Vermont Gallium Nitride Tech Hub

Tech Hubs Official Designee Badge

Lead Agency: University of Vermont

State Served: Vermont

Applicant-Defined Region: Burlington MSA

Core Technology Area: gallium nitride-based semiconductors

Contact: Doug Merrill ([email protected])

Media Contact: Basil Waugh ([email protected])

Vermont Gallium Nitride Tech Hub (V-GaN Tech Hub), led by the University of Vermont, seeks to accelerate the development and adoption of high power, high frequency electronic devices using Gallium Nitride (GaN)-based semiconductor chips. This Tech Hub will leverage previous investments in GaN technology, regional physical assets, and technical workforce development programs to boost GaN-based device manufacturing.

The V-GaN Tech Hub aims to position Vermont as the global pacesetter in GaN-based device manufacturing–one of the few semiconductor sectors where no clear leader has emerged.

This consortium’s proposal includes plans to:

  • Establish an advanced design and computing center with discounted access for startups and small enterprises to work with critical software platforms and design tools;
  • Construct a prototyping center, which will mitigate barriers to accessing expertise and expensive technology for smaller private companies while also hosting workforce development programming to support employers struggling to hire and retain specially trained talent;
  • Equip and operate a test and characterization lab (TCL) reducing the barriers to entry for startup companies developing GaN-based systems and devices;
  • Establish and maintain a central administrative and organizational structure to coordinate consortium members and hub activities;
  • Launch a coalition of regional academic, training, industry, and non-profit organizations ready to upskill, reskill, train, and retain a workforce to respond to the Hub’s emerging needs;
  • Develop a scalable commercialization model for bringing new GaN-based products to market through a proof-of-concept project focused on a charging device for advanced unmanned aerial vehicles; and
  • Provide the ‘back end’ services and personnel needed to operate the Tech

Hub, oversee project implementation, centralize communications, and evaluate progress.

To ensure that the impacts of the Tech Hub projects benefit the entire region, the consortium is committed to working with local stakeholders to attract and retain workforce talent from communities with historically low access to technology jobs, including women, rural residents, and New Americans.

This summary is based on information submitted by the applicants.

Designee Narrative (PDF) (submitted by the designee in its Phase 2 application package)

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