Tester Urges Department of Commerce to Select Montana Application for Regional Tech Hub Designation

Senator led effort to bring Tech Hub to rural state in bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act

Following the Montana-based “Headwaters Tech Hub” consortium submitting their application to make Montana a Regional Technology and Innovation Hub, U.S. Senator Jon Tester today urged the United States Department of Commerce to strongly consider their application.

Tester has led the charge to bring a Regional Tech Hub to Montana after specifically securing a provision in his bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act to ensure the program includes rural states.

“Montana has responded to this opportunity as Montanans do, by rolling up their sleeves, pulling together, and developing a world class proposal,” wrote Tester in his letter to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo. “The Headwaters Tech Hub consortium assembles the state’s leading academic institutions, home-grown and globally prominent tech companies, successful venture capital firms, regional economic development organizations, and more. While these groups are often in competition with each other, they have come together in response to the Tech Hub opportunity, collectively recognizing how great its impact will be for our region.”

Tester continued, “Innovation can happen anywhere, not just on the coasts, and if we want to continue to be global tech leaders we need to build up capabilities all over the country, including in rural states like Montana. I am proud of the work of the Headwaters Tech Hub team, and encourage your Department to give their application strong consideration.”

In March, Tester urged the Biden Administration to consider feedback from Montanans on why the state should be selected for a rural Tech Hub. And in February, Tester hosted a roundtable at Missoula College to kick off the state’s push to win a Montana Regional Tech Hub, and to highlight the innovation and economic growth it would bring to the state.

Last year, Congress passed the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act that will invest in high-tech manufacturing across the country, strengthen technology supply chains, and bolster development of cutting-edge research in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Tester was the only member of the Montana congressional delegation to serve on the conference committee that negotiated the bill.

Among Tester’s key achievements in negotiating the legislation were provisions that establish Regional Technology and Innovation Hubs in key areas across the country. He championed an amendment to ensure that a rural state like Montana will have an opportunity to secure Tech Hub funding, which could ultimately bring hundreds of millions of dollars in new federal funding to the state.

Read Tester’s full letter HERE.