Intel addresses semiconductor challenges with education fund

Intel announces US$100m educational investment to address semiconductor challenges and workforce shortage, following recent investments in Ohio and Europe

Intel has announced US$100 million investment in education over the next decade, in a bid to address immediate semiconductor manufacturing technical challenges and workforce shortages.

Intel’s investment will establish semiconductor manufacturing education and research collaborations with universities, community colleges and technical educators across the US, directly investing US$50m in higher education institutions in Ohio, home to Intel headquarters.

The aim? To build a pipeline of talent and bolstering research programs.

Intel’s ambitious plans to solve global semiconductor challenges

This comes hot on the heels of a number of recent announcements by Intel to address the semiconductor manufacturing challenges and shortage, including plans to invest more than US$20bn to construct two new leading-edge chip factories in Ohio, and a further €33bn in European R&D and manufacturing.

Intel’s ambitious announcement of €33bn investment for semiconductor R&D and manufacturing in Europe over the next decade, as it looks to create a next-generation European chip ecosystem in Europe to address balancing the global semiconductor supply chain.

This investment by Intel, which has been in Europe for more than three decades and employs some 10,000 people there, would span European countries, including France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Poland and Spain, and the entire semiconductor value chain – from R&D through to manufacturing and state-of-the-art packaging technologies. The investment includes a plan to invest an initial €17bn into a leading-edge semiconductor mega-site in Germany, a new R&D and design hub in France.

A state-of-the-art European semiconductor ecosystem will support the green transition and help deliver the European Green Deal, as more efficient chips can reduce the power consumption of the next wave of digital hardware while driving HPC and AI solutions.

Intel Germany

Intel committed to skills shortage in tech and investing in talent in the US

Amid a national skills shortage in tech, Intel’s educational investment will give a major boost to education and workforce development in the US, something the multinational believes is necessary to “ensure we have the right talent to support our growth and help the US regain leadership in semiconductor manufacturing”, says Christy Pambianchi, Intel executive vice president and chief people officer.

“Our goal is to bring these programs and opportunities to a variety of two-year and four-year colleges, universities and technical programs because it is critical that we expand and diversify STEM education,” adds Pambianchi.

Intel will establish comprehensive and collaborative programs with higher education institutions to accelerate readiness and enable the workforce needed for operations of its new semiconductor fabrication facilities and of ecosystem partners. The investments will provide resources for creating new curriculums for associate and undergraduate degrees, certifications, faculty training, reskill and upskill programs for the existing workforce, laboratory equipment upgrades, and research supporting semiconductor fabrication innovation.

“Intel is on a mission to lead domestic chip capacity and capability growth, which is why it is investing in educational and research programs in Ohio and across the US to address the technical challenges and workforce shortages in our industry,” says Keyvan Esfarjani, Intel executive vice president and global COO, adding that in the past year Intel has announced manufacturing investments that will create 6,700 high-tech, US jobs, including 3,000 in Ohio.

Educational investments – what they will deliver

Intel intends to fund US$50m in grants in Ohio over the next 10 years. Part of this investment will establish the Intel Semiconductor Education and Research Program for Ohio to fund a collaborative, multi-institution research and education program that will emphasize gaining real-world experience and innovating in semiconductor fabrication.

Also, Intel will partner with NSF on a national funding initiative and will match Intel’s US$50m investment, making US$100m available in funding opportunities. NSF will release a solicitation for proposals from researchers and educators across the nation to develop a curriculum improving STEM education at two-year colleges and four-year universities.

Through NSF’s and Intel’s shared interests in supporting open, pre-competitive research and education advances in semiconductor design and manufacturing, the partnership will provide at least US$5 million in grants per year for 10 years to award recipients. 

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