Heinrich, Luján Announce Selection of Southwest Microchip Research and Development Program
The partnership funded by DOD grant through CHIPS and Science Act will consist of universities, national laboratories, community colleges, and private sector partners from across New Mexico, Arizona, and Colorado
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) announced that the Southwest Advanced Prototyping (SWAP) Hub has been selected to be funded through the Department of Defense’s (DOD) Microelectronics Commons program. The announcement marks the first official allocation of funding through the CHIPS and Science Act, legislation championed by the senators.
The DOD Microelectronics Commons program was created to address a critical gap in U.S. semiconductor manufacturing and innovation by creating direct pathways for U.S.-based microelectronics researchers and designers to get their innovations to market, or from “lab to fab.” The Southwest Hub will provide a collaborative forum for regional technology leaders, including Sandia National Laboratories, the University of New Mexico, Arizona State University, the University of Colorado Boulder, and private sector firms of all sizes to accelerate and enhance research efforts in this critical sector.
Heinrich and Luján, along with U.S. Senators Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), and John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), sent a letter to the Department of Defense in February 2023 advocating for the creation of the hub in the Southwest region.
“Innovation is what New Mexico does best. We have long been poised to lead the nation in the design and manufacturing of semiconductors,” said Heinrich. “This historic endeavor will bring together the brightest minds in academia, at national laboratories, and the defense and private sectors in the Southwest to collaborate on leading microelectronic innovation. New Mexico prides itself on our diverse and driven workforce, and we are eager to play a key role in revitalizing U.S. leadership in semiconductor manufacturing and innovation with these major new investments.”
“New Mexico’s Sandia National Labs and the University of New Mexico will be exceptional hubs for the Microelectronics Commons, ensuring our state furthers its leadership in science and technology,” said Luján. “Thanks to the Chips and Science Act, the Microelectronics Commons will develop a critical talent pipeline that supports our local semiconductor economies while forming partnerships between emerging technology sources and interagency partners. As New Mexico continues to lead in science and technology, I’m proud this investment will only further our capabilities.”