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Conference to focus on empowering South Dakota’s innovation network

Leaders from industry, academia and government are being invited to a one-day conference June 11 in Sioux Falls focusing on expanding the computer chip manufacturing workforce in the United States and enhancing existing South Dakota’s innovation systems.

The gathering is in response to the "CHIPS and Science Act of 2022," which President Joe Biden signed into law Aug. 9, 2022. The Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) for America Fund authorizes activities relating to the creation of incentives to produce semiconductors and train the semiconductor workforce in the United States. 

But more than that, the law aims to strengthen innovation across the United States, including building bridges between rural America and Silicon Valley.  

The IEEE-USA “Innovation, Workforce and Research Conference” includes an opening reception at The District, 4521 W. Empire Place, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Monday, June 10, and a full day of talks, breakout sessions and panel discussions June 11 at the Denny Sanford Premier Center, 1021 N. West Ave.

South Dakota State University is a gold-level sponsor of the conference, which is being organized by IEEE-USA, a major unit of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Air Force Research Laboratory Regional Network-Midwest is a diamond sponsor and will be in attendance along with the Air Force Research Laboratory Office of Small Business.

The agenda for June 11 includes Dennis Hedge, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs at SDSU, speaking on “The South Dakota Workforce of the Future.”

Other presentations will be given by representatives from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Small Business Administration, and the National Center for the Advancement of Semiconductor Technology. 

The luncheon keynote speaker is Sarah Hughes, chief of staff for the CHIPS R&D Metrology program, which is within the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Rajesh Kavasseri, associate dean for research within the Jerome J. Lohr College of Engineering at SDSU, said the conference will bring “experts from our region and across the country to discuss research grants, technology transfer programs, start-up funding, intellectual property and a host of other topics related to inspiring and empowering true innovation in the Heartland Region.

“It’s a chance to bridge the gap between cutting-edge research and practical, market-ready applications.”

More information is available on the IEEE website.

To get 10% of registration, enter the code “SAVE10”.