How the CHIPS Act is Jumpstarting the Tech and Construction World

02/13/2024

The semiconductor industry is a vital component of the global economy, especially in the last decade, where it has seen rapid growth and influence on other industries. The CHIPS Act, or Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors for America, is a comprehensive legislative initiative aimed at bolstering the domestic semiconductor manufacturing industry in the United States. The CHIPS Act has far-reaching implications, especially for regions like the Pacific Northwest. 

For high-tech and electronics manufacturers, this means easier access to government funds and incentives. Many hope to use these funds to expand research facilities and develop more efficient manufacturing in the US. In this article, we delve into the potential impact of the CHIPS Act on local tech businesses, how they can leverage these opportunities, and the crucial role contractors play in creating efficient workspaces.


The CHIPS Act

The CHIPS Act, having received legislative approval, addresses the escalating reliance of the United States on foreign semiconductor production, recognizing associated risks to national security and economic stability. This legislation introduces substantial financial incentives and support for semiconductor research, development, and manufacturing within the United States.

The primary objective is to fortify production to circumvent the chip shortages felt in critical industries over the last few years. Through the allocation of funds and provision of incentives for domestic semiconductor production, the act seeks to establish a robust supply chain for crucial components, thereby impacting a diverse range of industries. For example, this could involve grants, tax credits, or other financial support to encourage private companies and research institutions to invest in advancing semiconductor technologies.

Potential Benefits of the CHIPS Act on the Construction Industry

The construction sector relies heavily on technology, including advanced machinery, sensors, and communication devices, many of which are powered by semiconductors. The current global semiconductor shortage has already impacted construction in many regions, leading to delays, increased costs, and supply chain disruptions. With many local electronics developers and manufacturers such as Intel, HP, LAM, Tektronix, and several others immediately receiving funds from the bill, they are now tasked with developing factories and laboratories in the area. This is where the construction industry and the tech world can partner to reach the full potential of the CHIPS Act. Successful implementation of this program could lead to:

Supply Chain Resilience:

One of the primary benefits of the CHIPS Act for the construction sector in the Pacific Northwest is the potential for enhanced supply chain resilience. By promoting domestic semiconductor manufacturing, the region can reduce its dependency on foreign suppliers and mitigate the risks associated with global shortages. Tools and equipment for both the build crews and the final facilities rely on these chips, and with less wait times come shorter build times. A more secure semiconductor supply chain would contribute to stable construction operations and project timelines.

Technological Advancements:

The CHIPS Act’s focus on semiconductor research and development can lead to technological advancements benefiting many markets, including the construction industry. Improved and more efficient semiconductors can enhance the capabilities of construction machinery, increase automation, and enable the integration of smart technologies into infrastructure projects. This, in turn, could result in improved productivity and new cost-effective techniques.

Increased Demand for Tech-Integrated Construction:

With the CHIPS Act fostering technological advancements, the construction industry is poised to witness a surge in demand for tech-integrated solutions. Smart construction technologies, powered by advanced semiconductors, will become pivotal in enhancing project efficiency, safety, and sustainability. Some of these, including drones, 3-D printing, and wearable safety sensors, are already in use today. Contractors that can work in the development of these plants and technologies will be better positioned to take on the evolving landscape of industrial building and design work. 

How Pacific Northwest Tech Businesses Can Benefit from the CHIPS Act

The Pacific Northwest, with its vibrant tech ecosystem, is poised to reap substantial benefits from the CHIPS Act. The region’s tech companies can harness this transformative legislation to propel innovation, strengthen supply chains, and bolster their competitive edge on a global scale. The CHIPS Act’s emphasis on domestic semiconductor production aligns seamlessly with the Pacific Northwest’s tech prowess, offering a unique opportunity for local companies to play a pivotal role in the semiconductor industry’s growth.

Semiconductor Manufacturing and Innovation:

One significant advantage for Pacific Northwest tech firms lies in the increased investment and incentives for semiconductor research and development. With the CHIPS Act allocating funds to spur innovation, companies in the region can channel resources into cutting-edge semiconductor technologies, contributing to the development of more efficient and advanced chips. This not only positions local businesses at the forefront of technological breakthroughs but also creates a favorable environment for collaboration and knowledge exchange.

Supply Chain Stability

The CHIPS Act’s focus on shoring up the semiconductor supply chain domestically can serve as a boon for Pacific Northwest tech companies, ensuring a more reliable and resilient sourcing of essential components. By reducing dependence on foreign suppliers, local businesses can mitigate the impact of global disruptions and secure a stable supply chain for their products. This increased resilience is particularly crucial in the tech industry, where timely access to semiconductors is integral to product development, manufacturing, and overall competitiveness. Pacific Northwest tech companies can leverage this enhanced supply chain security to drive innovation and meet market demands more effectively.

New Collaboration in the Construction Industry

As the construction sector embraces advanced technologies powered by semiconductors, tech companies can position themselves as key partners in creating smart and sustainable solutions. By tapping into the incentives provided by the CHIPS Act, these collaborations can pave the way for the development of high-tech infrastructure projects, establishing the Pacific Northwest as a hub for innovation and technology-driven progress.

Challenges and Considerations

With any new legislation, there will be kinks to work through. For companies looking to utilize CHIPS funding, they will have to adhere to not only the act’s guidelines, but regular federal and state regulations as well. This will take time, and trial and error. Consider these potential challenges.

Initial Investment and Transition Period:

While the long-term benefits of the CHIPS Act are promising, the initial transition period may pose challenges for smaller scale companies. The establishment of new semiconductor manufacturing facilities and the scaling up of production require significant investments and time. During this period, both tech and construction companies may experience disruptions in the supply chain and face uncertainties regarding the availability of semiconductors for their projects. Proper funding, forecasting, and supply management will be imperative to successfully transferring to domestic manufacturing.

Potential Cost Increases:

The construction sector, already grappling with rising material costs and labor shortages, may face additional challenges if semiconductor prices increase due to the implementation of the CHIPS Act. The cost of integrating advanced semiconductor-powered technologies into construction processes could potentially rise, impacting project budgets. Balancing the benefits of enhanced technology with the associated costs will be a critical consideration for construction

Final Thoughts

As the CHIPS Act ushers in a new era of technological advancement, the technology industry stands at the forefront of change. Local tech businesses have a golden opportunity to thrive, while contractors play a pivotal role in shaping the region’s efficient and tech-forward workspaces. By embracing innovation, fostering collaboration, and leveraging the incentives provided by the CHIPS Act, we can pave the way for industries to seamlessly integrate the newest technology, setting a benchmark for the rest of the nation.

Our teams are well versed in tech, chemical, and industrial manufacturing spaces. We’re here to help guide you through a new build, or answer pressing questions. Reach out today.