Charleston Daily-Mail – Tom Crouser’s commentary, “Economic Diversification depends on us” (Oct 17), wrongly attributes the rise of the semiconductor industry to just individual effort, specifically Robert Noyce with Fairchild Semiconductor and Intel.
Along with entrepreneurship, the federal government played a central role in the creation of the U.S. semiconductor industry. World War II funding for transistors and materials provided essential support for the invention and refinement of semiconductors.
Between 1958 and 1974, the Defense Department provided over $1 billion in semiconductor research and development. By 1965, nearly all of Fairchild’s early products were purchased by the Defense Department.
Instead of seeing government funded innovation and entrepreneurship as mutually exclusive, we should view them both as vital for building a stronger and more technologically advanced economy.