IPC, the global association of electronics manufacturers, is calling on the U.S. electronics manufacturing community to contact members of Congress about a bill that would boost investment in federal research and development (R&D) in 10 high-tech fields. We hope your media organization will help us publicize this effort.

Background: The U.S. Innovation and Competitiveness Act (USICA), which includes the Endless Frontier Act (EFA), seeks to bolster U.S. leadership and global competitiveness by boosting federal R&D investment in technologies including artificial intelligence; high-performance computing and semiconductors; robotics and automation; biotech; and advanced energy. This Senate-passed bill is now being reconciled with two House-passed bills: the National Science Foundation for the Future Act and the Department of Energy Science for the Future Act.

By promoting R&D into cutting-edge technologies that depend on electronics manufacturing, the bills ostensibly promise a wealth of opportunities for electronics manufacturers, whose thin margins make investment in R&D difficult.

However, the legislation does not include a single reference to “electronics” or “electronics manufacturing!” By not prioritizing electronics manufacturing, the bill risks perpetuating the reality that the United States is increasingly a leader in designing technologies it can’t build.

IPC is asking Congress to make two modest changes in the bill, which would strengthen the U.S. electronics manufacturing sector and the wider economy:

  • Add language specifically listing electronics manufacturing alongside semiconductors as a “key technology focus area.”
  • Expand the National Advanced Packaging Manufacturing Program to include electronic interconnection.

Call to Action: To bring some grassroots firepower to the effort, IPC is providing an online platform that makes it easy for electronics industry members to contact their members of Congress on the issue. Anyone can participate by visiting IPC.org; clicking on “Advocacy” and then “Action Center.” It only takes a few minutes but can make a big difference for our advocacy effort.

Quote: For far too long, the United States has been a leader in designing technologies it can’t build. IPC supports this legislation, but we believe that the bill as written misses an opportunity to make the United States more globally competitive in the critically important electronics sector,” said IPC president and CEO John Mitchell.

“Advancements in semiconductor technology have always been intricately linked to advancements in electronics manufacturing, such as printed circuit board (PCB) fabrication and assembly; and the interdependence is growing with current trends in microelectronics. This legislation will set the framework for federal R&D for the coming decade, and we must get it right.”

More resources available: IPC can offer interviews and additional background on this legislation and on electronics supply chain resiliency generally. Further information on the campaign is also available in a new IPC blog.