The CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 established the NSTC as a public-private consortium and appropriated funds for the creation of a national semiconductor technology center (NSTC) to conduct research and prototyping of advanced semiconductor technology and grow the domestic semiconductor workforce to strengthen the economic competitiveness and security of the domestic supply chain. The statute requires that the U.S. Department of Commerce establish a public-private consortium in collaboration with other federal agencies, and with the participation of the semiconductor industry, research institutions, and other participants of the semiconductor ecosystem.
There are three key components to enabling the work of the NSTC. First, there is the NSTC Consortium. The Consortium was established by an agreement among the Founding Members (the Department of Commerce, the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, and the National Center for the Advancement of Semiconductor Technology (“Natcast”)) that outlines the goals and processes for determining the strategy and membership structure of the NSTC Consortium.
The NSTC Consortium is not a legal entity and does not have a staff. Rather, it has a Steering Committee as its governing body, and will include members from a wide range of stakeholders including industry, academic institutions, investors, and government bodies.
In addition to the NSTC itself, a new, purpose-built, non-profit entity –Natcast – was created to operate the programs of the NSTC Consortium. Natcast has a board of trustees. The Natcast board, in turn, selected the new entity’s CEO.
Finally, the Department of Commerce will serve as the principal funding source for NSTC programs initially, although it is an explicit goal of Natcast to expand non-government funding sources over time. The Department of Commerce’s CHIPS R&D Office will work closely with Natcast and is responsible for providing guidance on the priorities of the nation and ensuring accountability to taxpayers.
The NSTC Consortium, Natcast, and the CHIPS R&D Office will work together as a team to create a best-in-class new research center for the nation, based on input from members of the NSTC Consortium and to fulfill the vision of the CHIPS and Science Act.