Earlier this week, the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) within the U.S. Department of Commerce announced the designation of 31 technology hubs. These hubs span 32 states and Puerto Rico, with the goal of driving technology and innovation-based economic development efforts through strategic investments by the U.S. government.
Authorized through the 2022 CHIPS and Science Act and funded by a $500 million Congressional appropriation to launch the program, Tech Hubs represents the latest in a series of place-based competitive programs rolled out by U.S. agencies, including the Build Back Better Challenge and the recently-announced Hydrogen Hubs.
The 31 Tech Hubs announced this week aim to foster regional growth in a number of target industries, including quantum computing, clean energy, life sciences, autonomous systems, semiconductors and more. The 31 designations were selected from nearly 400 applications received by EDA.
Locations selected as Tech Hubs include:
- The Advanced Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Tech Hub in the greater Richmond area of Virginia, seeking to increase domestically produced vital pharmaceuticals;
- The Baltimore Tech Hub, focusing on predictive healthcare technologies;
- The SC Nexus for Advanced Resilient Energy, serving the states of South Carolina and Georgia through the development of exportable electricity technologies and leveraging the area’s manufacturing base;
- Gulf Louisiana Offshore Wind Propeller, focusing on the energy transition and renewables; and
- The Texoma Semiconductor Tech Hub, serving Texas and Oklahoma through the semiconductor supply chain.
The designated hubs will be eligible to compete for $500 million in implementation funding in the program’s next phase, receive technical assistance through various federal agencies, and have a dedicated presence at the 2024 SelectUSA Investment Summit to attract foreign-direct investment opportunities. According to EDA guidance, implementation funding may be used to construct facilities or support infrastructure for businesses, making this a powerful tool for business attraction. The CHIPS and Science Act authorized $10 billion over a five-year period for the program.
Additionally, EDA awarded 29 strategy development grants to regional consortia to further develop their innovation-based economic development plans. A full list of selected Tech Hubs is available on the EDA’s website.