Commerce Department Secretary Gina Raimondo said on Tuesday that her agency’s new $500 million Tech Hubs program to drive innovation-centric growth in key U.S. regions will launch this summer.
The Tech Hubs program, which was enacted as part of the CHIPS Act of 2022 and appropriated $500 million at the end of last year, is an economic development initiative that seeks to build and support new innovation centers and research and development (R&D) capacity across the U.S.
“When you talk about tech hubs in America, you probably think of Silicon Valley, New York City, Boston, Austin, Texas. But we want you to start thinking about places like Columbus, Ohio. Different places in the heartland of America, all of whom have leading edge technology in their own particular areas like medical devices, biotechnology, AI, quantum, robotics,” Raimondo said at the Commerce Department’s SelectUSA Investment Summit in Maryland.
“We are going to be making investments, Public Private Partnerships in those geographies, which I think will really unleash an unbelievable torrent of entrepreneurship and capital opportunity,” she added.
Raimondo did not give a specific timeline for the Tech Hubs program or the dispersal of funds but said the focus of the program would be investing in emerging technologies that would create high-paying jobs in the designated regions.
The Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) sought public comment in February for the Tech Hubs program and has been given new authority to designate the hubs and award funding for the Tech Hubs strategy development and implementation.