In August of this year, President Biden signed the CHIPS and Science Act into law, which provides direct funding to 1) increase semiconductor fabrication capacity in the United States and ensure future leadership in semiconductor technology and 2) authorize historic levels of funding for federal science agencies, including the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST), the Department of Energy’s Office of Science (DOE), and NASA.
The bill also establishes a new directorate of technology, innovation, and partnerships within NSF to focus on fields like semiconductors and advanced computing, advanced communications technology, advanced energy technologies, quantum information technologies, and biotechnology. Importantly, the legislation also provides record levels of authorization funds for programs WSU utilizes with NSF, DOE, NASA and NIST – these increases are reliant on the annual appropriations process and the programmatic letters WSU submits supporting these programs.
This bill authorizes funding in the following WSU research areas:
- NSF STEM Programs
- NSF Undergraduate and Graduate research
- NSF Basic Research Programs (listed in the document)
- DOE’s Office of Science including computer science, genomics, AI
- Authorizes new Regional Technology & Innovation Hubs
- Authorizes new Regional Clean Energy Hubs
- Strengthens academic partnerships with national labs
- Authorizes new microelectronics programs
- Authorizes funding to update and maintain nuclear reactor infrastructure located at universities
- Provides guidance on NASA funding
Passage of this bill is just a first step, as most of the bill authorizes funding levels for research programs but does not fund them. As an authorizing piece of legislation, it relies on a future Congress to appropriate those funds to implement the programs. This is important to note, because as WSU Federal Relations begins pulling together information for our programmatic request letters for the next federal fiscal year, we will want to work with you to determine what programs in this bill directly support our research. Your support in this effort will help inform what WSU Federal Relations should highlight as we advocate for funding.
For additional Information on the CHIPS and Science Act, and specifically which provisions may be of interest to the WSU system and individual campuses and colleges, please review this PowerPoint overview.
If you are interested in learning more, please reach out to the Office of Federal Relations at Glynda.Becker@wsu.edu.