Federal Research:

Lessons Learned From SEMATECH

RCED-92-283: Published: Sep 28, 1992. Publicly Released: Oct 26, 1992.

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Victor S. Rezendes
(202) 512-6082
contact@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO assessed the lessons learned in the first 5 years of the government's participation in the Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology Consortium (SEMATECH) that might be applied to other similar government-industry research and development (R&D) consortia intended to improve the competitive position of U.S. manufacturers.

GAO found that: (1) a government-industry R&D consortium on manufacturing technology can help improve a U.S. industry's technological position while protecting the government's interest that the consortium be managed well and public funds spent appropriately; (2) SEMATECH has worked well because its member companies have led the consortium and members' senior executives have been actively involved in overseeing its activities; (3) equipment suppliers of SEMATECH are the primary beneficiaries of its R&D program through equipment improvement and development contracts and efforts to improve long-term working relationships between semiconductor manufacturers and their key suppliers; (4) the consortium is improving the U.S. industry's efficiency by developing industrywide standards and practices and leveraging R&D resources; (5) SEMATECH might have improved its initial manufacturing R&D program by more thoroughly assessing the declining market share of U.S. semiconductor equipment and material suppliers; and (6) SEMATECH might have improved its initial manufacturing R&D program by more realistically aligning its overall mission with the funds available to accomplish it.

Matters for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The National Competitiveness Act of 1993, which included a section authorizing federal funding for large-scale R&D consortia, was not passed by the 103rd Congress. No similar legislation has been introduced in the 104th Congress.

    Matter: In considering any future support for consortia, Congress may wish to consider each of the eight lessons learned that this report identifies. Among other things, Congress could consider requiring that, as a basis for receiving federal funds, the consortium: (1) prepare an operating plan with milestones for critical elements of initial projects; and (2) develop a program to improve members' working relationships with their key suppliers.

  2. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: SEMATECH has announced that it will not seek matching federal funds after fiscal year 1997--10 years after Congress authorized federal support.

    Matter: Congress may wish to establish specific criteria for determining when federal support for SEMATECH--and any future consortia--should appropriately be terminated.

 

Explore the full database of GAO's Open Recommendations »

Jul 20, 2016

Apr 8, 2016

Jan 20, 2016

Sep 9, 2015

Jul 30, 2015

Mar 13, 2015

Mar 2, 2015

Oct 3, 2014

Looking for more? Browse all our products here