The Southeastern Consortium for Assured Leading-Edge Semiconductors (SCALES), a nonprofit organization that seeks to enable new R&D centers and prototyping facilities in the Southeast region, partnered with BRIDG, a not-for-profit, public-private partnership specializing in advanced system integration and packaging to hold a day-long meeting at NeoCity to prepare for a response to the first CHIPS Notice of Funding Opportunity focusing on Commercial Fabrication Facilities, due June 2023.

“We were excited to host the SCALES consortium and to be part of the developing discussions surrounding the CHIPS Act,” stated Osceola County Manager Don Fisher. “We believe NeoCity is perfectly positioned to be the hub for a CHIPS investment in Advanced Packaging.”  

BRIDG is supported by Osceola County, Florida High Tech Corridor Council, imec, Orlando Economic Partnership, TEL, SUSS, Siemens, and SkyWater Technology (Center for NeoVation operator).

“The time to invest in the expansion of semiconductor manufacturing in Florida has never been more obvious,” stated Dr. David Arnold, associate chair for faculty affairs and George Kirkland engineering leadership professor at the University of Florida Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to foster national, state, and regional ecosystem partnerships that will shape the 21st century and impact generations to come.”

Entities from industry, labs, and academia that can support heterogeneous integration and advanced packaging fabrication were invited to attend in efforts to bring fabrication facilities to the Southeast region of the country. The agenda included presentations by several companies, state and local government representatives (including Florida Secretary of Commerce Laura DiBella), and breakout sessions focused on commercial viability, workforce development, and broader impacts. The meeting was focused on five major objectives:

  • Identify partnership opportunities to create/enhance semiconductor ecosystems in the Southeast.
  • Introduce and solidify support from state and regional partners on workforce development.
  • Define infrastructure, utility, and transportation needs for growth of the semiconductor industry in Florida.
  • Define how to leverage Florida’s leadership in aerospace and defense industries for synergistic growth of semiconductor manufacturing and advanced packaging.
  • Establish U.S. manufacturing leadership.

“It was an honor for BRIDG to host the University of Florida and SCALES event,” stated Jim Vandevere, BRIDG president. “We hopefully formed an alliance between our NeoCity coalition, regional commercial industry, and higher learning institutions to support a statewide CHIPS proposal. This monumental effort will galvanize a state and funds to stimulate growth in workforce development, R&D, and manufacturing in the semiconductor market focused on advanced packaging throughout Florida. The timing for a unified approach leveraging Osceola County’s vision and investment to grow a much-needed U.S. capability is now. This is a historical moment, and a united Florida is a great step forward!”

With the signing of the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act, the U.S. is making historic investments of more than $52B to strengthen American manufacturing, supply chains, and national security, while investing in research and development, science and technology, and the workforce of the future to keep the United States the leader in the industries of tomorrow. Currently, the U.S. produces only about 10 percent of the world’s supply of semiconductors and none of the most advanced chips. The CHIPS and Science Act is expected to boost American semiconductor research, development, and production to ensure the nation’s leadership in technology foundational to everything from cars and appliances to defense and healthcare.

“As our region leverages federal investments to reshore and expand semiconductor manufacturing capabilities, having partners from around the state and other regions convene to strategize on the importance of semiconductors at NeoCity validates BRIDG’s goal to serve as the nation’s hub for advanced packaging,” stated Dr. John Allgair, BRIDG chief technical officer. “We are very excited to continue growing an advanced packaging ecosystem together.”

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