Intel commits $50m in pandemic response technology

8 Apr 2020357 Views

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Intel said it is committed to accelerating access to technology that can help in the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

On Tuesday (7 April), Intel announced that it is committing $50m in a pandemic response technology initiative to tackle the spread of Covid-19.

Intel has earmarked approximately $40m to accelerate access to technology at the point of patient care, speed up scientific research and ensure access to online learning resources for students.

The company has also allocated up to $10m for an innovation fund that supports requests for relief projects where access to Intel expertise and resources could have an immediate impact.

This funding is in addition to the company’s prior announcement of a $10m donation to support local communities throughout the crisis. It comes after the company broke records in its January earnings call, reporting revenue of $20.21bn in the final stretch of 2019. The company’s total earnings for 2019 reached $72bn.

Sharing access to resources and technology

Bob Swan, CEO of Intel, said: “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.

“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.”

One part of the initiative will provide funding to accelerate customer and partner advances in diagnosis, treatment and vaccine development, leveraging technologies such as AI, high-performance computing and edge-to-cloud service delivery.

“Through the initiative, Intel will help healthcare and life sciences manufacturers increase the availability of technology and solutions used by hospitals to diagnose and treat Covid-19,” the company said.

“It will also support the creation of industry alliances that accelerate worldwide capacity, capability and policy to respond to this and future pandemics, building on Intel’s own experience in driving technology innovation in the health and life sciences arena.”

Intel is also supporting education-focused non-profit organisations and business partners to provide students with technology, devices and online learning resources. The programme will begin immediately in the US, targeting regions with the greatest needs, before expanding globally.

Efforts in Ireland

Support Silicon Republic

Earlier this week, Intel announced that it is donating €500,000 to Irish charities to support coronavirus relief and recovery efforts. The company said that the exact details of the recipients of the donation will be shared in the coming days.

“Additionally, for our employees in Ireland, the Intel Foundation is establishing a special donation matching campaign to amplify their contributions,” the company added. “Intel employees who donate to CMRF Crumlin, Alone or Jigsaw will have their donation matched.”

Intel Ireland has also donated 100,000 items of personal protective equipment, including masks, gloves and other gear, to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for front-line staff.

The innovation fund

The $10m that Intel has set aside in its new innovation fund will help the company work on projects with external partners. For example, it is working with India’s Council of Scientific and Industrial Research and the Institute of Information Technology Hyderabad to deploy Intel client and server solutions to help achieve faster, less expensive Covid-19 testing.

Another effort the company is contributing to in India is a collaboration with the country’s National Association of Software and Service Companies to build an application ecosystem and multi-cloud back end to enable population-scale Covid-19 diagnostics, with the aim of predicting outbreaks and improving medical care management and administration.

In the UK, the company is working with Dyson and medical consultancy firm TTP to supply field-programmable gate arrays for CoVent, a new ventilator specifically designed in response to the pandemic.

Other contributions

The company said that its technology underpins some of the critical products and services that global communities, governments and healthcare organisations are currently relying on.

In addition to the above contributions, Intel has donated 1m gloves, masks and other pieces of equipment to healthcare workers. It has donated $6m from the Intel Foundation toward relief efforts in local communities and another $4m from Intel and its subsidiaries around the world.

The company has also partnered with Lenovo and Beijing-based BGI Genomics in a bid to accelerate the analysis of genomic characteristics of Covid-19.

Kelly Earley is a journalist with Siliconrepublic.com

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