CHIPS+ Act and Arkansas:
The Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors and Science (CHIPS+) Act of 2022 was designed to encourage the return of the entire electronics supply chain to the United States. In addition, CHIPS+ represents an investment in our future – creating the workforce we need to support semiconductor manufacturing now and expanding U.S. competitiveness in new and emerging technologies, including quantum computing, artificial intelligence, clean energy, and nanotechnology. Current industries and those of the future need semiconductors, along with a STEM workforce.
CHIPS is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for scaling the Arkansas STEM economy to the next level. Arkansas has a long history of supporting the U.S. semiconductor supply chain, including every step that is needed for manufacturing and product sales, as demonstrated in our three core verticals:
- Manufacturing Equipment/Processes
Arkansas, as the Natural State, is rich in natural resources. Arkansas is home to many critical materials needed to make advanced electronic/electrified systems, such as lithium. Critical materials are the resources needed to produce key technologies for the semiconductors and our ongoing energy transition.
Arkansas companies have long produced equipment that goes into manufacturing and test equipment for semiconductors, from optics to lasers. Our researchers produce new processes that can take us ‘beyond silicon’ – technologies that enable high power, high sensitivity, and next-generation quantum platforms.
Arkansas companies are at the forefront of the integration of semiconductors into systems – otherwise known as ‘packaging’ and ‘assembly.’ Arkansas companies produce electronics for everything from consumer to aerospace, dense, and energy exploration.
In addition to our strong verticals, Arkansas sits at the epicenter of the cluster of fabs planned or currently underway in the US – from Texas to Ohio. We are the heart of the new semiconductor heartland. Arkansas sits between those fabs and their end customer base, and Arkansas has several further advantages. We are a logistics powerhouse, able to manage complex supply chains, and we are a major manufacturer of one critical end-user of semiconductors: aerospace systems.
Arkansas is already investing in the future. As an EPSCOR state (Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research), we have used our National Science Foundation funding to train a STEM workforce that is responsible for 38 patents and 14 startup companies in the semiconductor, packaging, and advanced technology space since 2007.
CHIPS for Arkansas
- We have established microelectronics industry verticals, including (1) critical materials, (2) manufacturing methods equipment, and (3) electronics packaging
- Our workforce knows how to innovate, evidenced by our $20B manufacturing industry
- We are central, including locations and essential provisions
- We are experts in logistics
- We have expertise in critical end-uses of electronics such as aerospace
- We are leaders in EPSCoR R&D
Opportunity: For CHIPS and beyond
CHIPS+ is designed to incentives verticals just like these and create or expand regional hubs. SURGE is working with stakeholders in the state – businesses, agencies, schools/universities, and state/local government – to coordinate the development of incentives that will let Arkansas scale to the next level.