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Highlights

GAO discussed federal involvement in a semiconductor industry research consortium and the consortium's start-up activities. GAO noted that: (1) Congress created an advisory council to oversee federal involvement in the consortium, but the council's members have not been appointed; (2) the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is the lead federal agency and signed a memorandum of understanding to participate in the consortium; (3) the Department of Defense plans to complete the application and security clearance process for council members by the end of 1989; (4) the consortium expressed concern that council oversight might duplicate efforts by another advisory committee; (5) the consortium has been proposed as a model for other government-industry consortia; (6) the consortium plans to achieve an integrated circuit linewidth of 0.35 microns by 1993, which would make the U.S. industry more competitive with Japan; (7) consortium members contributed staff in proportion to their financial involvement in the consortium; and (8) in November 1988, the consortium completed a state-of-the-art semiconductor fabrication facility and successfully transferred that technology to its members.

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