Intel Commits $100 Million for University Research

The computer chip giant Intel will invest $100 million in U.S. universities to support cutting-edge research in computing and communications, the company announced yesterday.

The project will create a network of Intel Science and Technology Centers (ISTC), each focusing on a particular area of research. Intel will fund each center initially for 3 years, with the option of two more years of support. Up to four Intel researchers will work at each center to promote the transfer of successful research results to the company.

Intel announced yesterday that its first ISTC will focus on improving computer visualization. The center will be led by researchers at Stanford University with collaborators from the University of California (UC), Berkeley; Cornell University; Princeton University; Harvard University; the University of Washington; UC Irvine; and UC Davis. "This is an exciting new model that will have huge impact on the future of computing," says Stanford's Pat Hanrahan, the lead academic principal investigator for the new center. Additional centers are expected to be announced later this year.

The company has previously run open collaboration centers near research universities, providing money to operate and staff these facilities. The new arrangement is designed to put more money in the hands of researchers, encourage tighter collaborations, and improve the transfer of technology back to the company.

Intel officials say each center will adopt its own arrangements on intellectual property rights. But they say the preferred approach is to publish all research in the open literature and to make available with an open-source license any software that is developed.