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President Mung Chiang on Competing in the Next Economy

Dr. Mung Chiang

President, Purdue University

Members of the Council on Competitiveness Board and Executive Committee, and Commissioners and Advisors from the National Commission on Innovation and Competitiveness Frontiers came together this summer at Gallup World Headquarters to take stock of the Council’s work and explore the challenges and opportunities driving Phase 2 of the National Commission’s work.

During the meeting, Dr. Mung Chiang, President of Purdue University, highlighted how Purdue is advancing U.S. competitiveness in semiconductors, the foundation of all computing, including AI, and important to both national and economic security. Dr. Chiang shared with the attendees that Purdue is addressing four critical issues needed to advance U.S. leadership in semiconductor technologies, including:

- Critical supply chains. We must onshore and double down on the human talent pipeline, arguably the most important supply chain. Purdue created a semiconductor degrees program, endorsed by about 20 CEOs, and more than two dozen corporate CTOs and leaders who serve on a Semiconductor Degrees Leadership Board. They ensure Purdue’s semiconductor education programming is relevant to the industry and national competitiveness.

- Partnerships and investment. Purdue welcomed Skywater to build a $3 billion “baby fab” on campus within walking distance from student dorms and Purdue teaching facilities. In the morning, a student can take courses from professors in a clean room in which Perdue is investing hundreds of millions of dollars to upgrade. Or, in the afternoon, the student can go to Skywater or other companies in the industry.

- Leadership. Purdue is reinforcing U.S. leadership nationally and internationally. Purdue joined the Semiconductor Industry Association and trade groups on the Hill to engage with Senator Todd Young, who worked with Majority Leader Schumer to start what became the CHIPS and Science Act. Three years ago, Perdue was part of the conversation on the Endless Frontier Act, which evolved into the CHIPS and Science Act, and with Secretary Raimondo about how government, industry, and academia can work together.

Purdue is working with like-minded nations, including Japan, India, and Europe. Purdue signed three MOUs at the G-7, including the U.S.-Japan Semiconductor Agreement. During Prime Minister Modi’s visit, Purdue signed an MOU with leaders of the India Semiconductor Mission to work together on semiconductor workforce development, research, and innovation. Also, Purdue is welcoming imec, Europe’s premiere center for semiconductor innovation, to open their R&D center in the United States on Purdue’s campus within walking distance of student dorms.

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