The CHIPS and Science Act is the result of something exciting on Capitol Hill: a productive discussion about the next generation of American research that prioritizes investments in science.
In addition to $54 billion for semiconductor innovation, manufacturing, and research and development, it is exciting to see a bipartisan majority in Congress step up to support five-year authorizations for research agencies totaling nearly $170 billion.
While this bipartisan, bipartisan effort is important, it must be the first step. These authorizations clarify how Congress must ensure sustainable and predictable growth for research agencies through the annual appropriations process and the new money needed to launch the many exciting programs the CHIPS and Science Act creates. This plan for future spending can build on recent investments and a strong foundation in the American research enterprise.
One need only look at the exciting research at universities across the country, conducted in partnership with federal agencies, to see the potential for innovation if Congress follows through on the promise of this legislation.
True to the spirit of the bill, University of Notre Dame professor Suman Datta is leading the project of the Center for Integrated Nano Technologies Driven by Energy-Efficient Applications and Systems, a multi-university semiconductor research center pioneering future computing systems for commercial applications. and protective.
The work, which has entered its fifth and final year, was jointly funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Semiconductor Research Corporation, a consortium of major semiconductor companies. It’s a classic example of the incredible strides we can make together with the private sector on mission-critical issues when there’s enough federal funding to get them off the ground.
At Stony Brook University, researchers funded by the National Science Foundation and the Air Force Research Laboratory have teamed up with the Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory to create a “quantum internet.”
Their priority right now is to scramble digital bits in a network so that information can be transferred seamlessly between standard and quantum computers. If they are successful and can repeat the process over greater distances, their work could completely revolutionize information technology—a core goal of Congress’s quantum priorities.
Matteo Mitrano of Harvard University is also working on quantum through the Harvard Quantum Initiative. The center is studying light-induced phenomena in electronic systems, paving the way for future quantum technologies. Additional funding from the CHIPS and Science Act would support young talent by actualizing our potential in these new areas—two critical components to our future competitiveness.
There is a similar case at the Rochester Institute of Technology, where Amlan Ganguly received an NSF planning grant in collaboration with UC Irvine to develop a Center for Smart Spaces Research. A full proposal is submitted to NSF; if funded, this will launch the Center for Smart Spaces Research, a multi-university research center aimed at creating smart spaces. Smart spaces are “characterized by the presence of smart services built on new sensing, computing and communication technologies.”
Ganguly is primarily focused on applying the center’s findings to real-life, sustainable spaces that improve public health, save energy and improve quality of life.
The bill also includes provisions to accelerate emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence and data science, that will define U.S. competitiveness in the future — two fields that researchers at UC Irvine have uniquely combined with neuroscience.
Supported by funding from NSF and the National Institutes of Health, researchers in the Fortin Lab are using machine learning to process and analyze data to understand how the brain organizes memories and how cognitive disorders affect the brain’s ability to do so. .
Furthermore, the tools and methodologies that the laboratory has developed can be applied in various research areas. Babak Shahbaba, who co-directed the study, also noted, “We are training the next generation of scientists who have the necessary skills to conduct interdisciplinary research.”
It’s clear that our researchers are ready to tackle tomorrow’s problems now, counting on strong acquisitions to help them achieve the extraordinary goals outlined in the CHIPS and Science Act without delay or harm. We are grateful to Congress for this remarkable progress, but we know all too well that the growing prospect of continuing resolutions and the failure to appropriate increased funding for research agencies threatens the promise of this exciting opportunity.
Congress must finish its work as soon as possible and write the next chapter of American innovation. Our future depends on good writing.