Following his attendance of the signing of President Biden’s CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities President Peter McPherson praised the move, but urged Congress to take further action.
The Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) and Science Act includes almost $53 billion in funding to encourage domestic manufacture of semiconductor chips and research, Scientific American reported.
The act also includes funding increases for multiple departments. And it extends support for the International Space Station through 2030 and sets policies to reorganize a program for sending humans back to the moon and eventually to Mars. “This multi-pronged approach to bolstering American scientific leadership will enable public research universities to tackle vexing global challenges, spark innovations, and promote widely shared prosperity,”
“The bill authorizes critical new resources for STEM scholarships, fellowships, and traineeships to support new workforce pathways as well as new programs to support research capacity at HBCUs and other Minority Serving Institutions," said McPherson. "And to help foster economic development in often-overlooked regions, the bill authorizes key new resources for the creation of 20 geographically distributed regional technology hubs for technology development, job creation, and expanding U.S. innovation capacity.”
But he lamented that U.S. investment in science and technology was near “multi-decade lows as a share of the economy” and that the bill, despite authorizing money for research at federal agencies, did not “appropriate new dollars to agencies to undertake pathbreaking research that saves lives, enhances quality of life, and drives job creation and economic growth.”
“The costs of continuing to fail to make needed investments through the appropriations process are unacceptable,” said McPherson. “This law must be step one in a process that ultimately includes Congress delivering the funding that will accomplish the goals of the legislation.”
McPherson and the APLU also asked Congress to enact policies that were left out in the bill, such as streamlining green card paths for international students with STEM degrees to bolster innovation and economic growth.