Bipartisan support in Congress for Clark School-led Mid-Atlantic Semiconductor Collaborative

A bipartisan group of more than 20 congressional colleagues has written to U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin in support of the University of Maryland-led Mid-Atlantic Semiconductor Collaborative (MASC) proposal to contribute to the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Microelectronic Commons initiative.

“We write in strong support of the Mid-Atlantic Semiconductor Collaborative (MASC) proposal, led by the University of Maryland, College Park and Booz Allen Hamilton, in response to the Department of Defense (DoD) Microelectronic Commons solicitation,” the letter reads in part. “This collaboration includes some of the leading experts in microelectronics development and manufacturing and is uniquely positioned to advance microelectronics technologies in fields critical to the DoD.”

At UMD the effort is spearheaded by Professor Ankur Srivastava (ECE/ISR), director of the Institute for Systems Research. As the principal investigator, Srivastava and his ISR staff have led the MASC proposal process. The work focuses on pursuing potential collaborators, then working with them both within and outside the University of Maryland.

Srivastava’s efforts have been bolstered by the full support and encouragement of Samuel Graham, dean of the A. James Clark School of Engineering, along with the key insights and work of the other members of the UMD team, Professor Pamela Abshire (ECE/ISR) and Professor Abhijit Dasgupta (ME/CALCE).

The Microelectronics Commons, which DoD is in the process of implementing, will stand up a national network to bolster U.S. production and supply chains for microchips and semiconductors needed for emerging technologies that will be critical to our national security, such as quantum computing and 6G telecommunications.

It is funded through the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) for America Defense Fund, which was established through the CHIPS and Science Act.

Signatories include Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Bob Casey (D-PA), Chris Coons (D-DE), John Fetterman (D-PA), Thom Tills (R-NC), and Mark Warner (D-VA), as well as Representatives Steny H. Hoyer (MD-05), Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-02), Gerry Connolly (VA-11), Dwight Evans (PA-03), Valerie Foushee (NC-04), Glenn Ivey (MD-04), Summer Lee (PA-12), Kweisi Mfume (MD-07), Jamie Raskin (MD-08), John Sarbanes (MD-03), Glenn Thompson (PA-15), and David Trone (MD-06).

For more information

Read a copy of the letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on Rep. Hoyer’s website here.

Sen. Chris Van Hollen has a press release about the effort here.

Published May 3, 2023