Intel pledges $50M for coronavirus research, support

Intel plans to acquire Habana, an AI chip startup, for $1-2 billion.
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In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, few companies have been left unscathed. The semiconductor industry has been hit especially hard due to its large presence in Asia, one of the most affected regions in the world. However, one firm has demonstrated that preparedness can greatly mitigate the effects of unseen circumstances—even a global pandemic.

Thanks to its diverse business model and decades of preparation, Intel is well-positioned within the chip sector. Now, it has pledged to devote $50 million towards coronavirus research, improving patient care, and providing resources for online education. It is the latest example of Intel leading the way not only in the semiconductor industry but in the world.

Targeted Funding

Fighting the coronavirus pandemic and COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, takes a collaborative effort. It includes frontline healthcare workers, researchers, companies, and charities funding the research.

Previously, Intel pledged $10 million to help support local communities through the coronavirus crisis. The newly announced $50 million comes in addition to that original donation.

Intel CEO Bob Swan says, “Intel is committed to accelerating access to technology that can combat the current pandemic and enable new technology and scientific discovery that better prepares society for future crises.”

He goes on to add, “We hope that by sharing our expertise, resources and technology, we can help to accelerate work that saves lives and expands access to critical services around the world during this challenging time.”

According to a company press release, $40 million of the fund will go towards Intel’s COVID-19 Response and Readiness and Online Learning initiatives. The latter aims to support education non-profits and businesses working to provide technology access to students. Intel will partner with public school districts to donate computers, online virtual resources, and “device connectivity assistance.”

Meanwhile, the COVID-19 Response and Readiness initiative will help fund a variety of projects that focus on diagnosing and treating the disease. This includes resources for vaccine development using technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and edge-to-cloud services.

Separate from the $50 million, Intel is setting aside an additional $10 million to support relief projects from external partners and employees that address critical needs in their communities.

Leading the Way

Intel has long been seen as a leader in the technology world. However, its efforts throughout the coronavirus crisis have shown that it is more than that—it is a global leader.

In March, the company revealed that it maintains an on-time delivery rate of more than 90 percent. Considering the fact that the semiconductor industry has widely been stalled, that’s a testament to Intel’s preparedness.

A large part of that is due to its Pandemic Leadership Team. The 15-year-old program is dedicated to helping the company operate during global health crises. It has navigated challenges like Ebola, SARS, and Zika. Now, it is helping the company shine as a bright spot in a world facing plenty of challenges.

Moreover, Intel serves as a prime example of how the technology world can step up to help the world get through and recover from the coronavirus pandemic.


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