In April, Kotek signed SB4 to expand funding for semiconductor firms in Oregon.
Applications are now online for semiconductor firms that want to apply for a portion of the $190 million in funding through Senate Bill 4. The program will support businesses seeking financial assistance under the federal Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors for America (CHIPS) Act passed last year 2022.
Semiconductor manufacturing is the state’s largest manufacturing sector by employment, exports and contribution to Oregon’s GDP. The available money is intended to support Oregon firms in their expansion around the state.
Applications will be accepted beginning on June 19, with an initial review of applications starting on June 28. The first round of funding will close on July 28 and additional rounds will be dependent on what dollars remain.
Business Oregon and the Governor’s office are partnering to administer and distribute the funds as envisioned in SB 4.
Oregon Business spoke via email with Business Oregon’s Global Trade and Business Manager, Colin Sears.
Approximately how many businesses do you anticipate distributing the money to?
We don’t have an estimated number of businesses. We do know this is an important opportunity for businesses interested in applying for the federal CHIPS program and expect the program to be popular.
Is there a cap on how much funding one business can receive?
There isn’t a cap. The overall program is limited to $190M in funding.
How does the bill’s investment in research and development give Oregon a brighter outlook?
The semiconductor industry in Oregon is already robust. We hope this investment continues to assist companies engaging in research and development to ensure Oregon companies remain a leader in this space.
What kind of workforce development opportunities do you foresee coming to the state because of these funds?
Recruiting, retaining, and advancing a diverse workforce pipeline is critical. We hope that these funds will leverage opportunities and partnerships to ensure jobs in this industry are available to all Oregonians, including those from traditionally underrepresented communities.
Has the state developed any other new incentives to encourage the semiconductor industry to stay here and to expand?
The state and local partners have a number of existing programs that have been utilized by industry. These programs have proven to be effective in retention and expansion of industry partners here in Oregon.
The Oregon Legislature is currently considering an R & D tax credit that would have significant benefits for Oregon semiconductor businesses engaged in research and development.
What other important information should we know about the Oregon CHIPS Fund?
The Oregon CHIPS Fund is a tremendous investment in our existing Oregon businesses. We hope this investment will leverage additional funding, particularly funds available from federal programs, to elevate Oregon in the semiconductor space and position our local companies and Oregon as a global leader.
To learn more about this funding opportunity and the CHIPS Act, visit www.oregon.gov/biz/.