WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Economic Development Administration announced that Wyoming will participate in its tech hubs program through two tech hubs which were designated by the agency yesterday. These tech hubs will be eligible to receive grants from the federal government to fund Wyoming’s continuing innovation in quantum computing and nuclear energy. During the application process Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) fought to remove geographic barriers that would prevent Wyoming, and most rural areas, from participating in the program.
“Wyoming continues to be at the forefront of U.S. innovation and is home to a diverse collection of cutting-edge technology,” said Lummis. “Geography shouldn’t be a determining factor in picking winners and losers, especially as we continue to grapple with the task of bridging the digital divide. Expanding the qualifications for the tech hubs program ensures rural communities enjoy the same economic opportunities and growth as their urban counterparts while sustaining America’s status as the world leader in technological advancement.”
“At the University of Wyoming, we are honored to be part of two technology hubs designated by the Department of Commerce,” said Dr. Parag Chitnis, Vice President for Research and Economic Development at the University of Wyoming. “Opportunity to collaborate with Colorado and Idaho in planning technology hubs for quantum computing and nuclear energy respectively will open new avenues for economic development in Wyoming.”
The CHIPS and Science Act included funding for the Regional Technology and Innovation Hub (tech hubs) Program. This was meant to encourage U.S. companies to invest in research and development efforts that created jobs in their communities.
This week, the U.S. Economic Development Administration released a list of 31tech hubs which included rural states like Wyoming after Senator Lummis led Senators Jon Tester (D-MT) and John Thune (R-SD) in May of 2023 in sending a letter to Department of Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo. The letter urged her to protect the opportunity for rural states to participate in this program by removing the requirement that the Economic Development Administration (EDA) restrict the geography of a tech hub to a single Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA).