Hicks touts CHIPS Act at Purdue

By Tony Bertuca / August 18, 2022 at 4:28 PM

Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks today highlighted President Biden's recent signing of the CHIPS and Science Act, which she said will "supercharge" U.S. semiconductor research, development and production.

Hicks, speaking at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN, said the new law would create jobs and drive innovation by onshoring production of key technologies.

“This new law will help ensure that America has -- and makes -- the technology that powers everything from F-35 stealth fighter jets to the smartphones in our pockets,” she said.

Hicks noted SkyWater Technology plans to open a new manufacturing facility to fabricate computer chips at Purdue’s Discovery Park.

Additionally, Hicks touted the Air Force Research Laboratory’s choice of Purdue as the headquarters for a new network of regional research hubs.

“Their goal: to create a collaborative science and technology ecosystem -- bringing together government, academia and the private sector -- that will accelerate the collision of ideas and talent to produce solutions for both DOD and commercial use,” she said.

While at Purdue, Hicks also visited the Zucrow Lab and Hypersonics and Applied Research Facility.

“The research here will not only help develop the capabilities we need to defend the nation, but it will drive progress beyond DOD, for the aerospace sector and other industries -- shaping the next generations of commercial air travel, space exploration, and beyond,” she said.

Purdue is also home to the Birck Nanotechnology Center, which Hicks also visited. The facility is focused on, among other things, the development of microelectronics and semiconductors.

“There’s no understating how critical that work is,” she said.

The Pentagon, meanwhile, is pursuing a National Defense Strategy that emphasizes greater competition with China, including the onshoring of key microelectronics manufacturing currently performed in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Pentagon’s fiscal year 2023 budget request includes $3.3 billion in microelectronics investments.

Hicks’ appearance at Purdue is the last stop in a multistate trip focused on defense innovation.