ship with SECME, and a minority pre-college success program that provides professional development for teachers.17

Other SIA Initiatives

The SIA also sponsors a program for technicians with the Maricopa Advanced Technology Education Center (MATEC) to support community college programs for developing fab employees, including undergraduate program assistantships and a program for foundry employees who want to learn design. The SRC has provided support through contract research for master’s and Ph.D. students since its founding in 1982.

He described the industry’s environmental health and safety emphasis, which has earned it a number-two ranking out of 208 manufacturing industries, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number-one industry, which assembles communications equipment, does not work with the chemicals and gases that are part of the semiconductor industry. The objective of the semiconductor industry is to move to the number-one ranking, and, more broadly, for all companies once a year to share best practices and to achieve the same worker health standards worldwide.

A POSITIVE OUTLOOK

He closed by stating that the outlook for the industry remains positive. “In our view, it continues to be as strong today as it was 10 to 15 years ago.”

In response to a question about funding, he added that the SRC has minimal government involvement—by design. The industry, he said, felt that it needs to provide the funding for the SRC because the research is mainly precompetitive. It has also been internationalized because investments benefit companies around the world. The SRC would like more industrial support, not more federal support; federal funds, it feels, should be devoted to basic research.18 He also said that funding for the Focus Centers is shared among the SIA (50 percent), the equipment companies (25 percent), and DARPA (25 percent) for the support largely of crosscutting technologies, such as metrology. One option is to include other industries in this support, since the research is often broadly based.

17  

The SECME (Science, Engineering, Communications, Mathematics Enrichment) program seeks to help historically under-represented and under-served students embark upon and complete post-secondary studies in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology.

18  

The SIA has recently assisted the SRC in establishing a partnership with the NSF to expand university-based ITRS research. Pointing out that financial leverage on an individual company’s research investment in the SRC is important, the SRC is now seeking both U.S. and non-U.S. companies to become members and share the responsibility to increase investment in precompetitive, university-based research. Also, because the gap of what needs to be funded vs. what is being funded is ever increasing, the SRC would like government agencies to fund research in partnership with it in order to exploit the SRC’s infrastructure, core competencies, and interfaces with industry. According to the SRC, this not only helps to close the funding gap but also provides leverage to both the government and SRC members.



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