The government is floating a massive amount of grant money for cities to boost tech hubs beyond Silicon Valley, Boston, and other technology centers. 

The $500 million allocated toward the Tech Hubs program is part of the $10 billion CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 – an effort to boost investment in U.S.-built computer chips, clean energy, and technology research. 

The grants are geared toward efforts to address regional economic development needs and unique growth opportunities, according to the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

What is the Tech Hubs Program?

The Regional Technology and Innovation Hubs (Tech Hubs) program is meant to strengthen the U.S.’s tech sector, create jobs, and lessen the skills gap in growing industries.

Phase 1 of the Tech Hubs program is a federal initiative that will name at least 20 new regions across the country as Tech Hubs and award each about $15 million in strategy development grants. Phase 1 began May 12, 2023, and ends August 15, 2023.

In Phase 2, designated regions will be eligible to apply for additional funding to implement growth plans.

Who Should Apply to the Tech Hubs Program?

The U.S. Commerce Department opened the application process on May 12, 2023, to consortia – a group of businesses or organizations. 

This gives applicants three months to prepare proposals for consideration. Proposals can be sent through the EDA (Economic Development Administration) Economic Development Grant Experience Portal.

To qualify, a consortium must be from a region that has a strong presence in the following 10 key technology focus areas, as described by the EDA: 

  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, and 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 section 1874 of this title.)

  10. Advanced materials science, including composites 2D materials, other next-generation materials, and related manufacturing technologies.

Each consortium must be made up of at least one institution of higher education, a state agency, industry groups in a relevant technology sector mentioned above, an economic development organization, and a labor or workforce training organization.

For more details, check out the EDA’s F.A.Q.

When is the Deadline to Apply?

The deadline is August 15, 2023!

How to Apply to the Tech Hub Program?

Head to the EDA’s Economic Development Grant Experience Portal to send a proposal. 

Onshape isn’t an official partner in the Tech Hubs program but is ready to serve those participating in the mission to foster innovation.

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