NSF

National Science Foundation

 

The CHIPS and Science Act prescribes the mission of the Directorate for Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships that the National Science Foundation created early this year, establishing priority focus areas and authorizing new programs supporting technology commercialization, regional innovation, and workforce development.

A month into fiscal year 2023, federal science agencies are facing a budget situation more complicated than any they have encountered in recent memory. While some programs are busy handling an influx of money from special spending legislation, others face uncertainties surrounding stopgap funding and whether Congress will meet targets set out in the CHIPS and Science Act.

The CHIPS and Science Act authorizes a suite of new regional technology development initiatives, reflecting substantial congressional interest in expanding the geographical distribution of innovative activity in the U.S. Enhancing regional innovation will also be central to implementing the legislation’s semiconductor provisions, according to the Department of Commerce.

The National Science Foundation is taking steps to address sexual assault and harassment at the Antarctic research facilities it supports, including launching a new office to support victims. The problem was the subject of an expansive report the agency released to the public in August.

The new CHIPS and Science Act includes a variety of provisions aimed at promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion within the STEM workforce through grant support and workforce research, and by instituting new requirements for data collection and ethical research conduct.

The new CHIPS and Science Act outlines an ambitious vision for research infrastructure, encompassing large-scale science facility construction projects as well as initiatives in areas such as quantum computing, high-intensity lasers, and research reactors.

Science advocates are pressing Congress to approve the large budget increases recommended by the CHIPS and Science Act.

Following a month of intense activity in Congress, lawmakers have passed bipartisan semiconductor funding and innovation policy measures that have been in the works since the Trump administration. Meanwhile, Democrats also revived the fortunes of a partisan spending bill that includes funding for climate change mitigation as well as a significant boost for some science budgets.

Congress is on the cusp of approving historic legislation that would provide more than $50 billion to the semiconductor sector and lay out ambitious expansion plans for a set of federal science agencies.

The U.S. is sunsetting research collaborations with Russia in response to its war against Ukraine, joining a coalition of countries that have already moved to restrict ties with research institutions affiliated with the Russian government.