Biden names technology centers to help industry and create jobs

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The Biden administration is appointing 31 technology centers in 32 states and Puerto Rico to help stimulate innovation and create jobs in industries concentrated in these areas.

President Joe Biden will announce the centers Monday at the White House with Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.

"I have to say, in my entire career in public service, I have never seen so much interest in any initiative like this," Raimondo told reporters during a conference call Sunday to preview the announcement. His department received 400 applications, he said.

“No matter where I go or who I meet — CEOs, governors, senators, congressmen, college presidents — everyone wants to tell me about their application and how excited they are,” Raimondo said.

The tech centers are the result of a process Raimondo's department launched in May to distribute a total of $500 million in grants to cities.

The $500 million came from a $10 billion authorization in the CHIPS and Science Act last year to stimulate investments in new technologies such as artificial intelligence, quantum computing and biotechnology. It's an attempt to expand technology investment that is largely concentrated in a few American cities: Austin, Texas; Boston; NY; San Francisco; and Seattle, to the rest of the country.

The program, formally the Regional Technology and Innovation Center Program , ties into the president's economic argument that people should be able to find good jobs where they live and that opportunities should be spread across the country, rather than concentrated. The White House has sought to elevate that message and highlight Biden's related policies as the Democratic president undertakes his candidacy for re-election in 2024 .

"These technology centers will catalyze investment in technologies critical to economic growth, national security and job creation, and will help communities across the country become innovation hubs critical to American competitiveness," the White House said. Monday in an emailed statement.

The 31 technology centers reach Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Montana, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Virginia, New Hampshire, Missouri, Kansas, Maryland, Alabama, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, Minnesota, Louisiana, Idaho, Wyoming , South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, New York, Nevada, Missouri, Oregon, Vermont, Ohio, Maine, Washington and Puerto Rico.

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