The Microelectronics Commons is a $2.5B funded network of innovation Hubs and Core Facilities distributed across the United States all working toward a common goal of advancing domestic microelectronics technology discovery, innovation, and transition for the Department of Defense.  8 HUBS connect researchers with prototyping capabilities, that are provided through CORE fabrication entities.  This ‘lab to fab’ model encourages teaming and collaboration between small and large, traditional and non-traditional, commercial innovators as well as 2/4-year institutions of learning.

Any entity can technically join any hub, and at this time there is little to no cost to join.  The first Call for Projects has been issued, with focus areas including 5G/6G, Artificial Intelligence Hardware, Commercial Leap-Ahead technologies, Electronic Warfare, Secure Edge Computing/IoT and Quantum Technology.

Diversity of team is a factor, so involvement of a variety of small and large business and academic institutions is desired.  In particular non-traditional defense businesses (have not contracted with DoD in over a year), HBCUs, and 2-year institutions participation is of particular interest to the DoD and the hubs.

How to get started? The list of all the hubs and their website is linked below; If you think the capabilities of a hub match a project idea you have, or your capability, you should connect or join.  The projects are aggressive – results are expected on a quarterly basis, and using the CORES should show a substantial demonstration within 9 months.

Time is of the essence – teams are forming now, so if you have interest, reach out to hubs.

CHIPS+ is a marathon, and this is year 1! Whether this is the right program for you or not, start your involvement in these programs today, and continue to connect and help build our regional economies in Arkansas!  Contact [email protected] for ideas on teaming.