(The Center Square) – With chip and semiconductor shortages expected to last year-round, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Florida was continuing to invest in local technology initiatives to strengthen the economy and grow the economy. employment and possibly compensate for future production delays.
Osceola County and Valencia College have received nearly $ 10 million in funding through the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund to support semiconductor manufacturing and other advanced technologies in the county.
The award includes $ 6 million to help develop infrastructure connecting the county’s new NeoCity tech district to its workforce, and $ 3.7 million to Valencia College to develop a new program that will train students to the use of robotic technology for semiconductor manufacturing. Both awards are designed to help create jobs in the manufacturing sector and develop a talent pool to support the industry’s growth.
NeoCity, a growing global epicenter for smart sensors, photonics and optics, has ready-made synergies with the University of Central Florida (the nation’s largest producer of aerospace engineers) and four other universities, as well as the large concentration of partners and entrepreneurs from the Ministry of Defense, according to its website. It is poised to serve as a catalyst for innovation and the creation of high technology, including jobs and capital investments, and is already generating market momentum and poles for research, development and commercialization in the markets. locally planned communities.
“Expanding domestic manufacturing capacity is important to Florida and our country,” Governor DeSantis said. “The strategic investments we are making today will help bring microchip and semiconductor manufacturing back to our state at a time when supply chains are more fragile than ever. Certainly, we cannot allow this important industry to become captive of the Chinese Communist Party. “
Osceola County has already received $ 5.8 million through the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund for the construction of main gateways to the north and a main artery for NeoCity. The $ 6 million is in addition to the initial investment with planned improvements to the southern gateway, called NeoVation Way. The expansion includes the construction of a 3,160 linear foot two-lane carriageway with a walkway design feature, on-street parking, multi-use path, sidewalks, landscaping and lighting.
The $ 3.7 million funding for Valencia College will address workforce development needs related to the integration of robotic technology into the manufacturing and distribution sectors through the accelerated training in robotic technology. The workforce program includes a specialized semiconductor track designed to prepare future robotics technicians for the semiconductor industry and an advanced robotics learning factory involving partnerships between the centre’s companies. from Florida and college.
“Strategic investments in emerging industrial sectors, like what’s happening at NeoCity, and critical industries, such as chip and semiconductor manufacturing, will continue to enhance Florida’s future economic growth,” said Dane Eagle, secretary of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.
Any type of computerized technology depends on semiconductors to function. Currently, a global semiconductor shortage is caused by a combination of supply and demand factors.
During state shutdowns last year, more people bought computers, smartphones and electronics, leading to increased demand for buildable chips for the tech industry. As the demand for crisps increased, the supply declined, as it normally would, but was also affected by weather conditions beyond the control of the industry.
A major chip supplier in Japan had a fire, shutting down chip production. Texas-based Intel ran into issues with the mid-February freeze and months later restructured operations after announcing delays in its 7nm processors, ZDNet reported. And Tawain, one of the world’s largest flea producers, experienced a drought that impacted flea production, which requires a lot of water.
Last fall, global consulting firm AlixPartners warned of major disruption in the auto industry due to continued semiconductor shortages. The chip shortage was “just one of a host of extraordinary disruptions facing the industry, ranging from resin and steel shortages to labor shortages,” said Mark Wakefield, co- world leader in automotive and industrial practice at AlixPartners.
However, some companies have already started to consider investing in US manufacturing, understanding the need to shift away from overseas production. In November, Texas Instruments Incorporated announced it was investing $ 30 billion to build 300mm semiconductor wafer manufacturing plants in Sherman, Texas.
“In addition to bringing billions of dollars in capital investment and thousands of new jobs to North Texas,” Texas Instrument’s landmark investment “will keep Texas a national leader in all semiconductor manufacturing. by strengthening the national semiconductor supply chain, ”said Texas Governor Greg Abbott. noted.