The Director shall make awards to institutions of higher education, non-profit organizations, or consortia thereof, for research, development, and related activities to advance innovative approaches to developing, improving, and expanding evidence-based education and workforce development activities and learning experiences at all levels of education in fields and disciplines related to microelectronics.
Activities carried out under this section shall be for the purpose of supporting the growth, retention, and development of a diverse and sustainable microelectronics workforce to meet the requirements of the programs established in section 4656(c)(2)(C) of title 15 in support of the evolving needs of industry, academia, government, and Federal laboratories.
The Director shall make awards to institutions of higher education or nonprofit organizations (or consortia of such institutions and organizations) to establish traineeship programs for graduate students who pursue microelectronics research leading to a masters or doctorate degree by providing funding and other assistance, and by providing graduate students with opportunities for research experiences in government or industry related to the students’ microelectronics studies.
The Director shall make awards under the Scientific and Advanced-Technology Act of 1992 (42 U.S.C. 1862h-j) to support programs for skilled technical workers in STEM disciplines that are aligned with skilled workforce needs of the microelectronics industry and lead to an associate’s degree, or equivalent certification, by providing funding and other assistance, including opportunities for internships and other hands-on experiences in industry related to the students’ microelectronics studies.
In carrying out the activities under this section, the Director shall encourage awardees to partner with industry and other private sector organizations to facilitate the expansion of workforce pipelines and enable access to industry-standard equipment and software for use in undergraduate and graduate microelectronics education programs.
In carrying out activities under this section, the Director shall collaborate with the Subcommittee on Microelectronics Leadership of the National Science and Technology Council, established in subsection (a) of section 4656 of title 15 and the National Semiconductor Technology Center established in subsection (c) of section 4656 of title 15, and other relevant Federal agencies to maintain the effectiveness of microelectronics workforce development activities across the agencies.
The Director, in coordination with the Secretary of Commerce, shall on a competitive, merit-reviewed basis, make awards to institutions of higher education and non-profit organizations (or consortia of such institutions and organizations) to establish partnerships to enhance and broaden participation in microelectronics education.
The Director shall make an award on a competitive, merit-reviewed basis to an institution of higher education or nonprofit organization (or a consortium thereof) to establish a national network of partnerships (referred to in this section as the “National Network for Microelectronics Education”) to coordinate activities, best practice sharing, and access to facilities across the partnerships established in accordance with paragraph (1).
To the extent practicable, the Director shall encourage participation in the National Network for Microelectronics Education through the coordination of activities and distribution of awards described in subsection (a).
The Director shall encourage the submission of proposals that are led by historically Black colleges and universities, Tribal Colleges or Universities, and minority-serving institutions or that include partnerships with or among such institutions to increase the recruitment of students from groups historically underrepresented in STEM to pursue graduate studies in microelectronics.
In addition to any other requirements as determined appropriate by the Director, the Director shall require that proposals for awards under this section shall include a description of how the applicant will develop and implement outreach activities to increase the participation of women and other students from groups historically underrepresented in STEM.
In carrying out the activities under this section, the Director shall ensure awardees coordinate with, and avoid unnecessary duplication of, the activities carried out under this Section 1 with the activities of the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act (Public Law 108–153), the National Quantum Initiative Act (Public Law 115–368), and Division E of the William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021, and other related programs, as appropriate.
In carrying out activities under this section, the Director shall collaborate with the Subcommittee on Microelectronics Leadership of the National Science and Technology Council, established in subsection (a) of section 4656 of title 15 and the National Semiconductor Technology Center established in subsection (c) of section 4656 of title 15.