The National Security Commission on AI (NSCAI) voted Monday to approve its final report, urging Congress and the White House to consider its recommendations for boosting research and development spending to stay ahead of China in the technology space and ensuring the U.S. is “AI-ready” by 2025. 

The commission, which was established in 2019, has already had several recommendations included as part of the most recent defense policy bill but called on lawmakers to adopt the report’s call for reshoring microelectronics production required to support an AI adoption push.

“It’s really important that our hardware stays ahead and is cutting edge. We are very close to losing the cutting edge microelectronics that power our companies and military because of our reliance on Taiwan. We need to revitalize domestic semiconductor manufacturing and ensure that we’re two generations ahead of China,” Eric Schmidt, chairman of the commission and former Chairman and CEO of Google [GOOGL], said during a virtual public meeting on Monday.

NSCAI’s final report includes a “blueprint for action” document with a recommendation for boosting microelectronics funding by about $30 billion over the next five years.

The five-year microelectronics funding plan includes $15 billion for projects covered by a new microelectronics federal grants program, $12 billion for R&D efforts, $7 billion for infrastructure development and $500 million for the DoD Trusted & Assured Microelectronics program.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said last week he is working to bring a bill to the floor this spring aimed at bolstering the U.S. semiconductor manufacturing capacity to “outcompete China” (Defense Daily, Feb. 23). 

Schmidt also reiterated the report’s call for the U.S. to double AI research and development funding annually to reach $32 billion per year by fiscal year 2026.

“AI research is going to be incredibly expensive so we need the government to help set up the conditions for accessible domestic AI innovation,” Schmidt said. “We need more money. I’m sorry to say but we do need more money, particularly in AI [research and development] so that by 2026 we get to $32 billion per year.”

NSCAI officials also highlighted the final report’s recommendation to establish a Technology Competitiveness Council, chaired by the vice president and managed by a new assistant to the president for Technology Competitiveness (Defense Daily, Jan. 25.) 

The new council would be tasked with driving long-term strategy, and providing “a forum for reconciling competing security, economic, and scientific priorities, and elevate technology policy concerns from technical to strategic,” according to the report.