Intel commits $50m in pandemic response technology

Intel's $50m commitment comes after the company's record-breaking earnings call in January, where the company reported $20.21bn in revenue in the final quarter of 2019, and a total of $72bn in the entire year.

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

Intel's goal is to accelerate access to technology at the point of patient care, speed up scientific research and ensure access to online learning resources for students throughout the Covid-19 crisis.

As part of the relief funding, Intel has included an innovation fund for requests where access to Intel expertise and resources could have an immediate impact. This is in addition to the company's prior announcement of a $10m donation to support local communities throughout the crisis.

The donation 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 was $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.”

The company said that $40m of the funding will go towards Intel's Covid-19 Response and Readiness and Online Learning initiatives. Intel's Response and Readiness 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.

In a statement the firm said: “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.

“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 without access to technology, with devices and online learning resources through its Intel Online Learning Initiative.

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 programme will begin immediately in the US, targeting regions with the greatest needs, before expanding globally.

Efforts in Ireland

Last week, the company announced that it is donating €500,000 to Irish charities to support coronavirus relief and recovery efforts.

The firm said: “The exact details of the recipients of the charitable 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. Intel employees who donate to CMRF Crumlin, Alone or Jigsaw will have their donation matched.”

The company said that it has donated 100,000 items of personal protective equipment (PPE), including masks, gloves and other gear, to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for health workers on the front lines.

The innovation fund

The $10m that Intel has set aside in its innovation fund will help the company to work with India's council of scientific and industrial research, and the Institute of Information Technology Hyderabad (IITH) to deploy Intel client and server solutions to help achieve faster, less expensive Covid-19 testing.

The company is also helping to achieve coronavirus genome sequencing to understand epidemiology and AI-based risk stratification for patients with comorbidities.

Another effort the company is contributing in India is a collaboration with the country's National Association of Software and Service Companies to build an application ecosystem and multi-cloud backend to enable population scale Covid-19 diagnostics, predict outbreaks and to improve 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 (FPGAs) for CoVent, a ventilator specifically designed in response to the UK's request for help.

Other contributions

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

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

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