Activate’s Microelectronics Imperative: Building a Better, Safer Future

Applications for the Activate Fellowship are open now through November 30.

Activate’s Microelectronics Imperative: Building a Better, Safer Future

By Activate Staff

Are you a scientist or engineer looking to build your own startup? Do you work in the microelectronics space? Then consider applying for the Activate Fellowship: a world-class, two-year program that provides funding, education, technical support, and networking opportunities for researchers looking to take their ideas to market. In partnership with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Microsystems Technology Office (MTO), Activate’s Microelectronics Imperative seeks fellows whose innovations can secure the U.S. against global threats to our society, environment, infrastructure, and economy.

Fellows who address the Microelectronics Imperative are developing technologies that can further one or more of these objectives:

  • Serve dual-use applications in the defense and commercial space
  • Advance the efficiency, utility, and security of microelectronics technologies
  • Secure the U.S. against next-generation adversaries at the intersection of national security and climate change

For more information about the Microelectronics Imperative, visit Activate.

Current and alumni Activate Fellows whose innovations meet the Microelectronics Imperative are redefining what’s possible in advanced communications, fabrications, and autonomous mobility systems:

  • Armin Jam and Avish Kosari started SkyGig to tackle the challenges of next-generation high-speed and power-efficient wireless communications. SkyGig is paving the way to the rapid roll-out and growth of 5G and broadband communications in the global race to ubiquitous connectivity. 
  • Inchfab co-founders Mitchell Hsing and Parker Gould are commercializing an ultra-low-cost micro and nanofabrication platform ​​to democratize fabrication and enable a new wave of innovative micro and nanoscale devices.
  • Aura Intelligent Systems, co-founded by Jungah Lee, is disrupting wireless systems with patented 4D sensing technology. Built for superior performance against interference and jamming, Aura’s product could cost-effectively ensure safety: and security in an age of increased unmanned urban mobility.
  • Mael Flament co-founded Qunnect to enable the quantum internet. Qunnect is building hardware to transform telecommunications infrastructure into scalable quantum networks.

Check out past coverage to learn more about current Activate Fellows developing microelectronics products. Last year, the Activate and IEEE Entrepreneurship communities convened a panel of fellows who provided tips on breaking into the microelectronics ecosystem.

To date, Activate has supported 103 hard-tech innovators who have launched 74 new companies that have collectively raised more than $370M to support their work. Our goal is to help entrepreneurs take their innovations to the next level – so that they can build successful businesses and make a significant impact on society. Activate Fellows receive:

  • A yearly living stipend of $80,000 to $110,000 plus a health insurance stipend and travel allowance. Each project also receives $100,000 of research support.
  • Access to world-class research facilities
  • A program of intensive entrepreneurial training, mentorship, and networking

Activate is a nonprofit and takes no financial stake (equity) in fellows’ start-ups.

Are you ready to take your technology to the next level? Do you know someone who is? Apply for the Activate Fellowship or nominate someone to be the next leader in the microelectronics space. Applications open on 15 October and close on 30 November at 5:00 pm PT. To learn more, register for a webinar, or to get a jump on the process by pre-applying, go to