PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Two national tech hubs are coming to Oregon as part of an effort to bolster the United States as a global leader in technology, lawmakers announced Monday.
The hubs, both led by Oregon State University, will focus on the semiconductor industry along with affordable and sustainable housing.
The Corvallis Microfluidics Tech Hub aims to become a global leader in microfluidics development for semiconductor tech and electronic cooling, officials announced.
Additionally, the Pacific Northwest Mass Timber Tech Hub will focus on mass timber design and manufacturing to lower the construction industry’s carbon footprint and boost affordable housing.
In addition to the tech hubs, officials announced that Portland State University will receive a federal grant for smart battery energy storage systems under the Pacific Northwest Smart Energy Strategy Development Consortium. The program aims to advance “front of the meter” energy storage to integrate renewable energy into the utility grid.
In a statement, Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley said the hubs will generate new jobs and help the economy.
“Strengthening manufacturing in Oregon is a win-win. If we don’t make things in America, we won’t have a middle class in America,” said Merkley. “These hubs coming to Oregon will generate jobs, help support our state’s leadership in semiconductor manufacturing and national security, renewable energy, and ensure Oregon’s Mass Timber economy remains sustainable and can continue to innovate and thrive.”
Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden added that the hubs will lead to “cutting-edge research” in the state, noting, “I’m gratified this landmark legislation that I worked to pass continues to generate such positive benefits for mass timber, semiconductor technology and green energy.”
The tech hubs are part of a plan for 31 hubs scattered across the U.S. to boost tech development over 10 years, according to the U.S. Economic Development Administration. Officials noted the hubs will have a chance to compete for $500,000 in implementation funding.
Oregon Rep. Suzanne Bonamici noted that hubs will be key to addressing the climate crisis by creating sustainable technology and enhancing resilience of the electric grid.
“Addressing the climate crisis must include making our built environment more sustainable. Having this tech hub in the Pacific NW will benefit the region and the country as we work to build more affordable, climate-smart structures. Innovative renewable energy storage will also be key to addressing the climate crisis, enhancing the resilience of our electric grid, and building a more sustainable future,” Bonamici said.
The hubs were created with help from the U.S. Economic Development Administration and the tech hubs program under the 2022 CHIPS and Science Act.