The Advanced Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Tech Hub in Virginia, led by the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing, aims to accelerate the growth, innovation, and sustainability of the U.S.-based advanced pharmaceutical manufacturing industry, with a focus on re-shoring safe and affordable medicines through innovative manufacturing technologies.

Yet another hub, the Gulf Louisiana Offshore Wind Propeller, led by Louisiana State University, aims to transition the state’s energy economy from oil and gas to offshore wind and renewable energy.

To ensure the success of these tech hubs, the Biden administration said in its fact sheet that it’s committed to providing comprehensive support. This includes access to follow-on funding from various federal government sources and technical assistance from agencies such as the Department of Transportation, the Department of Agriculture, and the Small Business Administration.

The administration sees the designation of these tech hubs as a step toward a more inclusive and innovative economy, aiming to extend the benefits of technological advancements across the United States. It expects these tech hubs to contribute to job creation, economic growth, and national security.

From The Epoch Times

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