The White House has set aside US$500 million for US states wanting to build tech hubs in a bid to help the country retain its technological prowess in the face of growing competition from Asian countries.
The federal government will provide designated states a grant between US$50 million and US$75 million to lay the groundwork for building technology hubs. Once they grow and establish themselves, the states will be officially designated as technology hubs, putting them in the same category as Silicon Valley.
The Department of Commerce’s @US_EDA officially launched the first funding opportunity today for its Tech Hubs program, inviting applicants to apply for some of the $500 million available. #EDATechHubs https://t.co/8GjNHLXaLo
— U.S. Commerce Dept. (@CommerceGov) May 15, 2023
The grants (part of the White House’s US$2 trillion infrastructure plan) will support research and development in areas such as artificial intelligence, quantum computing and cybersecurity.
These hubs are expected to create incubators to spawn innovative tech startups and organize skill development programs to train young graduates in new technologies.
“The program has the potential to help the United States close the innovation gap with China,” the Washington Post reported.
Although the United States is the world’s largest tech market, the country’s tech ecosystem is concentrated in very few areas such as Southern California and the San Francisco Bay Area.
It is crucial for the United States to become independent in technology products such as semiconductors in order not to become a victim of espionage by countries such as China.