July 27, 2022

Hirono Votes to Pass Landmark Chips and Science Act to Invest in American Innovation and Strengthen Domestic Supply Chains

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) voted to pass landmark legislation to invest in American innovation and strengthen domestic supply chains. The bipartisan Chips and Science Act includes historic investment in scientific research and development, funding to support Hawaii’s transition to renewable energy, and tens of billions in federal funding for the domestic manufacturing of semiconductors, which are used in everything from cars to cell phones. The bill also includes Senator Hirono’s STEM Opportunities Act, which provides funding for guidance, research, data collection, and other activities to promote opportunities for women and minorities in STEM at colleges and universities and federal science agencies.

The Chips and Science Act passed the Senate by a vote of 64-33, and now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.

“Building strong and resilient supply chains is critical to ensuring the U.S. remains competitive in the 21st century,” said Senator Hirono. “The Chips and Science Act delivers the robust funding needed to strengthen our supply chains while also providing historic investment in our nation’s research and development infrastructure to help ensure the United States remains the global leader in innovation. I’m especially glad that this bill includes several provisions to diversify our innovation ecosystem by building pathways for women, people of color, and other marginalized communities to pursue careers in science and research, including my STEM Opportunities Act. These provisions will help ensure that we are benefiting from the insights, innovation, and creativity of all Americans as we work to develop innovative solutions to the challenges of tomorrow.”

Among the bill’s many provisions, the Chips and Science Act:

  1. Authorizes programs at the Department of Energy National Laboratories to accelerate the commercial application of clean energy technologies with business education for clean energy startups, prizes for university students, and enhanced technology transfer programs;
  2. Authorizes $200 million over five years for increased collaboration on scientific research between Department of Energy National Laboratories and teachers from elementary schools through universities;
  3. Authorizes $11.2 billion over four years for Department of Energy research, development, and demonstration of technologies to support the clean energy transition in Hawaii and elsewhere, including renewable power, sustainable transportation, electric grid modernization, and building energy efficiency technologies;
  4. Authorizes $250 million over five years for research on energy storage technologies that will help Hawaii accelerate its transition to renewable power and electric vehicles;
  5. Create set-asides under the Department of Energy’s Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) program for states like Hawaii, which receive disproportionately lower percentages of National Science Foundation and Department of Energy research dollars; and
  6. Provides a substantial increase for the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Hollings MEP), which provides funding for programs that support small- and medium-sized manufacturers and other companies in Hawaii and elsewhere.

A section-by-section summary of the legislation is available here.

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