IPC Calls for Electronics Manufacturing as a Key Focus in Recently Introduced “Endless Frontier Act”

This week the bipartisan, bicameral “Endless Frontier Act” was reintroduced by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senator Todd Young (R-IN) and Representatives Ro Khanna (D-CA) and Mike Gallagher (R-WI) to bolster U.S. leadership and competitiveness globally.

IPC is supportive of the bill that is being called “a bold initiative to advance and solidify the United States’ leadership in scientific and technological innovation through increased investments in the discovery, creation, and manufacturing of technology critical to U.S. national security and economic competitiveness.” However, IPC is urging the U.S. Government to take a holistic approach to technology and electronics, and not focus on only specific sectors, for the United States to stay globally competitive.

Some of the key provisions of the bill include:

  • A proposal to expand the National Science Foundation (NSF) with the establishment of a new Technology and Innovation Directorate within NSF to advance research and development in 10 key technology focus areas, including artificial intelligence, semiconductors, quantum computing, advanced communications, biotechnology, and advanced energy.
  • $100 billion over five years for the newly-established Technology and Innovation Directorate to invest in basic and advanced research, commercialization, and education and training programs in technology areas critical to national leadership.
  • An additional $10 billion would be authorized at the Department of Commerce to support regional technology strategies and to designate at least 10 regional technology hubs, awarding funds for comprehensive investment initiatives that position regions across the country as global centers for the research, development, entrepreneurship, and manufacturing of new key technologies.
  • $2.4 billion in funding to enhance and expand the Manufacturing USA network to ensure global leadership in the manufacturing of key technologies. 

Although specific sectors of technology and electronics, such as semiconductors are vital to U.S. strategic interests, advancements in semiconductor technology have always been intricately linked to advancements in electronics manufacturing, such as printed circuit board (PCB) fabrication and assembly, but the interdependence is growing even greater with developments in microelectronics.

The bill is expected to evolve as it progresses through regular order with opportunities for modifications to be integrated into a final package.

 If you have any questions regarding the “Endless Frontier Act,” please contact me at KenSchramko@ipc.org.