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Ohio’s Midwest Microelectronics Consortium Selected As Microelectronics Innovation Hub

Updated: Sep 22

This story is provided by the office of Governor Mike DeWine. You can view the story in its entirety here.

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)— The United States Department of Defense announced that the Midwest Microelectronics Consortium (MMEC), a multi-state, regional initiative led by Ohio and dedicated to advancing the research and production of crucial microelectronics for the defense industry, was awarded regional hub designation and $24.3 million for FY 23 through the prestigious Microelectronics Commons (ME Commons) program. This partnership with the Department of Defense (DoD) places Ohio, as a part of the MMEC, among the eight regional "Hubs" nationwide. The MMEC comprises over 65 public, private, and nonprofit entities, with leadership from many key Ohio institutions.

This public-private technology hub will connect the Midwest's world-class academic institutions, prominent corporate leaders, and government partners, unlocking transformative microelectronics capabilities. Backed by $2 billion in federal CHIPS Science Act funding, Ohio's leadership within the MMEC will position Ohio at the epicenter of a national network aiming to revolutionize the "lab-to-fab" microelectronics ecosystem while simultaneously solving national security challenges. Governor DeWine, Lt. Governor Husted, and JobsOhio worked with Ohio's Congressional delegation and Ohio Business Roundtable’s Ohio Grants Alliance to build collaborative advocacy for the MMEC's selection as an ME Commons hub.

Pat Tiberi, President and CEO of the Ohio Business Roundtable, released the following statement in reaction to the announcement:

“This ME Commons grant is a monumental win for Ohio because it opens the door to increased job creation, the development of stronger educational pipelines to support the semiconductor supply chain, and the potential of new projects within the Department of Defense. The Ohio Grants Alliance – an initiative of the Ohio Business Roundtable – partnered with Battelle, Congressman Turner, Ohio's congressional delegation, U.S. Senators Brown and Vance, the DeWine Administration, JobsOhio and over 70 stakeholders in the Midwest to advocate in support of this effort.

We will always be strongest when we work together as a team on behalf of Ohio, and I am thrilled that our teamwork has paid off with today’s award announcement.”

"Being chosen as a critical hub in the ME Commons initiative places the Midwest, with leadership from key Ohio institutions, at the heart of American-made semiconductor innovation," said Governor DeWine. "The partnerships forged with Ohio’s business, academic and community leaders have resulted in bringing this prestigious hub to the Midwest. The foundation for this statewide collaboration was laid during the advocacy for the CHIPS Act in 2021 and 2022, and more recently, it has gained momentum as we seize the opportunities arising from Intel's $20 billion investment in our state."

Currently, the United States leads in microelectronics design but accounts for only 12% of global microelectronics production, with the bulk of microelectronics production occurring in Asia. This reality poses a significant risk to the U.S. microelectronics supply chain. It includes the potential loss of critical intellectual property, diminished market influence, and a heightened dependence on foreign economies.

Microelectronics Commons is meticulously designed to tackle the two major obstacles hindering domestic production: the viability and marketability of new microelectronics technologies and access to facilities for innovators. Both industry and academia researchers lack access to the facilities needed to explore, prototype, and demonstrate leap-ahead technological advancements. This gap complicates the translation of academic concepts into prototype production in industry.

To address these challenges, ME Commons will:

  1. Foster enduring partnerships among emerging technology sources, manufacturing facilities, and interagency partners

  2. Cultivate a talent pipeline to strengthen local semiconductor economies and contribute to the growth of the domestic semiconductor workforce

  3. Bridge the gap between microelectronics research and production

  4. Expand domestic microelectronics fabrication capabilities

  5. Enhance microelectronics education and training to bolster the microelectronic engineering workforce

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