The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), representing U.S. leadership in semiconductor manufacturing and design, today applauded the House of Representatives and the Senate Appropriations Committees' support for increased funding levels for both the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Through highly effective and successful public-private partnerships with the semiconductor industry, NSF and NIST enable research that will significantly advance semiconductor innovations, affecting a number of down-stream industries that rely on semiconductor technology for growth and advancement.
"We are extremely pleased to see that a bipartisan and bicameral group of congressional leaders - headed by Sens. Barbara Mikulski and Kay Bailey Hutchison in the Senate and Reps. Frank Wolf and Chaka Fattah in the House - have come together over their shared goal of protecting America's competitive advantage through the funding of scientific research. The proposed increased funding levels for NIST and NSF in both the House and Senate Appropriations bills will provide the highest return on investment for the American taxpayer in terms of increased jobs, manufacturing and innovation," said Brian Toohey, president, Semiconductor Industry Association. "Our industry's long-standing and successful partnership with both NIST and NSF is producing advancements in nanotechnology, metrology, materials science and manufacturing which directly impacts not only our industry but a myriad of sectors that have come to rely on semiconductors for their own advancements and productivity gains."
Through the Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC), semiconductor companies partner with NIST and NSF as well as the academic community to support research in a variety of areas including nanoelectronics, which is especially significant because of its promise to uncover the successor switch to current technology. This research program - called the Nanoelectronics Research Initiative (NRI) - leverages industry and government resources for a combined total of more than $20 million annually, which supports basic research at 40 universities over 20 states.
Fiscal Year 2013 funding proposals also include resources for a new Advanced Manufacturing Technology Consortia (AMTech) Program within NIST, which SIA strongly supports. This program is a public-private initiative that would focus on acceleration of the innovation process, including discovery to invention to development of new manufacturing process technologies that will create skilled, high-wage manufacturing jobs. The manufacturing of semiconductors represents the most advanced process in the world, and research in this area will help to support the industry's ongoing research initiatives.
"SIA is hopeful that the final version of the FY 2013 Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Bill will include funding for these critical research programs at the levels currently reflected in the markup versions," continued Toohey. "Government funding for scientific research is our nation's best hope to remain globally competitive across a number of industry sectors."