Intel Higher Education Program Escalates Innovation in APAC

A dynamic innovative economy is dependent on a robust education system that instils graduates with a passion to pursue technical degrees and entrepreneurial career paths. This understanding fuels Intel’s engagements in higher education across the Asia Pacific region, which help countries ignite talent, unlock potential and drive economic growth through local innovation.

Our investment in developing a world-class talent pipeline for the region begins with K-12 education. We place heavy emphasis on promoting enriched curricula in the education system and to stimulate student interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

Intel strongly believes that graduates have the potential to not just participate in the innovation economy, but to lead the way in solving global challenges. Every year we sponsor competitions, at both the regional and global level, to challenge undergraduates to explore the possibilities of technology in improving life on this planet.

The Intel India Embedded Challenge is one such program hosted annually by the Intel Higher Education Program team in India to promote research and innovation among engineering students and working professionals. This year, the competition received over 2,800 registrations and 688 innovative ideas. The winners, Joseph Jeffrey, Rosha G Patil and Skanda Kuma K N from the International Institute of Information Technology Bangalore, and Siddartha Khastgir and Anubhav Sahoo from the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur were rewarded for their outstanding innovations – ‘Wireless Sensor-based Smart Parking System’ and ‘Development of an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle for Coastal Monitoring Applications’ respectively. These triumphs prove that great ideas can come from anyone, anywhere and Intel is working to support and foster such creative thinking.

The Intel Higher Education effort focuses on developing education and training programs with a real impact on enhancing the technical know-how for tertiary students around the region. Our collaboration with local governments, policy makers, NGOs and education leaders is vital to achieving our common goal of advancing the technical capabilities for countries in Asia Pacific to enable their participation in the global economy.

In Malaysia, Intel collaborates with 20 local institutes of higher learning to develop curricula, cultivate skills and create a robust pipeline of future-ready knowledge workers. This year, Penang hosted Intel’s biennial Intel Asia Academic Forum (AAF), which saw 160 participants attend from nine Asian countries including China, India, Japan, Vietnam and Korea among others. The forum provides an opportunity to fuse industry knowledge with academia and not only exchange ideas on current technology trends, but also determine the future direction of research and innovation.

The Higher Engineering Education Alliance Program (HEEAP) was established in 2010 through partnerships with various government, industry and educational organizations in Vietnam and the US, aimed at promoting practical applications of skills in Vietnam’s engineering programs. Earlier this year, the alliance received praise from U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton for its successful implementation in the two short years it has been active. This was one of the many projects that contributed to Intel Vietnam being selected by the U.S. Department of State as the winner of the Award for Corporate Excellence (ACE) Award, presented by Secretary Clinton, which recognizes “outstanding leadership in corporate social responsibility, innovation, and exemplary international business practices that contribute to the growth and development of the local economy”.

The HEEAP program was expanded this year when Intel signed a memorandum of understanding with the Arizona State University (ASU) and the Vietnam Ministry of Education and Training (MOET). The expansion consisted of more than $10 million of investments over the next five years. “The Vietnamese government has been very pleased with the outcomes of the HEEAP project. We look forward to continue collaborating with our strong partners to rapidly upgrade our higher education system,” comments Bui Van Ga, Vice Minister of MOET.

The next phase of the program will continue training ASU faculty members and empower students in Vietnam. The initiative will provide online learning networks, improve English language capabilities and promote the involvement of more women in engineering and technical fields.

Over the past year, we have witnessed our efforts in higher education in Asia Pacific come to life. In 2013, we will continue to support the region in developing a highly-skilled, twenty-first century ready workforce, capable of leading-edge innovation and world-changing inventions.

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