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EDA -- Regional Technology and Innovation Hubs (Tech Hubs)
The Tech Hubs Program is an economic development initiative designed to drive regional technology- and innovation-centric growth by strengthening a region’s capacity to manufacture, commercialize, and deploy critical technologies. This program will invest directly in regions with the assets, resources, capacity, and potential to transform into globally competitive innovation centers in approximately 10 years while catalyzing the creation of good jobs for American workers at all skill levels, both equitably and inclusively.
The Tech Hubs Program is an investment in our future. This program will bring together a wide array of public, private, and academic partners into a collaborative consortium focused on regional economic development needs and unique growth opportunities. By growing these new centers of innovation throughout America, the Tech Hubs Program will help strengthen U.S. economic and national security.
The Tech Hubs Program was enacted as part of the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 (as the Regional Technology and Innovation Hubs program). The statute authorized $10 billion for the program over five years. As part of the FY 2023 Consolidated Appropriations Act, Congress appropriated EDA $500 million to launch the program.
The Tech Hubs Program seeks to ensure that the industries of the future—and their good jobs—start, grow, and remain in the United States. This program will invest in U.S. regions that are focused on technologies within or across the key technology focus areas outlined in the statute.
Phase 1 Deadline: Aug. 15, 2023
Areas of Interest
The key technology focus areas under this NOFO are:
(1) Artificial intelligence, machine learning, autonomy, and related advances;
(2) High performance computing, semiconductors, and advanced computer hardware and software;
(3) Quantum information science and technology;
(4) Robotics, automation, and advanced manufacturing;
(5) Natural and anthropogenic disaster prevention or mitigation;
(6) Advanced communications technology and immersive technology;
(7) Biotechnology, medical technology, genomics, ant synthetic biology;
(8) Data storage, data management, distributed ledger technologies, and cybersecurity, including biometrics;
(9) Advanced energy and industrial efficiency technologies, such as batteries and advanced nuclear technologies, including but not limited to for the purposes of electric generation (consistent with 42 U.S.C. § 1874); and
(10) Advanced materials science, including composites 2D materials, other next-generation materials, and related manufacturing technologies.
Pursuant to section 28(c) of the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 (15 U.S.C. § 3722a(c)), consortia are eligible applicants under this NOFO. An eligible consortium must include one or more of each of the following: (i) institutions of higher education, which may include Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges or Universities, and MinorityServing Institutions; (ii) State, territorial, local, or Tribal governments or other political subdivisions of a State, or a consortium thereof; (iii) industry groups or firms in relevant technology, innovation, or manufacturing sectors; (iv) economic development organizations or similar entities focused primarily on improving science, technology, innovation, entrepreneurship, or access to capital; and (v) labor organizations or workforce training organizations. See section A.1.b.iii. for additional requirements related to the consortia. See section C.1. of this NOFO for a list of other entities that may also be part of a consortium.
Across the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 and the Disaster Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2023 (both enacted in Public Law 117-328), Congress appropriated EDA $500,000,000 to remain available until expended to implement the Tech Hubs Program.
Applicants to this Phase 1 NOFO must choose whether they are pursuing a Strategy Development Grant, a Tech Hub Designation, or both. EDA anticipates approximately $15,000,000 in total being awarded in Phase 1 as Strategy Development Grants. Such grants will at maximum be awarded between approximately $400,000 and $500,000 in federal funds each depending on the level of local match for which they qualify (see section below C.2.a.).