Kelly, Colleagues Announce Selection of Southwest Microchip Research and Development Program led by Arizona State University

The partnership funded by DOD grant through CHIPS and Science Act will consist of universities, national laboratories, community colleges, and private sector partners from across Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico

Today, Arizona Senator Mark Kelly, a chief negotiator of the landmark CHIPS and Science Act, along with Senators Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ), Michael Bennet (D-CO), John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), and Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) announced that the Southwest Advanced Prototyping (SWAP) Hub has been selected to be funded through the Department of Defense’s (DOD) Microelectronics Commons program. The announcement marks the first official allocation of funding through the CHIPS and Science Act.   

The DOD Microelectronics Commons program was created to address a critical gap in U.S. semiconductor manufacturing and innovation by creating direct pathways for U.S.-based microelectronics researchers and designers to get their innovations to market, or from “lab to fab.” The Southwest Hub, led by Arizona State University, will provide a collaborative forum for regional technology leaders, including Sandia National Laboratory, University of Colorado Boulder, University of New Mexico, and private sector firms of all sizes to accelerate and enhance research efforts in this critical sector.  

“Today’s historic investment will enable researchers to discover, test, and commercialize breakthrough technologies in the United States. That’s why I created the Microelectronics Commons, so that America, not China, builds the next generation of microchips. This will put our growing microchip industry and ASU’s research and innovation in the driver’s seat to power our economy and strengthen our national security,” said Sen. Kelly, a chief negotiator of the CHIPS and Science Act

“After years advocating for ASU’s Southwest Advanced Prototyping Hub, we’re thrilled to see the Department of Defense recognize ASU’s leadership and ability to transform our national defense. Through collaboration and innovation, ASU is bringing together partners across the Southwest to deliver state-of-the-art tools and technologies our military needs to continue ensuring our global leadership and our national security — and we’re honored to have helped make this a reality,” said Sen. Sinema. 

“We cannot afford to lose our competitive edge in strategic technologies like semiconductors to competitors like China. I’m glad to see the University of Colorado Boulder selected alongside public and private institutions across the Southwest to help advance U.S. economic competitiveness and strengthen our national security,” said Sen. Bennet.  

“Our CHIPS and Science Act is already bringing good-paying manufacturing jobs back to America,” said Sen. Hickenlooper. “This first award will guarantee that Colorado is at the forefront of keeping America as the world’s economic leader – go Buffs!”

“Innovation is what New Mexico does best. We have long been poised to lead the nation in the design and manufacturing of semiconductors,” said Sen. Heinrich. “This historic endeavor will bring together the brightest minds in academia, at national laboratories, and the defense and private sectors in the Southwest to collaborate on leading microelectronic innovation. New Mexico prides itself on our diverse and driven workforce, and we are eager to play a key role in revitalizing U.S. leadership in semiconductor manufacturing and innovation with these major new investments.”

“New Mexico’s Sandia National Labs and the University of New Mexico will be exceptional hubs for the Microelectronics Commons, ensuring our state furthers its leadership in science and technology,” said Sen. Luján. “Thanks to the Chips and Science Act, the Microelectronics Commons will develop a critical talent pipeline that supports our local semiconductor economies while forming partnerships between emerging technology sources and interagency partners. As New Mexico continues to lead in science and technology, I’m proud this investment will only further our capabilities.” 

“This is the first major national security-oriented research and development laboratory ever built in the state of Arizona, and Arizona State University is extremely honored to play a key role in making this happen,” said ASU President Michael Crow. “There is important work ahead, and this opportunity would not exist without the leadership of Sen. Mark Kelly and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema. They were critically important to the passage of the CHIPS and Science Act and have been tremendous supporters of industry investment and expansion in Arizona. ASU has been deeply invested in this work, but without the senators and the 70 partners who are a part of this effort with us, we wouldn’t be here.” 

Click here for more details on the CHIPS and Science Act.