NIST Seeks Input on Governance of the National Semiconductor Technology Center

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The agency is looking for responses on policy and governance frameworks for the center, which was created as part of the CHIPS Act.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology is looking to create a governance framework for the National Semiconductor Technology Center after the passage of two recent pieces of semiconductor legislation.

As stated in the sources sought notice, the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors for America Act was passed as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2021 to restore U.S. semiconductor manufacturing leadership, and the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 provided more authorities and approximately $50 billion in funding for domestic semiconductor production. 

Accordingly, one of several initiatives established under the laws is the National Semiconductor Technology Center, or NSTC, designed “to conduct research and prototyping of advanced semiconductors…and technology, to strengthen the economic competitiveness and security of the domestic supply chain.” The center will operate as a consortium with private sector, Energy Department and National Science Foundation participation. 

According to the notice, NIST is conducting market research to find qualified contractors for policy, technical and analytical support to create a governance framework for NSTC, establish research and development policy support plans, help stakeholder meetings and give subject matter assistance. The filing detailed anticipated task areas, such as: assessing and documenting governance frameworks, membership structures and funding for similar organizations; developing five R&D policy support workplaces; and creating workplaces for CHIPS R&D program policy support, federal coordination on R&D policy, national security, engagement standards and international engagements. 

NIST seeks comments on: demonstrated relationships and dealings with entities such as the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, NSF and NIST, as well as the Departments of State, Defense and Commerce; knowledge of and access to policies and protocols for interagency coordination; knowledge and experience with the policy landscape for semiconductors as it relates to R&D, manufacturing, market analysis, etc.; and descriptions of previous projects for the federal government or other public sector entities on related assignments.

NIST added that contractors must meet government IT security requirements. 

Responses to NIST’s request—which are intended for market research purposes and not official proposals—are due via email to the agency’s contracting officer by Jan. 16 at 3:30pm EST. 

This notice comes after NIST requested public input in October in regards to two other CHIPS Act programs: a financial incentives program and the development of three Manufacturing USA institutes to address challenges and improve leadership in semiconductor manufacturing.