US Government Designates 31 Technology Centers to Boost Innovation and Economic Development – Economic Analysis

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Earlier this week, the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) within the U.S. Department of Commerce announced the designation of 31 technology centers. These centers span 32 states and Puerto Rico to support technology and innovation-based economic development efforts through strategic U.S. government investments.

Tech Hubs, authorized through the Chip and Science Act of 2022 and funded by $500 million in Congressional appropriations to launch the program, is the latest in a series of locally-focused competitive programs launched by U.S. agencies, including the Build Back Better Challenge and more recently – announced Hydrogen Hubs.

The 31 Tech Hubs announced this week aim to foster regional growth in a range of target industries, including quantum computing, clean energy, life sciences, autonomous systems, semiconductors and more. These 31 designations were selected from nearly 400 applications received by the EDA.

Locations selected as Tech Hubs include:

  • the Advanced Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Tech Hub in the greater Richmond, Virginia area, which seeks to increase the domestic production of vital pharmaceuticals;

  • Baltimore Tech Hub, focusing on predictive health technologies;

  • SC Nexus for Advanced Resilient Energy, serving the states of South Carolina and Georgia by developing exportable energy technologies and leveraging a local manufacturing base;

  • Gulf Louisiana Offshore Wind Propeller, focusing on energy transformation and renewables; and

  • Texoma Semiconductor Tech Hub, serving Texas and Oklahoma through the semiconductor supply chain.

Designated centers will be eligible to compete for $500 million in implementation funding in the next phase of the program, receive technical assistance through various federal agencies, and have a dedicated presence at the 2024 SelectUSA Investment Summit to attract foreign direct investment opportunities. Under EDA guidelines, implementation funding can be used to build facilities or support infrastructure for businesses, making it a powerful tool to attract businesses. The CHIPS and Science Act authorized $10 billion for the program over a five-year period.

In addition, EDA awarded 29 Strategy Development Grants to regional consortia to further advance their innovation-based economic development plans. A full list of selected Tech Hubs is available at EDA Website.

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