The bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act includes historic investments in American energy innovation designed to bolster U.S. competitiveness while increasing energy independence and improving energy affordability. This legislation should help ensure the United States maintains its place as the world leader in developing revolutionary technologies and that those technologies are commercialized domestically to have the most positive economic impact for Americans.
The first part of the CHIPS and Science Act contains provisions to bolster U.S. leadership in semiconductor R&D, workforce, and manufacturing. Semiconductors are vital for clean energy infrastructure, including solar and wind energy systems and electrical grid components. Establishing a more durable domestic semiconductor supply chain will help ensure the domestic energy sector is insulated from the supply shocks experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic and geopolitical tension. The Department of Energy recently released a report on the role of semiconductors in energy supply chains. A summary of the semiconductor provisions in the CHIPS and Science Act is available here. This summary focuses on the energy, climate, and science provisions in the bill.
Other than the direct funding provided in the bill for semiconductor advancements, the CHIPS and Science Act is primarily an authorization bill. To drive impact, the programs listed below will need to receive funding through the annual congressional appropriations process.
Regional Innovation Capacity [Commerce Department] (Sec. 10621)
- Requires the Department of Commerce to establish 20 Regional Technology Hubs to expand U.S. innovation capacity to more areas of the country.
- Authorizes $10 billion for the program through fiscal year 2027 and $1 billion to establish the “Recompete Pilot Program” to support persistently distressed communities.
Regional Clean Energy Innovation Program [DOE] (Sec. 10622)
- Authorizes a Regional Clean Energy Innovation Program at the Department of Energy to establish innovation ecosystems focused on clean energy across the United States.
- Awards are capped at $10 million over five years with the option to renew. Requires a 50% cost share in years 3, 4, and 5.
Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research [DOE] (Sec. 10113)
- Authorizes $475 million through FY2027 for scholarships, fellowships, grants, and funding to institutions to support collaboration and expertise-building at universities in EPSCoR states.
- Authorizes $250 million through FY2027 for research instrumentation and equipment at universities in EPSCoR states.
Rural STEM education [NSF] [NIST] (Sec. 10511-10516)
- Authorizes National Science Foundation (NSF) to support innovative approaches in STEM teaching in rural schools and improve participation and advancement of rural students in STEM studies.
- Authorizes NSF to support research on online STEM education in rural communities.
- Directs NSF to evaluate federal investments in rural STEM education, assess research and data needs, and make recommendations for improving STEM education in rural communities.
- Directs the Government Accountability Office to study the engagement of rural populations in federal STEM programs.
- Establishes a prize competition to deploy broadband to rural communities.
Critical Minerals Mining Research and Development [NSF] (Sec. 10359)
- Supports research and development to advance critical mineral mining strategies and technologies and facilitates interagency coordination by establishing a subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council.
Low-Emissions Steel Manufacturing Research Program [DOE] (Sec. 10751)
- Authorizes a new DOE program on research, development, demonstration, and commercial application of advanced tools, technologies, and methods for low-emissions steel manufacturing.
- Focuses on several key technology areas for low-emission steel manufacturing, including heat generation, carbon capture, smart manufacturing, resource efficiency, alternative materials, and high-performance computing.
Basic Energy Sciences Program [DOE] (Sec. 10102)
- Authorizes $14.7 billion through FY2027 to establish an R&D program in chemical sciences, physical biosciences, geosciences, and more to develop new technologies. Also includes research on sustainable chemistry.
- Authorizes $500 million through FY2027 for R&D on artificial and replication of natural photosynthesis.
- Authorizes $600 million through FY2027 for electricity storage R&D and removes a restriction that prevented the research from being used for commercial applications.
- Authorizes $250 million through FY2027 for nuclear R&D that benefits commerce, medicine, and national security.
- Establishes the Carbon Materials Science Initiative and authorizes $250 million through FY2027 for R&D on coal, coal-wastes, and carbon ore chemistry for carbon utilization.
- Establishes two research centers in coal-producing regions.
- Establishes the Carbon Sequestration Research and Geologic Computational Science Initiative to research subsurface geology for carbon sequestration.
- Establishes at least two carbon storage research and geologic computational science centers to research subsurface geology for carbon sequestration.
Fusion Energy Research [DOE] (Sec. 10105)
- Authorizes $250 million through FY2027 for R&D on fusion materials.
- Authorizes $310 million through FY2027 to establish two national teams tasked with developing conceptual designs and technology roadmaps for pilot fusion plants.
- Establishes a program and innovation center to involve high-performance computing in the development of fusion.
- Authorizes $4.3 billion through FY2027 for the Fusion Energy Sciences Program.
- Authorizes $2 billion through FY2027 for the construction of the ITER international fusion project.
Fission for the Future [DOE] (Sec. 10781)
- Establishes a federal assistance program to support the research, development, and demonstration of advanced nuclear reactors with an emphasis on projects in fossil fuel communities and projects that would support nonelectric applications, such as heating, hydrogen production, or industrial processes.
- Authorizes $800 million through FY2027.
Science Education and Human Resources Scholarships, Fellowships, And Research and Development Projects [DOE] (Sec. 10745)
- Adds nontechnical nuclear research to the scope for the University Nuclear Leadership Program.
- Authorizes $75 million through FY2025 for the program.
University Nuclear Infrastructure Collaboration [DOE] (Sec. 10743)
- Authorizes $275 million through FY2027 to improve collaboration between nuclear energy university stakeholders and to maintain and upgrade existing university research reactor infrastructure.
Advanced Nuclear Research Infrastructure Enhancement Subprogram [DOE] (Sec. 10744)
- Authorizes $390 million through FY2027 to establish a new university infrastructure subprogram that will further the development of advanced nuclear technologies.
- Establishes no more than four new research reactors and new nuclear science and engineering facilities.
Climate, Environmental, and Biological Science
Greenhouse Gas Measurement Research [NIST] (Sec. 10222)
- Expands NIST’s greenhouse gas measurement program.
- Supports testbeds and establishes a Center for Greenhouse Gas Measurements, Standards, and Information.
Climate Change Research [NSF] (Sec. 10345)
- Supports research to improve understanding and predictability of the climate system and related human and environmental systems.
Biological and Environmental Research [DOE] [NOAA] (Sec. 10103)
- Authorizes a new R&D program that focuses on biological and climate systems relevant to new energy technologies.
- Authorizes $100 million for FY2026 and FY2027 for the Low-Dose Radiation Research Program.
- Authorizes $4 billion through FY2027 for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to carry out earth and environmental science research.
- Authorizes up to six bioenergy research centers to conduct research in plant and microbial systems biology to accelerate R&D for biofuels, bioenergy, and biobased materials.
Ocean Acidification Interagency Working Group (Sec. 10644)
- Expands existing interagency working group focused on ocean acidification to other agencies and adds coastal acidification to the subjects covered.
- Establishes an advisory board to provide recommendations to the working group that is comprised of representatives from industries impacted by ocean and coastal acidification, academia, NGOs, state and local governments, regional ocean acidification networks, and others, and includes Tribal government engagement and coordination.
- Allows interagency working group agencies to carry out prize competitions that support innovation to advance research on, and response to, ocean and coastal acidification.
Ocean Acidification Activities [NOAA] (Sec. 10646)
- Designates NOAA as the lead federal agency responsible for coordinating the response to ocean and coastal acidification.
Ocean Acidification Authorizations [NOAA] [NSF] (Sec. 10649)
- Authorizes $120.5 million through FY2027 for NOAA ocean acidification activities.
- Authorizes $20 billion through FY2027 for NSF ocean acidification activities.
Public-Private Partnerships, Entrepreneurship, and Commercialization
Foundation for Energy Security and Innovation [DOE] (Sec. 10691)
- Authorizes $40.5 million through FY2027 to establish a Foundation for Energy Security and Innovation (FESI), a nonprofit foundation that would work with the private sector to support the creation, development, and commercialization of innovative technologies that address tomorrow’s science and energy challenges.
- Authorizes FESI to support workforce development initiatives associated with technology development.
Office of Technology Transitions [DOE] (Sec. 10722)
- Authorizes $100 million through FY2027 for the Office of Technology Transitions.
- Authorizes OTT to appoint personnel using special hiring authority.
National Clean Energy Incubator Program [DOE] (Sec. 10713)
- Authorizes $75 million through FY2027 to establish a program to support incubators and accelerators across the U.S. that accelerate the commercialization of energy technologies.
- Awards are limited to $4 million per state for one or more incubators, for a period of no longer than 5 years, with the option for a renewal of not more than 3 years.
Lab-embedded Entrepreneurship Program [DOE] (Sec. 10717)
- Authorizes $125 million through FY2027 to establish a program that provides entrepreneurial fellows with access to national laboratory research facilities, expertise, and mentorship to assist with the commercial application of research ideas.
Small Business Voucher Program [DOE] (Sec. 10718)
- Authorizes $125 million through FY2027 to establish a program that provides grants for small businesses to access expertise and facilities at DOE national labs to support technology development.
Entrepreneurial Leave Program [DOE] (Sec. 10719)
- Establishes a program for national laboratory employees to take a leave of absence up to 3 years to advance the commercial application of energy and related technologies.
Clean Energy Technology Transfer Coordination [DOE] (Sec. 10715)
- Authorizes $15 million through FY2027 to increase DOE coordination of technology transfer programs, including information sharing, connecting entrepreneurs with other DOE programs, and developing metrics to measure the impact of clean energy technology transfer programs.
Lab Partnering Service Pilot Program [DOE] (Sec. 10716)
- Authorizes $11.1 million through FY2025 for the lab partnering service pilot program, which builds partnerships between investors and other parties and DOE national laboratory technical experts to gain access to DOE facilities, expertise, and intellectual property.
Clean Energy Technology University Prize Competition [DOE] (Sec. 10714)
- Authorizes $5 million through FY2027 for a prize competition for university students to develop a business model for furthering the commercial application of an innovative clean energy technology.
- Encourages student interest in clean energy technology development in diverse regions of the United States.
- Prioritizes funding entities that work with students at minority serving institutions.
Streamlining Prize Competitions [DOE] (Sec. 10724)
- Adds a requirement for the DOE to report annually on prize competitions carried out, including the total amount of prizes awarded, any private sector contributions and methods used for solicitation and evaluation.
Directorate for Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships [NSF] (Sec. 10381-10399A)
- Establishes a new directorate within the National Science Foundation to accelerate commercialization of critical technologies in the United States such as energy, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and advanced manufacturing.
- Supports NSF Regional Innovation Engines which support use-inspired R&D in key focus areas.
- Supports the NSF Translation Accelerators to drive R&D and commercialization.
- Supports the establishment of Collaborate Innovation Resource Centers to promote regional technology transfer.
Management of Demonstration Projects [DOE] (Sec. 10723)
- Increases coordination between the Office of Clean Energy Demonstration with the Office of Technology Transitions and the Loan Programs Office, helping early-stage innovative energy projects smoothly transition between programs.
- Provides OCED with authority to solicit, select, and manage projects directly through the program.
Cost-Share Waiver Extension [DOE] (Sec. 10725)
- Extends the cost-share waiver pilot program for non-profit institutions and universities by 2 years.
Innovation in Key Science and Technology Areas
Mission of the Office of Science [DOE] (Sec. 10101)
- Updates the Mission of the Office of Science to include the construction, operation, and maintenance of facilities to support the office.
- Promotes coordination between the Office of Science and other offices within DOE or other federal agencies for the purpose of developing innovative technologies.
Micro Act: Microelectronics Research for Energy Innovation [DOE] (Sec. 10731)
- Authorizes $475 million through FY2027 to establish a new program on the research, development, demonstration, and commercial application of microelectronics for energy technologies and to increase U.S. competitiveness in the field.
- Authorizes $125 million through FY2027 to establish four Microelectronics Science Research Centers to research foundational challenges in the design, development, and fabrication of microelectronics.
- Authorizes workforce development and educational outreach efforts to accompany research activities.
High Energy Physics Program [DOE] (Sec. 10106)
- Authorizes $6.9 billion through FY2027 for a research program in elementary particle physics and advanced technology R&D to improve the understanding of the fundamental properties of the universe, including constituents of matter and energy and the nature of space and time.
- Invests in and increases U.S. participation in international efforts related to the Large Hadron Collider, the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility/Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment, and future experiments.
Isotope Research, Development, and Production [DOE] (Sec. 10110)
- Authorizes $934 million through FY2027 to establish a program to produce isotopes needed for research and invests in the infrastructure and research needed for new isotope production methods. Also authorizes activities and a committee focused on reducing dependence on foreign isotope sourcing.
- Evaluates the technical and economic feasibility of isotope production in existing commercial nuclear power plants.
- Authorizes $337 million through FY2027 for the construction of a radioisotope processing facility.
- Authorizes $199 million through FY2027 to establish a stable isotope production and research center.
Nuclear Physics Program [DOE] (Sec. 10107)
- Authorizes $1 billion through FY2027 for the construction of the Electron-Ion Collider.
- Authorizes $5.3 billion through FY2027 for the Nuclear Physics Program.
Neutron Scattering [NIST] (Sec. 10231)
- Requires the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to develop a strategic plan for the Center of Neutron Research in coordination with the DOE.
Sustainable Chemistry Research and Education [NIST] (Sec. 10233)
- Requires NIST to conduct activities in support of sustainable chemistry.
Engineering Biology and Biometrology [NIST] (Sec. 10221)
- Expands NIST’s engineering biology, biomanufacturing, and biometrology development of tools to measure molecular components of the cell and engineered systems.
Bioeconomy Research and Development [OSTP] (Sec. 10401-10407)
- Establishes a cross-agency National Engineering Biology Research and Development Initiative to advance bioengineering research and study ethical, environmental, legal, and societal implications.
AI and Advanced Computing
Advanced Scientific Computing Research Program [DOE] (Sec. 10104)
- Authorizes $6.3 billion through FY2027 for a new program for R&D into advanced computing systems, including for energy efficiency purposes, and invests in upgrading the program’s computing and network infrastructure.
- Authorizes $500 million through FY2027 for R&D to support quantum network infrastructure.
- Authorizes $166 million through FY2027 to establish the Quantum User Expansion for Science and Technology program (QUEST) to increase access to US quantum computing hardware.
Artificial Intelligence [NIST] (Sec. 10232)
- Provides support for NIST’s role in the development of safe and trustworthy artificial intelligence and data science, including the establishment of testbeds.
Study of AI Research Capacity [NSF] (Sec. 10360)
- Directs NSF to produce a study on AI research capacity at U.S. universities.
Advanced Computing [NSF] (Sec. 10374)
- Authorizes $38 million through FY2025 for NSF to publish reports on the computational needs of NSF funded projects, produce an advanced computing roadmap, and support a secure computing enclave pilot program.
Quantum Networking and Communications [NSF] (Sec. 10661)
- Requires the Subcommittee on Quantum Information Science of the National Science and Technology Council to create a report and Federal strategy for quantum networking and communications research.
- Directs NSF to conduct research to support quantum networking and communications technologies.
- Directs NSF to conduct quantum information science education and workforce development, including a quantum education pilot program.
- Requires an NSF study on educational challenges associated with creating a quantum workforce.
National Science and Technology Strategy [OSTP] (Sec. 10611-10613)
- Directs the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to develop and periodically revise a 4-year comprehensive national science and technology strategy, primarily focused on economic security and science and technology enterprise.
Manufacturing Research Amendment [NSF] (Sec. 10358)
- Updates the list of technology areas eligible for funding through NSF’s advanced manufacturing research program to include additive and continuous manufacturing.
Manufacturing Extension Partnership
Establishment of Expansion Awards Pilot Program as a Part of the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership [NIST] (Sec. 10251)
- Establishes a pilot program of expansion awards for Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) which includes:
- Services for workforce development.
- Resiliency of domestic supply chains.
- Support for adopting advanced technology upgrades at small and medium manufacturers.
- Awards can be used to connect manufacturers with services provided by their community.
- Awards can also be used to establish demonstration laboratories to support new technologies that can be adopted by small- and medium-sized manufacturers.
Update to Manufacturing Extension Partnership [NIST] (Sec. 10252)
- Requires MEP to increase outreach to underrepresented communities.
- Allows NIST to accept funding from other Federal agencies for competitive MEP grants.
- Ensures that MEP centers are focused on supporting American manufacturing.
National Supply Chain Database [NIST] (Sec. 10253)
- Establishes a national supply chain database under MEP, integrating state-level databases, to assist industries and the federal government in minimizing disruptions to U.S. supply chains.
Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership Activities [NIST] (Sec. 10254)
- Businesses that participate in MEP can opt-in to automatic enrollment in GSA Advantage.
Supporting Geographic Diversity of Manufacturing [NIST] (Sec. 10261)
- Requires agency heads, when establishing a Manufacturing USA program, to consider geographic diversity including areas with:
- Low per capita income.
- High proportion of socially disadvantaged residents.
- Located in small rural communities.
Expanding Opportunities through the Manufacturing USA Program [NIST] (Sec. 10262)
- Directs federal agencies to increase participation of institutions serving minorities, minority businesses, and institutions serving rural locations in the Manufacturing USA institutes.
Promoting Domestic Production of Technologies Developed under Manufacturing USA Program [NIST] (Sec. 10263)
- Requires agency heads to establish policies that promote domestic production of technologies developed by Manufacturing USA institutes.
National Lab Infrastructure and Federal Workforce
Science Laboratories Infrastructure Program [DOE] (Sec. 10108)
- Authorizes $2.75 billion through FY2027 to invest in science laboratory infrastructure needs using all available approaches and funding mechanisms.
Applied Laboratories Infrastructure Restoration and Modernization [DOE] (Sec. 10761)
- Authorizes $4 billion through FY2027 for deferred maintenance, critical infrastructure needs, and modernization activities across National Laboratories.
Hiring Critical Technical Experts [NIST] (Sec. 10244)
- Provides NIST with authority to hire no more than 15 technical experts to enable the agency to better acquire talent in critical technology areas.
Special Hiring Authority for Scientific, Engineering, And Project Management Personnel [DOE] (Sec. 10726)
- Authorizes the Under Secretary for Science to make appointments for scientific, engineering, and professional personnel for a term of not more than 3 years.
Broadening Participation in STEM
Increased Collaboration with Teachers and Scientists [DOE] (Sec. 10111)
- Authorizes $200 million through FY2027 for the Office of Science to establish a program that fosters collaboration between elementary and secondary school teachers and students and faculty at universities and National Laboratories.
Educational Outreach and Support for Underrepresented Communities [NIST] (Sec. 10241)
- Expands NIST’s educational activities and outreach focused on underrepresented communities.
Broadening Participation in Science [OSTP] [NSF] (Sec. 10501-10510)
- Develops and disseminates guidance to universities and federal laboratories on practices to identify barriers limiting recruitment, retention, or advancement of women and underrepresented minorities in STEM research careers.
- Increases support for STEM education in rural schools and improve participation of rural students.
- Supports administrative capacity building activities to increase the capacity of minority serving institutions to compete for and manage foundation research and development awards.
- Requires NSF to award grants through the Tribal Colleges and Universities Program to increase participation in computer science and computational thinking education programs.
STEM Education [NSF] (Sec. 10311-10321)
- Includes provisions to study and improve STEM education implementation all the way from pre-K-12 to graduate university programs.
- Seeks to improve alignment between STEM education and workforce needs while also improving the path from education to the workforce through scholarships, fellowships, traineeships, and postdoctoral awards, and authority for federal research agencies to hire recipients of such awards.
- Increases focus on microelectronics education and workforce development.
- Includes provisions to increase the collection and quality of STEM workforce data.
Broadening Participation [NSF] (Sec. 10321-10330)
- Includes provisions that seek to increase the participation of women and underrepresented minorities in STEM fields.
- Increases STEM scholarship program outreach to Black universities, minority institutions, universities that serve veterans and rural communities, and labor organizations.
- Supports programs that build STEM education and workforce development capacity in rural communities.
- Establishes a Chief Diversity Officer at NSF charged with providing guidance and leading NSF strategic planning to broaden diverse participation in NSF-funded activities.
- Authorizes pilot programs to increase the number and diversity of institutions able to compete for NSF research and development awards.
Department Of Energy Research, Development, and Demonstration Activities [DOE] (Sec. 10771)
- Authorizes $11.2 billion through FY2026 for research, development, and demonstration aligned with the 10 technology areas in DOE’s applied energy offices. Technologies include advanced manufacturing, industrial emissions reduction technology, grid modernization, advanced nuclear materials, artificial intelligence, and alternative fuels.
- Of the $11.2 billion, $1 billion is authorized for carbon removal research, development, and demonstration activities.
- Authorizes $1 billion for DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E).
NIST Authorization [NIST] (Sec. 10211)
- Authorizes $9.68 billion through FY2027 for NIST.
- Authorization includes $2.23 billion for the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership and $829 million for the Manufacturing USA program.
NSF Authorization [NSF] (Sec. 10303)
- Authorizes $81 billion for the National Science Foundation over five years, including for key activities such as research and related activities, STEM education, and major research equipment.
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