The Biden-Harris administration, through the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA), has announced the designation of 31 Tech Hubs in regions across the country, including one in South Carolina.
This is the first phase of the new Tech Hubs program, which is an economic development initiative designed to drive regional innovation and job creation by strengthening a region’s capacity to manufacture, commercialize, and deploy technology that will advance American competitiveness, a news release stated. The program invests directly in burgeoning, high-potential U.S. regions and aims to transform them into globally competitive innovation centers.
The SC Nexus for Advanced Resilient Energy, spearheaded by the South Carolina Department of Commerce, was named a tech hub designee.
The SC Nexus for Advanced Resilient Energy (SC Nexus, aims to be a global leader in advanced energy by developing, testing, and deploying exportable electricity technologies, and targets the Upstate and Midlands, according to the release.
This Tech Hub will leverage the region’s growing manufacturing base, superior research capabilities, and demonstrated record of public-private collaboration to innovate and commercialize emerging energy storage materials and manufacturing techniques, including a demonstrative microgrid implementation that integrates renewable energy and storage into the state’s electricity systems, the release stated. In doing so, SC Nexus seeks to strengthen domestic manufacturing and national energy security while developing exportable, high-demand products and tools critical to the advanced energy supply chain.
Tech Hubs was authorized by the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act, a key part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, which he signed into law in August 2022, according to the release. It is an economic development initiative designed to drive regional innovation and job creation by strengthening a region’s capacity to manufacture, commercialize, and deploy technology that will advance American competitiveness. The program invests directly in burgeoning, high-potential U.S. regions and aims to transform them into globally competitive innovation centers
These Tech Hubs are located across 32 states and Puerto Rico, and represent a cross-section of urban and rural regions. Designation is an endorsement of the region’s plans to supercharge their respective technological industries to create jobs, strengthen U.S. competitiveness, and protect national security, the release stated. The Tech Hubs announced today focus on industries ranging from autonomous systems, quantum computing, biotechnology, precision medicine, clean energy advancement, semiconductor manufacturing, and more, and highlight how the Biden Harris Administration is investing in innovation and economic growth in every region of the United States.
EDA also awarded 29 Strategy Development Grants (SDG) to help communities significantly increase local coordination and planning activities. Such development could make selected grantees more competitive for future Tech Hubs funding opportunities.
“President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is rooted in policies that will empower the United States to out-innovate and out-compete the rest of the world. Our Tech Hubs Program is fundamental to that mission and will supercharge innovation across the nation by spurring cutting-edge technological investments and creating 21st century job opportunities in people’s backyards,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo in the release. “Each of these consortia will help us ensure the industries of the future—and their good-paying jobs — start, grow, and remain in the United States.”
The Phase 1 winners were selected from nearly 400 applications from regional consortia that include industry, academia, state and local governments, economic development organizations, and labor and workforce partners. As part of the Tech Hubs competition, each consortium outlined plans for strengthening its region’s capacity to manufacture, commercialize, and deploy critical technologies.
The Department of Commerce is launching a second Tech Hubs Notice of Funding Opportunity, allowing these designated Tech Hubs to apply to receive between $40 million and $70 million each for implementation funding, totaling nearly $500 million.s