SMU to lead Texoma Tech Hub to unify semiconductor supply chain, spur innovation through regional collaborations and workforce development
Consortium of 41 members to compete for up to $75 million in federal funds for economic development initiative authorized by 2022 CHIPS and Science Act
DALLAS (SMU) – SMU has been designated the lead agency for a federally-funded economic development initiative to strengthen, build on and drive innovation in the existing semiconductor supply chain in 29 counties in North Texas and Oklahoma through regional collaboration and workforce development.
The White House and the U.S. Department of Commerce announced the initiative Monday afternoon as the first phase of the Tech Hubs program, designed to develop and grow innovative industries in regions across the country. The SMU-led Texoma Semiconductor Hub, one of 31 announced across the country, is the only hub designated in Texas and includes a consortium of members from private industry, local governments, colleges and universities, tribal communities and nonprofit organizations.
Led by SMU, the 41- member Texoma Semiconductor Innovation Consortium (TSIC) is eligible to compete for up to $75 million in funding through The CHIPS and Science Act, signed into law in August 2022. The consortium now begins the planning and development phase to build the model to promote enhanced collaboration, expand the region’s technical workforce and catalyze the commercialization of technological advancements through the development of:
- “Fablets” – sophisticated, targeted and accessible labs with equipment for electronic design, semiconductor manufacturing, packaging and/or testing throughout the region, specifically addressing the needs in underserved areas.
- Commercialization Councils to link innovators, venture capitalists and industry representatives throughout the supply chain to commercialize and manufacture new ideas and products.
- Workforce Development Councils to promote opportunities at multiple skill levels for students and adult learners to enter the workforce, acquire new knowledge and obtain advanced degrees and certifications while minimizing the time it takes to do so. The outreach education will begin at the K-12 level while adult learners can find a pathway to advance their careers in semiconductor industry.
Stressing the importance of increasing semiconductor manufacturing in the United States, President Joe Biden told reporters Monday that the United States has dropped from once producing 40% of the world’s chips, to just over 10%. Semiconductor shortages are a significant national security issue, slowing worldwide production of everything from automobiles, to washing machines, to mobile phones.
“We know how important the semiconductor industry is to the economic health of our country,” said SMU Provost Elizabeth G. Loboa. “And workforce development is key to our region’s progress. SMU is thrilled to support both of these critical initiatives through our leadership of the Texoma Semiconductor Tech Hub. This is going to provide jobs and move our country forward.”
“This historic award is a game changer, not only for SMU but also for the entire region,” said SMU Vice Provost for Research and Chief Innovation Officer Suku Nair. “SMU is ready to lead this revolutionary technology effort.”
he Tech Hub consortium was organized by Jennifer Dworak, Scott Douglas, and J.-C. Chiao, professors in the SMU Lyle School’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. The consortium’s goal is to support national security and impact many industries directly, including the automobile, energy, healthcare and communications industries.
North Texas is the birthplace of the integrated circuit and the Texoma region is already a major player in semiconductor manufacturing. In drafting its proposal to lead the tech hub, SMU noted that the region’s central location and strong transportation network provide resiliency against supply chain disruptions.
The 41 members of the consortium include:
- Texas Instruments
- Archer Optics
- Asset InterTech
- Fujitsu Network Communications
- Lockheed Martin
- Global Wafers
- Strike Photonics
- Jobs for the Future
- Semi Foundation
- SkyHive Technologies
- Stemuli Studios
- T3 Partnership
- Workforce Solutions Texoma
- Perot Jain (venture capital)
- C-STAR (supply chain)
- Provenance Chain Network
- Sherman Economic Development Corp.
- Southern Oklahoma Development Association
- Texas Blockchain Council
- Texoma Council of Governments
- University of North Texas
- University of Texas at Arlington
- University of Texas at Dallas
- Baylor University
COMPREHENSIVE COLLEGES and UNIVERSITIES
- Austin College
- Jarvis Christian University
- Paul Quinn College
- University of North Texas at Dallas
- Collin College
- Dallas College
- Grayson College
- North Central Texas College
LOCAL AND REGIONAL GOVERNMENTS
- Choctaw Nation
- City of Fort Worth
- City of Richardson
SMU is the nationally ranked global research university in the dynamic city of Dallas. SMU’s alumni, faculty and over 12,000 students in eight degree-granting schools demonstrate an entrepreneurial spirit as they lead change in their professions, communities and the world.