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NSF announces $10 million partnership with Micron

The US National Science Foundation has announced a cross-sector partnership with Micron to develop solutions to address semiconductor manufacturing challenges and workforce shortages. NSF and Micron will each invest $5 million in support of research, education, infrastructure capacity building, and workforce development for semiconductor design and manufacturing.

NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan comments: “This new cross-sector partnership will help American innovation keep pace with a changing global innovation landscape. The historic passage of the "CHIPS and Science Act" is allowing NSF to help keep American technology innovation on the cutting edge and ensure cutting-edge industries are made in America.”

Through this partnership, NSF and Micron will jointly fund the development of rigorous and engaging instructional material, teacher professional development, and experiential opportunities for students to improve education at the nation’s institutions of higher education, spanning two-year colleges and four-year universities and including minority-serving institutions, to ultimately advance semiconductor design and manufacturing.

“As the global demand for data continues to grow, it’s never been clearer that the U.S. semiconductor industry needs a workforce capable of conducting groundbreaking research, developing innovative solutions and driving forward America’s technological leadership,” said Micron President and CEO Sanjay Mehrotra. “We’re looking forward to developing our partnership with NSF as we work together to expand and diversify the workforce of the future, providing students across the country with new opportunities to experience and engage with the semiconductor industry.”

Projects funded through this agreement will focus on semiconductor industry research, education, infrastructure capacity building, and/or workforce development for high-technology fields that are critical to future semiconductor design and manufacturing. This will include advancing research in fields that will spur innovation for the semiconductor industry and developing new structures and functions of the STEM learning and teaching enterprise.

A nationwide shortage in semiconductors, complicated by the global pandemic, has made it difficult for the chip industry to meet the increasing demand for chip-based products. And while that demand is high in the U.S., only about 10% of the global supply of chips is produced nationally. Awards made through this partnership will help tackle this problem by supporting the education and training of the semiconductor manufacturing workforce in the U.S.

Earlier this year, NSF announced a $10 million funding opportunity with Intel Corporation to train and build a skilled semiconductor manufacturing workforce.


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