White House announces 31 tech hubs to focus on AI, clean energy and more

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White House announces 31 tech hubs to focus on AI, clean energy and more

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President Joe Biden speaks during an event on the economy, from the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex, Monday, Oct. 23, 2023.

Jacquelyn Martin | AP

WASHINGTON — The White House on Monday announced it is designating 31 technology hubs in an effort to improve American competitiveness in the technology sector. The hubs will be able to compete for $40 million to $75 million each in grants, the White House said.

A tech hub designation is “a strong endorsement of a region’s plan to supercharge a critical technology ecosystem and become a global leader over the next decade,” the U.S. Economic Development Administration said on its website.

The move was authorized under the CHIPS and Science Act, the White House said, which President Joe Biden frequently touts as a highlight of his economic agenda. The act, which the president signed in August 2022, aimed to improve semiconductor manufacturing and supply chains in the U.S. It also authorized $10 billion to invest in technology hubs nationwide, according to the administration.

“These Tech Hubs will catalyze investment in technologies critical to economic growth, national security, and job creation, and will help communities across the country become centers of innovation critical to American competitiveness,” the White House said in a news release.

The hubs focus on a wide range of technological areas, including quantum computing, artificial intelligence, clean energy, medicine and biotechnology. The location of the hubs spans 32 states and Puerto Rico and include areas with a tribal government, coal communities and states with smaller populations, according to the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

The designations “will be a widely recognized indicator of each region’s potential for rapid economic growth on the basis of their technological strength, and we believe will make it even more attractive to private investment and job creation,” Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said Sunday on a call with reporters. “The designations reflect the diversity of our country. Many of our hubs include small cities, rural areas, historically underserved communities.”

The White House release noted that “for too long, economic growth and opportunity has clustered in a few cities on the coasts,” adding that the hubs announced Monday were chosen to “represent the full diversity of America.”

Biden is expected to discuss his efforts to spur investment in American in a speech Monday afternoon on his economic agenda.

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