Last week’s visit to Purdue University by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo was a fact-finding mission of sorts as part of a massive effort to rebuild the nation’s semiconductor industry. But Purdue President Mitch Daniels believes the visit was much more than a photo opportunity.
“I think you can read a lot into it,” said Daniels, who added the secretaries came away impressed with what they saw. “They used terms like blown away as they came away from the tour and meeting our researchers and students.”
Daniels talked about the high-level visit and the potential for the state on this weekend’s edition of Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick.
Blinken and Raimondo were joined by Gov. Eric Holcomb and Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) on the visit, which provided an opportunity for Purdue and the state to make their case for becoming a center for semiconductor research and manufacturing.
The CHIPS and Science Act, which was signed into law by President Biden in August, includes more than $52 billion in grants, loans and guarantees aimed at jump starting the nation’s semiconductor industry.
It also calls for the creation of approximately 20 regional technology and innovation hubs and Daniels is confident that Indiana has a unique opportunity to be part of that network.
“People describe semiconductors as the oil of the next economy, or the one that we have entered,” said Daniels, who calls the sector an “enormous” opportunity.”
“If we can be, as the secretaries believe, and as I have believed, a home for much of that, this will be a whole new era for jobs and economic hope for our state.”
Purdue is already attracting sizeable semiconductor interest and investment.
In June, Taiwan-based chip maker MediaTek detailed plans to establish a chip design center at the Convergence Center for Innovation and Collaboration in Purdue’s Discovery Park District, the chip giant’s first collaboration with a U.S. university.
Less than a month later, Minnesota-based SkyWater Technology (Nasdaq: SKYT) said it would invest $1.8 billion to build a semiconductor R&D and production facility at Purdue and create more than 750 jobs.
Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story referred to Antony Blinken as U.S. Secretary of Commerce.