Global chip-making giant Intel has pledged an additional $50 million to combat the novel coronavirus through accelerating access to technology at the point of patient care, speeding scientific research and ensuring access to online learning for students.
Much of the money, about $40 million, will fund the Intel COVID-19 Response and Readiness and Online Learning initiatives.
The Intel COVID-19 Response and Readiness initiative will provide funding to accelerate customer and partner advances in diagnosis, treatment and vaccine development, leveraging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), high-performance computing and edge-to-cloud service delivery.
The Intel Online Learning initiative will support education-focused nonprofit organisations and business partners to provide students without access to technology with devices and online learning resources, the company said.
In close partnership with public school districts, the initiative will enable PC donations, online virtual resources, study-at-home guides and device connectivity assistance.
“The world faces an enormous challenge in fighting COVID-19. 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,” Intel CEO Bob Swan said in a statement.
“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,” Swan added.
The company has also allocated up to $10 million for an innovation fund that supports requests from external partners and employee-led relief projects, addressing critical needs in their communities.
For example, Intel is working with India’s Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad, to deploy Intel client and server solutions to help achieve faster and less expensive COVID-19 testing and coronavirus genome sequencing to understand epidemiology and AI-based risk stratification for patients with comorbidities.
Intel is also collaborating with India’s IT industry body Nasscom to build an application ecosystem and multi cloud back end to enable population-scale COVID-19 diagnostics, to predict outbreaks and to improve medical care management and administration.
This is in addition to prior announcements of $10 million in donations that are supporting local communities during this critical time.