University Community | Research and Impact

Ohio University joins the Midwest Semiconductor Network

Ohio University is joining universities and colleges in Ohio, Michigan, Illinois and Indiana to form a coalition, the Midwest Regional Network, to address national needs in semiconductor and microelectronics. 

The collaborative will leverage existing research, curricular and experiential learning programs to increase innovation in semiconductor and microelectronics—including in supply chain ecosystems. 

In addition to Ohio University, the group includes: Case Western Reserve University, Central State University, Columbus State Community College, Clark State College, Illinois Institute of Technology, Ivy Tech Community College, Kent State University, Lorain County Community College, Miami University, Michigan State University, Oakland University, Ohio State University, Purdue University, Sinclair Community College, University of Akron, University of Chicago, University of Cincinnati, University of Dayton, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, University of Louisville, University of Michigan, University of Notre Dame, University of Toledo, Wayne State University, Wright State University and Youngstown State University 

University leaders signed the memorandum of understanding that formally created the group, called the Midwest Regional Network to Address National Needs in Semiconductor and Microelectronics. The network intends to grow beyond these initial institutions. 

The network emerged from a two-day workshop in April hosted by Ohio State University. It follows the Intel Corporation’s January announcement that it will build new, leading-edge chip factories in Ohio, and seeks to address the broader, national efforts to promote U.S. leadership in semiconductors and microelectronics. 

At Ohio University, Intel awarded $3 million in grant funding to serve as the lead institution for the Appalachian Semiconductor Education and Technical (ASCENT) Ecosystem. Led by chair of OHIO's School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Avinash Karanth, and chair of OHIO's Department of Physics and Astronomy, Eric Stinaff, this program will create an inclusive workforce development and training program to cultivate the next generation of skilled technical professionals for Ohio’s emerging semiconductor industry. 

Through both ASCENT and the Midwest Regional Network, OHIO and partner institutions will leverage existing research, curricular and experiential learning programs, capabilities and expertise to grow their collective capacity to support the domestic growth of robust semiconductor and microelectronics innovation and supply chain ecosystems. 

Initial activities for the Midwest Regional Network include: 

  • Develop a common, secure, information-sharing platform to make it easier to identify expertise, equipment, facilities and curricular programs of interest to facilitate joint programming, research, and/or outreach initiatives across the network. 
  • Encourage regional collaborations and promote workshops around opportunities to pursue funding that will grow regional capacity to support identified needs across the semiconductor and microelectronics ecosystems. 
  • Develop pilot mechanisms to connect existing research, facilities and curricular/training assets across the region to optimize their use to address regional needs and opportunities. 

A steering committee with representation from all schools will coordinate the next steps for the network. 

January 19, 2023
Staff reports