Ohio State joins 11 Midwest institutions to launch a semiconductor-focused network

The Ohio State University will partner with colleges and universities in Ohio, Michigan and Indiana to form the Midwest Regional Network to Address National Needs in Semiconductor and Microelectronics.

The network will collaboratively develop innovative solutions in higher education to best support the onshoring of the advanced semiconductor and microelectronics industry and address the industries’ research and workforce needs.

“Global disruptions that sparked significant shortages underscored the need for substantial investment and growth in the domestic semiconductor industry so the US can remain competitive,” said Ohio State President Kristina M. Johnson. “This powerhouse network of research and academic excellence will fuel transformative scientific exploration and economic development while also preparing the workforce of the future. Through this collective approach we will maximize the potential of our individual institutions and make our Silicon Heartland vision a reality.”

Joining Ohio State in the new network are:

  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Michigan State University
  • Purdue University
  • University of Cincinnati
  • University of Dayton
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Notre Dame
  • Wright State University
  • Columbus State Community College
  • Lorain County Community College
  • Sinclair Community College

Each institution’s president recently signed a memorandum of understanding to form this network, which is intended to be open and is expected to grow beyond these initial institutions.

The network was formed following a two-day workshop in April hosted by Ohio State. It is a recognition of the recent decision by Intel Corporation to build new, leading-edge chip factories in Ohio and to address the broader, national efforts to promote US leadership in semiconductors and microelectronics.

“This multibillion-dollar investment in the Midwest presents an incredible opportunity for our partner colleges and universities,” said Grace Wang, Ohio State’s executive vice president for research, innovation and knowledge. “We face global competition for talent to stay at the leading edge for research and development. Only through collaboration can we truly realize the promise this opportunity affords us.”

Partner institutions will leverage existing research, curricular and experiential learning assets, capabilities and expertise within the region and grow the collective capacity to support the domestic growth of robust semiconductor and microelectronics innovation and supply chain ecosystems.

Initial activities for the network include:

  • Develop a common, secure, information-sharing platform to make it easier to identify expertise, equipment, facilities and curricular programs of interest to facilitate joint programming, research, and/or outreach initiatives across the network.
  • Encourage regional collaborations and promote workshops around opportunities to pursue funding that will grow regional capacity to support identified needs across the semiconductor and microelectronics ecosystems.
  • Develop pilot mechanisms to connect existing research, facilities and curricular/training assets across the region to optimize their use to address regional needs and opportunities.

Dorota Grejner-Brzezinska, Ohio State’s vice president for the Office of Knowledge Enterprise, will lead a steering committee with representation from all 12 schools to coordinate the network’s next steps.

“Engaging this broad academic network has great potential to address the research and education needs of this burgeoning industry and shape the future economic prosperity of our region for generations to come,” said Grejner-Brzezinska.

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