Senate passes major bill for tech research and development

The U.S. Senate passed a $250 billion bipartisan bill to focus funds on semiconductor manufacturing, artificial intelligence and other high-tech industries. The bill would allocate $50 billion to the Commerce Department for semiconductor development, research and manufacturing, the Associated Press reports.

The U.S. accounts for 12% of global semiconductor production today, down from 37% in 1990. Semiconductors are crucial for tech development. The bill would authorize $29 billion for the development of a new branch within the National Science Foundation with a focus on AI and quantum science.

The bill is viewed as a counter to the growing international influence and technological might of China.

“As other countries continue to invest in their own research and development, we cannot risk falling behind,” President Joe Biden said.

It’s unclear if the bill will find backing in the House of Representatives.

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