(C4ISRnet.com) President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan released Wednesday calls for $180 billion in new research and development spending on emerging technologies expected to define the coming decades and drive military innovation.
If Congress accepts the proposal, the government would try to counter China by pushing billions into emerging technologies — including quantum computing, artificial intelligence and microelectronics — that underpin weapon systems and will help the Pentagon compete in increasingly digital battlefields.
The plan calls for a $50 billion investment in the National Science Foundation, where the Biden administration wants to create a new technology directorate to “collaborate with and build on existing programs across the government.” The directorate would focus on semiconductors, advanced computing, advanced energy technologies and biotechnologies. The proposal is half of the $100 billion plan introduced by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., for a similar NSF technology directorate.
Biden also calls for a $40 billion investment in upgrading research labs across the country, “including brick-and-mortar facilities and computing capabilities and networks.” Some of the funds would be allocated across the federal R&D agencies. Half the money would be reserved for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and other minority-serving institutions, a core aspect of Biden’s plan to provide new opportunities to underserved communities.