The State Department has unveiled details of its plans to use $100 million of funding provided under the 2022 CHIPS Act to improve semiconductor supply chain security and international information and communications technology security.
The law provides the agency with $100 million of funding per year for those purposes for the five-year period beginning in fiscal year 2023.
To improve ICT security, the State Department is budgeting $40.7 million in FY2023 toward the following aims:
- Providing capacity-building training and technical advisory support to raise risk awareness and support adoption of “policy and regulatory frameworks that ensure trust and security are central decision-making factors across the ICT ecosystem.” Efforts under that umbrella will include promotion of telecom supplier diversity, development and adoption of “open and interoperable network architectures,” and creating new relationships between overseas ICT leaders and U.S. universities, research institutions, and businesses;
- Working with the U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. Trade and Development Agency, and the Export-Import Bank to “provide financing, project preparation support, and other investment de-risking support to catalyze private sector investments in secure ICT networks”;
- Promoting pilot deployments of Open RAN networks to help demonstrate commercial viability; and
- Engaging with industry partners to “provide cybersecurity tools and services to better manage cybersecurity threats.”
In a fact sheet released on March 14, the State Department said that its “strategic framework” developed with other Federal agencies features several efforts for this year’s funding on the semiconductor front, including:
- Securing critical mineral supplies by working with several nations on new mining, refining, and recycling capacity to support global chip production;
- Partnering with the Commerce Department to work with other countries on policy coordination for industry incentives, and to avoid supply chain disruptions;
- Working to expand international semiconductor assembly, testing, and packaging capabilities; and
- Working on national security-related risks involved with advanced semiconductors.
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