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Defense Department awards $32.9M for microelectronics production administered in Indiana

Kathleen Hicks, a deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Defense, speaks Sept. 20, 2023, at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., to members of the media about $240 million in awards for the establishment of the nine microelectronics commons regional innovation hubs. (Provided Photo/U.S. Air Force Tech Sgt. Jack Sanders via Department of Defense)

WASHINGTON (WISH) — A planned hub to spur midwestern microelectronics production for the U.S. Department of Defense has been awarded $32.9 million, the federal government announced Wednesday.

The Silicon Crossroads Microelectronics Commons Hub will be administered from the Naval Surface Warfare Center-Crane Division. The military base is about a 40-minute drive southwest of downtown Bloomington, Indiana.

Bloomington-based Applied Research Institute, which also has Indiana locations in Indianapolis and Odon, plans to create the hub with 130 members, according to information from the institute and the Defense Department.

The Defense funds to create at least eight U.S. innovation hubs was from the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors and Science Act.

A news release from Sen. Todd Young, an Indiana Republican, said, “With $2 billion in funding for Fiscal Years 2023 through 2027, the Microelectronics Commons program will offer opportunities to leverage these hubs to accelerate domestic development and use of cutting-edge microelectronics capabilities for the warfighter.

“The Silicon Crossroads Microelectronics Commons Hub consists of participating state and local governments, academia, small business, federal labs, and other partners from Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan. Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane) will administer the ME Commons program.”


“Today’s announcement is the first major CHIPS and Science Act funding decision for our country, and the selection of the Silicon Crossroads Microelectronics Commons Hub shows that Hoosiers are leading the way. As we collectively work to grow the nation’s microelectronics base, Indiana will play a key role in the development of these critical national security technologies and capabilities. More broadly, this announcement shows how the CHIPS and Science Act will connect more of America, including the industrial Midwest, to the innovation economy. This is an exciting day for all who partnered on this effort across Indiana.”

U.S. Sen. Todd Young, a Republican from Indiana

“Congratulations to Silicon Crossroads led by the Indiana-based Applied Research Institute (ARI) for submitting a winning proposal to the Department of Defense’s Microelectronics Commons, the very first federal funding to be awarded under the CHIPS+Science legislation, championed by Sen. Todd Young. The Naval Surface Warfare Center located at Crane, Indiana, plays a significant role in the DoD’s microelectronics strategy to build American dominance in microelectronics production and development, and will manage the $238 million program.

“Located in America’s heartland, Silicone Crossroads, builds on the Midwest’s strengths in research and development as well as workforce training at all levels, to build a domestic semiconductor industry, a national security imperative to keep our nation ahead of our adversaries.

“The States of Illinois and Michigan joined Indiana in this effort along with stakeholders including academia, small business, federal labs, and prime defense contractors.”

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, a Republican

“Congratulations to Heartland BioWorks, Governor Eric Holcomb and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, and ARI on their successful application to become one of eight ME Commons regional innovation hubs across the country.

“As Indiana’s Secretary of Commerce, my team and I implemented a bold, strategic vision to position Indiana as a top competitor for these very investments, investments that will provide high-wage career opportunities to Hoosiers for decades to come.

“Indiana deserves a governor that has the vision, the urgency, and the aspiration to build an economy of the future and continue the economic momentum in support of Hoosier prosperity. With $33 billion of statewide capital investment, 30 percent higher average wages, and new high-wage industries calling Indiana home, I’ve proven that with the right leadership, Indiana’s future is, and will continue to be, bright.”

Brad Chambers, former Indiana Secretary of Commerce and a Republican candidate for Indiana governor