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Intel pledges $50M toward coronavirus fight, including tech help for vaccine development

Intel joins other private-sector firms in backing efforts to stop the pandemic

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Intel has committed $50 million toward efforts to use advanced technologies to combat the global coronavirus pandemic, the company announced Tuesday.

The California-based chipmaker said $40 million would go toward funding two efforts. Some of the funding will aid Intel’s COVID-19 Response and Readiness Initiative, assisting business partners working toward breakthroughs in coronavirus-related testing, treatments and vaccine developments by proving access to artificial intelligence and other technologies.

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Intel will work with health care companies to make advanced technologies available to hospitals working to combat the virus. Funding for the second effort, Intel’s Online Learning Initiative, will help to provide public school students forced to study from home with computers and other tech-based assistance to make the process easier.

With Medical Informatics Corp.'s Sickbay platform, health care providers at Houston Methodist Hospital can monitor multiple patients in real time (Photo courtesy of Houston Methodist Hospital)

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“The world faces an enormous challenge in fighting COVID-19,” Intel CEO Bob Swan said in a statement. “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 remaining $10 million is earmarked for other coronavirus relief projects in the U.S. and abroad. Intel is working with scientists in India to develop faster COVID-19 testing and British tech firm Dyson to develop bed-mounted ventilators.

Another project with Houston-based Medical Informatics Corp. focuses on that firm’s “Sickbay” platform, which allows health care works to virtually monitor COVID-19 patients without risking exposure.

The pledge was announced as the coronavirus pandemic worsens in the United States. There were more than 368,000 confirmed individual cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. as of Tuesday morning. More than 10,700 Americans have died from the virus.

The Trump administration has called on the private sector to aid response efforts.

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Apple has donated more than 20 million face masks and plans to manufacture 1 million face shields per week to aid health care workers, according to CEO Tim Cook. Google created a website full of key information about the novel coronavirus and response initiatives.

With its $50 million pledge, Intel has donated $60 million to date. The firm previously donated $10 million to help local communities, including 1 million gloves, face masks and other pieces of protective equipment.

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