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Semiconductor Research Corporation Applauds Semiconductor Industry Testimony to Congress Supporting Funding of Basic Scientific Research

Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) today applauded Feb. 6 testimony by the semiconductor industry to Congress supporting the funding of basic scientific research, not only for the benefit of the industry, but also for the advancement and economic development of society.

SRC President Larry Sumney states that SRC cannot emphasize enough the critical role university research plays in the future of technology and the nation’s economy in general. The world-class U.S. university system built through decades of steady government support serves as a foundation for public-private partnerships such as SRC.

“The messages communicated to Congress are exactly the reason SRC was created,” said Sumney. “Collaboration among industry, academia and government accelerates knowledge advancements, lowers risk and enables growth and innovation to continue for the benefit of industry and society as a whole. It represents a win-win-win.”

However, Sumney explains that collaboration requires these three sectors — industry, academia and government — to work in unison; take any one out of the equation, and the likelihood for success significantly diminishes. In order for consortia such as SRC to survive, government involvement is more important than ever. Moreover, basic research has a dramatically increased chance for success and return-on-investment when managed as part of a collaborative public-private program, according to SRC.

“Today’s technology-based economy critically depends on a robust university research enterprise — producing fundamental scientific advances and, just as importantly, well-educated scientists and engineers who can compete in a global economic playing field,” said Sumney. “What’s not easy is finding the resources, the brightest minds and the funds, to fuel that research, especially in challenging economic periods.

“Funding further research for future innovation is a delicate balancing act, to say the least. For more than 30 years, SRC-funded research has involved students, faculty and industry experts working together. In these challenging economic times, this model of collaboration needs to be extended.”

Since 1982, SRC has worked with the semiconductor industry in collaboration with government agencies such as the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Standards and Technology and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to support nearly $2 billion in research via the work of more than 10,000 university students. Many of those students advanced to earn their doctorate degree in technology-related fields. Additionally, the SRC community has published more than 20 percent of the world’s semiconductor-related research.

“In sum, SRC has served the industry as a preeminent, value-driven model for advancing collaboration,” said Sumney.

In addition, promoting STEM education beginning with undergraduate programs to help spark a passion and retention in STEM, should be viewed as a fundamental step in a larger process to advance technology. The SRC Education Alliance-501(c)3 supports undergraduates in STEM with a retention rate of 97 percent since inception and has a 55 percent representation of under-represented minorities, according to SRC.

“Our nation can’t afford not to plant the seeds of future knowledge, technology and talent. For the sake of tomorrow’s prosperity, we must continue to collectively champion the support for basic research,” said Sumney. “As SRC continues to focus its research program on industry and technology needs of the future, we are beginning to see how technology advances in other areas such as biology and chemistry are converging to provide common advances not even thought of in the recent past. The U.S. must protect this investment.”

About SRC

Celebrating 31 years of collaborative research for the semiconductor industry, SRC defines industry needs, invests in and manages the research that gives its members a competitive advantage in the dynamic global marketplace. Awarded the National Medal of Technology, America’s highest recognition for contributions to technology, SRC expands the industry knowledge base and attracts premier students to help innovate and transfer semiconductor technology to the commercial industry. For more information, visit www.src.org.

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