Biden earmarks $500M to expand a dozen US tech hubs

The Biden Administration announced on Tuesday a second funding initiative worth $504 million to commercially expand twelve regional technology centers, already endorsed as part of the government’s Tech Hub development program.

The administration launched the US Tech Hubs Program in October 2023 to invest in already established tech-centric locales in an effort to supercharge the nation’s critical technology ecosystem.

The program, managed by the US Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA), aims to advance America’s global leadership in vital emerging technologies over the next decade, which in turn, will strengthen national security and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth, the agency states.

The twelve hubs slated to receive the “implementation grants” were chosen by the EDA out of 31 technology hubs originally designated in Phase 1 of the flagship initiative.

The Regional Technology and Innovation Hubs will ensure that the “benefits of future industries – from artificial intelligence and clean energy, to biotechnology and more – are shared with communities that have been overlooked for far too long,” said US Vice President Kamala Harris.

The Vice President listed off several examples including “rural, Tribal, industrial, and disadvantaged communities.”

Altogether, the 31 tech hubs have secured over a thousand commitments and $4 billion in investments – expected to foster “meaningful public policy changes” in their industry sectors and regions.

Tech Hubs Program map

“These Tech Hubs will give regions across our nation the resources and opportunities necessary to lead in the economy of tomorrow while creating good-paying jobs for American workers,” Harris said.

From autonomous systems, biofabrication, and climate-resilient infrastructure,  to quantum computing and semiconductor manufacturing, each of the twelve hubs was awarded anywhere from $19-$51 million to be used across various projects.

Located across 14 US states, here are the twelve Phase 2 awardees:

  1. Elevate Quantum Tech Hub (Colorado, New Mexico), Tech: quantum information technology
  2. Headwaters Hub (Montana), Tech: smart photonic sensor systems 
  3. Heartland BioWorks (Indiana), Tech:  biomanufacturing 
  4. iFAB Tech Hub (Illinois), Tech:  precision fermentation and biomanufacturing 
  5. Nevada Tech Hub (Nevada), Tech:  lithium batteries and electric vehicle materials 
  6. NY SMART I-Corridor Tech Hub (New York), Tech:  semiconductor manufacturing
  7. ReGen Valley Tech Hub (New Hampshire), Tech: biofabrication 
  8. SC Nexus for Advanced Resilient Energy (South Carolina, Georgia), Tech:  clean energy supply chain
  9. South Florida ClimateReady Tech Hub (Florida), Tech:  sustainable and climate-resilient infrastructure
  10. Sustainable Polymers Tech Hub (Ohio), Tech: sustainable polymers
  11. Tulsa Hub for Equitable & Trustworthy Autonomy (Oklahoma), Tech:  secure autonomous systems
  12. Wisconsin Biohealth Tech Hub (Wisconsin), Tech:  personalized medicine

As part of the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, the entire Tech Hubs Program is slated to get $10 billion in funding over five years. Awards will be finalized in the coming months, the administration said.

Deputy Commerce Secretary Don Graves described the program as “a commitment to American economic prosperity and success.”

“These 12 awardees embody the innovation and creativity that can be found nationwide, boosting US manufacturing and bolstering US global competitiveness,” he said.