WASHINGTON – Today, the CHIPS Act of 2022, also known as the “CHIPS and Science Act,” passed the U.S. House of Representatives, and will soon be sent to the President’s desk to be signed into law.
U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., was a key negotiator of the new package, which includes support not only to boost American semiconductor manufacturing, but also to reduce historic disparities in research funding that put rural states like Mississippi at a disadvantage. For example, in 2021 over half of National Science Foundation (NSF) funds went to just seven states plus D.C. Half the states in the country received less than 13% of NSF funds.
Wicker negotiated a provision that would increase this share of funding for rural states. Under the new legislation, 20 percent of research and development funding through the National Science Foundation (NSF) would be set aside for the 25 states and three territories that are included in NSF Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) jurisdictions, which includes Mississippi.
Wicker also negotiated a provision that would establish a new $10 billion Regional Technology Hub program to drive technology development in parts of America outside of established high-tech locations.
Leaders from universities in Mississippi are expressing their support for the strong research and development provisions of the CHIPS and Science Act. Here is what they are saying:
Mississippi State University
“Passage of this bill is vitally important to our Nation’s future in science and technology. It provides the opportunity for young people in every state to participate in cutting edge research and technology development, ensuring our Nation’s future is bright for all Americans,” said Dr. David Shaw, Provost and Executive Vice President at Mississippi State University.
The University of Mississippi
“It is exciting to see this historic bipartisan legislation aimed at returning leadership in technology innovation to the US through the creation of Regional Tech Hubs,” said Dr. Josh Gladden, Vice Chancellor for Research at University of Mississippi. “By supporting research and the development of regional innovation strategies, this program will create a renewed focus on technology commercialization, growing the nation’s technology economy and fostering competitiveness. The University of Mississippi is grateful for Senator Roger Wicker and his leadership on this legislation, particularly his support for EPSCoR and Regional Technology Hub programs.”
University of Southern Mississippi
“The University of Southern Mississippi and the State of Mississippi have benefited from EPSCoR funding, providing numerous means to attract top researchers as well as invest in state-of-the-art equipment,” said Dr. Kelly Lucas, Vice President for Research at University of Southern Mississippi. “This funding has allowed us to attract top research faculty, support students, transfer technology and remain competitive in the emerging research market. We appreciate Senator Wicker's ongoing support of vital programs like EPSCoR and the addition of technology hubs as they will ensure that the United States remains competitive and support the continued growth of Mississippi's research enterprise.”
Jackson State University
"Passage of the CHIPS Plus Act is a welcomed win and gamechanger for industry as well as Higher Education nation-wide," said Dr. Joseph Whittaker, Vice President for Research and Economic Development/Associate Provost at Jackson State University. "The potential opportunities for building tech capabilities in EPSCoR States and HBCUs in these jurisdictions are particularly appealing. We anticipate that expansion of semiconductor manufacturing and development of tech hubs will create opportunities for HBCUs to significantly raise their research profiles and contributions to workforce development in advanced technologies, which support automation, national security, health, etc."