Announcing Our Agreement With the Midwest Microelectronics Consortium

Portrait of Dean Graham standing in front of a plain grey background

In a world that increasingly relies on microelectronics and computing, the presence of semiconductor technology is ubiquitous in our everyday lives. Our dependence on microelectronics has made this technology a central factor in both the health of our economy and the strength of our national defense. It is therefore critical that the supply chain providing access to semiconductor technology is robust and secure.  

For this reason, the United States has made major investments in the onshoring of semiconductor manufacturing through the CHIPS and Science Act. Nearly $40 billion will go towards new domestic manufacturing facilities. Another $11 billion will support the manufacturing and supply chain for the Department of Defense (DoD) via the Microelectronics Commons (ME Commons), as well as advanced packaging, metrology, and investments in the science and technology needed for future semiconductors (the National Institutes of Standards and Technology is managing portions of the future semiconductors work).

The University of Maryland (UMD) is playing a key role in operationalizing this major initiative by our federal government.

In December 2022, UMD joined with Booz Allen Hamilton to create the Mid-Atlantic Semiconductor Consortium (MASC) and bring a semiconductor supply chain hub to the Mid-Atlantic Region. While the MASC was a finalist for a ME Commons award, it did not initially win one of the eight hubs announced by DoD. Due to the strength and leadership of our team, however, we were in discussions with several of the winning hubs to join them and enhance their capabilities.  

Today I am happy to announce that UMD and Booz Allen Hamilton have come to an agreement with the Midwest Microelectronics Consortium (MMEC) to expand MMEC’s technical areas to include secure edge microelectronics, 5G communications, and microelectronics to support artificial intelligence. MMEC will be working closely with us and we will have a seat on its governing board. Our kickoff meeting with government officials will be on February 7, 2024, in Columbus, Ohio.  

We are excited about this new opportunity to demonstrate technical capability and leadership for our nation in a strategic area of national interest. I would like to thank Professors Ankur Srivastava, Pamela Abshire, and Abhijit Dasgupta for the many hours of work they put into building the MASC team and, furthermore, seeing it through to our joining MMEC.  

We hope to make a strong impact on the future of the semiconductor supply chain and national defense through the ME Commons program. This is another great day for Maryland Engineering and our partners!

We look forward to sharing more about our work in ME Commons and will keep you updated on this important development for the Clark School.

Published February 1, 2024