CHIPS and Science Act of 2022
On July 28, Congress passed the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, a bipartisan bill aimed at boosting U.S. competitiveness on the global stage. The measure is designed to help America compete with China by injecting billions of dollars into the domestic production of semiconductors, and providing for investment in the research and development of critical emerging technologies. Thanks to the work of XRA staff, “immersive technology” is included in the list of “key technology focus areas” designated for funding under the bill.
The mission to fund emerging tech R&D began in 2020 with the Endless Frontier Act (later, the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act [USICA] in 2021), which sought to bolster U.S. technology innovation. That legislation’s original list of “key technology focus areas” identified for funding did not include “immersive technology.” In an effort to change that, XRA staff educated lawmakers on the value and impact of AR/VR/MR – not only as a standalone technologies, but as critical members of the broader advanced technology ecosystem. You can read XRA’s white paper on the issue here. As a result, “immersive technology” was added to the Endless Frontier Act in May 2021. In July 2022, the technology focus areas in EFA/USICA were incorporated into the CHIPS bill.
This is a significant victory for the XR industry not only in terms of U.S. Government support for XR R&D, but also with regard to Congress’s formal recognition of XR as a critical technology of the future, alongside AI and machine learning; quantum information science; and robotics, among others. XR’s inclusion in the CHIPS and Science Act is an important benchmark for the industry and will help ensure that government leaders recognize the importance of immersive technology for years to come. The bill now heads to the President’s desk for signature.