Lehigh Valley Moves Closer to Becoming a Tech Hub Under the CHIPS Act

Congresswoman Susan Wild with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Gov. Josh Shapiro at the Lehigh Valley Airport on July 28, 2023. (Photo: Sean Kitchen)

By Sean Kitchen

August 18, 2023

“We were the first Silicon Valley and still have many of the country’s leading technology firms – and some great new ones – thriving here,” said Don Cunningham, president of the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation.

The Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) filed an application on Tuesday to bring a Regional Technology and Innovation Hub, or Tech Hub, to the region.

The Tech Hubs Program is an economic development initiative created to spur innovation and technological growth in select regions of the country. The program, which was created under last year’s CHIPS and Science Act, provides funding for the development and manufacturing of technologies deemed important to economic and national security, like data storage, robotics, and biotechnology.

The CHIPS and Science Act includes $10 billion in funding for the creation of over 20 Tech Hubs across the country.

The LVEDC hopes the Lehigh Valley will become one of those 20.

The application has the support of Congresswoman Susan Wild (D-Lehigh), who originally introduced the Regional Innovation Act in 2021, the measure in the CHIPS and Science Act that provides funding for the Tech Hubs.

I’m very proud to be working with partners from across our community to advance this Tech Hub application, because I believe there’s no better place for a Tech Hub than the Greater Lehigh Valley,” Wild said in a statement.

The Lehigh Valley’s geography could play an important role in possibly bringing a Tech Hub to the region. The area is located between Philadelphia and New York City and sits along major trucking and transportation routes on the East Coast.

The region has a history of producing and manufacturing semiconductors following the invention of the transistor in 1951, and still has an active technology industry.

“The history of the Lehigh Valley is very rich but one aspect that few realize is the role this region has played in the birth and development of the technology and semiconductor industry,” said Don Cunningham, President and CEO of LVEDC. “We were the first Silicon Valley and still have many of the country’s leading technology firms – and some great new ones – thriving here.”

The application process to establish a Tech Hub must be completed by a consortium, which in this case is the LVEDC, and that consortium involves leaders in the technology industry, elected and government offices from the state, local and federal levels, local unions, and workforce development organizations. In total, 31 letters supporting the formation of a Tech Hub in the Lehigh Valley were submitted to the government.

“When I introduced the bipartisan Regional Innovation Act in 2021 to promote and support American technological research and innovation in places like the Greater Lehigh Valley, I envisioned incentivizing collaborative partnerships between local governments, colleges and universities, private industry, non-profits, and community organizations,” Wild wrote in her letter of support.

 

Author

  • Sean Kitchen

    Sean Kitchen is the Keystone’s political correspondent, based in Harrisburg. Sean is originally from Philadelphia and spent five years working as a writer and researcher for Pennsylvania Spotlight.

CATEGORIES: Uncategorized

Politics

Local News

Related Stories
Share This