Biden administration says regional tech hub program will aid federal research targets

The Commerce Department’s Tech Hubs program could lead to the development of tools eventually bought by the federal government, officials said.
Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo speaks at the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework Ministerial meeting in Detroit on May 27, 2023. (Photo by JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images)

The Department of Commerce’s Tech Hubs program will serve federal research goals in addition to boosting innovation and emerging technology work outside of major cities, senior Biden administration officials said Monday. 

During a call announcing 12 new initiatives that would receive funding through the Tech Hubs effort, officials in response to a FedScoop question highlighted the importance of being able to manufacture technologies that would help fuel innovation and the country’s overall economic competitiveness.

The work on these initiatives from the federal government, which has now announced 31 Tech Hubs, is supported by the Chips and Science Act, the 2022 law that invested in U.S. research and development on semiconductors. 

Officials on the call noted that the technologies that the program will help support includes the development of tools that could eventually be purchased by the federal government, or otherwise have an interest in supporting. These key focus areas include technologies like uncrewed aerial systems, information technology, semiconductors, high-performance materials, and grid resilience systems. Those could eventually directly support federal organizations, the officials said.


“We have the best research institutions, the most talented workforce, the deepest capital markets and some of the best entrepreneurs on the planet. But the reality is right now in the U.S., our tech ecosystem is far too concentrated,” Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said on the call with reporters. “In the past 20 years, about 90% of new tech jobs that were created went to just five cities around the country.” 

The most recent initiatives to receive grant funding through the program include the Elevate Quantum TechFund in Colorado and the Wisconsin Biohealth TechHub. 

Rebecca Heilweil

Written by Rebecca Heilweil

Rebecca Heilweil is an investigative reporter for FedScoop. She writes about the intersection of government, tech policy, and emerging technologies. Previously she was a reporter at Vox's tech site, Recode. She’s also written for Slate, Wired, the Wall Street Journal, and other publications. You can reach her at Message her if you’d like to chat on Signal.

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