Today Intel Labs is embarking on a new and exciting way of engaging the U.S. academic community in long-term collaborative research. Our goals in establishing Intel Science and Technology Centers are to fund significant academic research in areas that are important to Intel’s long term future and to capture new ideas and fresh perspectives from the academic community and bring into Intel. Using this model, we hope to engage a large number of universities and leading academics in long term research in a way that brings together vibrant research communities that will advance the state of the art in technology areas of vital importance to Intel and the industry.I’m especially excited about the prospect of investing with significantly large research grants in the leading U.S. universities. Through the ISTC model, Intel is increasing by as much as 5x the size of our direct investment in U.S. academic community over what we were investing through our previous Open Collaborative model. This is good for Intel, good for the universities, and especially good for promising young students and researchers who are considering whether or not to go on to graduate school. One of our aims is to really encourage, and provide the means by which, young up-and-coming researchers will go to graduate school and eventually decide on a long-term career at Intel. The Visual Computing center being announced today is the first ISTC to be established, and we are actively working toward establishing centers with several of our university partners. We hope to launch half a dozen ISTCs by the end of 2012. I am looking forward to the new opportunities these ISTCs will create, and we continue to invite dialog and discussion from across the company and the academic community in our efforts to drive Intel’s academic research programs. EDITOR’S NOTE: Thanks to everyone for their inquiries about the ISTC program. At present, the only publicly announced ISTC concerns visual computing. Other topics have been selected for 2011, but we are still putting in place the Intel leadership teams and giving them the time and space to work out their basic approach. When the time is ripe (weeks to months) they will reach out to the academic community in ways that make the most sense for the specific focus area. Beyond this year, we are not prepared to commit to any specific process for selecting ISTC topic areas and schools. While there is not an open call for proposals, we are passing individual inquiries on to the ISTC management team. Having said that, since research at Intel is often driven in a grassroots fashion, the best thing to do is keep collaborating with Intel researchers to develop and communicate a vision that people get excited about.
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