$504 Million – The New York Times - The World News

$504 Million – The New York Times

The Biden administration this week awarded $504 million to 12 regions in states from New Mexico to New Hampshire with the goal of transforming overlooked communities into “tech hubs.”

The grants reflect an effort to spread the production of critical technology beyond epicenters like Silicon Valley and coastal regions, bringing with them more high-paying jobs in industries like computer chips, quantum computing and personalized health care.

The estimated award for each region ranges from around $20 million to more than $50 million. The tech hubs program is part of the 2022 CHIPS and Science Act, which aims to boost the domestic production of semiconductors and funding for scientific research.

But the announcement of the grants shows just how little money has been given out. Congress authorized $10 billion for the program over five years, but only a small fraction — $541 million with the latest awards — has actually been appropriated so far. More broadly, semiconductor production has faced challenges since the law’s enactment, including delays in the building and finishing of chip factories.

According to John Lettieri, the chief executive of the Economic Innovation Group, a think tank, the recent awards were unlikely to make a huge impact by themselves.

“We’re not likely to get major technological breakthroughs as a result of this half-billion dollars,” Mr. Lettieri said.

In a statement, Gina M. Raimondo, the Commerce secretary, said, “With more funding, we will make more awards, leading to more tech advancements, more regional growth and many more good-paying jobs.”

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