US Senate passes innovation and competition act directing funding for emerging technologies

The US Senate has passed the Innovation and Competition Act envisioning over US$200 billion in funding (over a period of five year) for research, innovation, and technology development in key technological areas such as artificial intelligence (AI), high performance computing, semiconductors, quantum technology, robotics, and biotechnology. Directed at improving the technological competitiveness of the US, the bill further directs the creation of a new Directorate for Technology and Innovation within the National Science Foundation to advance technological research and innovation. It also envisions specific funding (US$52 billion) for boosting domestic semiconductor manufacturing, as a way to strengthen the security of the chip supply chain. The act – which was welcomed by US President Joe Biden – needs to be approved in the House of Representatives before it can be signed into law.