Today, the U.S. National Science Foundation announced a new program with Intel Corporation to educate and train the nation’s semiconductor manufacturing workforce and advance opportunities for equitable science education, technology, engineering and mathematics. Following the historic passage of the CHIPS and Science Act, Intel and NSF will invest $10 million to provide funding to support the development of a high-quality manufacturing workforce at all levels of production and innovation, as described in a new Dear Colleague Letter, or DCL.
A national shortage of semiconductors, complicated by the global pandemic, has made it difficult for the chip industry to meet growing demand for chip-based products. And while that demand is high in the United States, only about 10% of the global chip supply is produced domestically. Awards granted through this DCL will help address this issue by supporting the education and training of the semiconductor manufacturing workforce in the United States.
“We’re excited to continue our partnership with Intel to support research and development of the workforce to advance semiconductor design and manufacturing,” said NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan. “It’s not just about chips – it’s about unlocking investment in American science and technology research, STEM education, and the workforce. This collaboration presents a remarkable opportunity for students entering in this domain.
Through this collaboration, NSF and Intel will invest in a broad range of innovations that enhance engineering technology and advanced education and training for semiconductor manufacturing and design. Additionally, it will improve and make more equitable STEM education in two-year colleges and four-year universities, including minority-serving institutions.
“This partnership is important and timely,” said James L. Moore III, NSF associate director for education and human resources. “There is an immediate need to advance the education, research, and design of semiconductor manufacturing in the United States. Given the recent signing of the CHIPS and Science Act, US semiconductor research and production is expected to increase over the next five years. There is also strong national support for investing in STEM education to prepare students to enter this field.
“NSF and Intel have a long history of successful partnerships,” said Erwin Gianchandani, deputy director for technology, innovation and partnerships, NSF’s newest leadership. “This joint investment will advance innovative, evidence-based practices in training and preparing the semiconductor industry’s skilled national technical workforce. And together, NSF and Intel will launch bold, transformative activities that will address the immediate challenges of semiconductor manufacturing and labor shortages in the United States.
“This new program will provide increased opportunities in higher education for students from historically underrepresented groups and help foster a diverse workforce in semiconductor manufacturing across the country,” said Gabriela Cruz. Thompson, senior director of academic research and collaboration at Intel Labs. “We look forward to continuing our long-standing partnership with the NSF to support STEM education in two-year colleges and four-year institutions and to expand the workforce of skilled technicians and engineers. .”
This DCL is part of a previously announced 10-year collaboration between NSF and Intel that, over time, will invest $100 million to address semiconductor design and manufacturing challenges and labor shortages. works across the country.
Projects funded through this DCL will focus on developing the semiconductor industry workforce for high-tech fields that are critical to future semiconductor design and manufacturing. Interested individuals can apply for scholarships through two NSF programs: the Advanced Technological Education program, which supports the training of skilled technical labor at the undergraduate and high school levels; and the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Scholarship Program, which helps institutions of higher education fund scholarships for talented, low-income students.