WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressman Kweisi Mfume (all D-Md.) today announced $5,000,000 to spur scientific and technological research at Morgan State University in Baltimore City. Over the next five years, these federal funds – provided through the National Science Foundation’s Centers for Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CREST) program – will establish a new CREST Center for advanced magnet and semiconductor research at the University and will serve as a hub for research collaboration in the region. This funding was made possible by the lawmakers’ work to pass the CHIPS and Science Act and is another clear example of how this historic legislation is investing in our communities and keeping our nation at the forefront of science and technology.
In addition to fostering innovation, the CREST Center at Morgan State will offer educational outreach opportunities, including: summer institutes for local high school students, new graduate programs, collaborative seminars and symposia, and external research internships for students.
“Historic investments in STEM and higher education have made Maryland a leader in research and technology. Morgan State has been at the forefront of our most cutting-edge STEM programming,” said Senator Cardin. “Like many of our Historically Black Colleges and Universities, decades of underfunding significantly limited their ability to expand these programs and compete for the nation’s best and brightest. This federal funding through the CHIPS and Science Act will allow Morgan State to deepen its range of high-quality STEM programming while continuing to level the playing field for our HBCUs.”
“Semiconductors play a critical role in a wide array of products that drive our economy and our global competitiveness, including smartphones, computers, cars, advanced manufacturing equipment and lifesaving medical devices. We passed the CHIPS and Science Act to dramatically increase our semiconductor capabilities and invest in the critical work that institutions like Morgan State University are doing in this vital area. This funding will sharpen our competitive edge in these advanced technologies, expand and diversify our STEM workforce, strengthen our national security, and boost our global competitiveness. It is a win for Maryland and for America,” said Senator Van Hollen.
The National Science Foundation’s CREST program supports the enhancement of the research capabilities of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs). The program’s CREST Centers aim to integrate education and research by establishing centralized research hubs which will ensure long-term innovation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines in addition to diversifying its experts.
Senators Cardin and Van Hollen and Congressman Mfume have strongly supported expanding the research capabilities of Maryland’s HBCUs and the development of semiconductors. The lawmakers supported the CHIPS and Science Act of 2021, which included language to strengthen HBCU research capacity and directed $280 billion in spending to catalyze investments in domestic semiconductor research and manufacturing capacity and broader scientific research and development.