Intel is funding research, care and online schooling to help cope with the coronavirus crisis.


Stephen Shankland/CNET

COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus, has infected more than a million people around the world. In a new step to fight the coronavirus pandemic, Intel will spend $50 million on improving patient care, scientific research and online education. The chipmaker’s effort, unveiled Tuesday, is among several examples of companies going beyond their usual area of business to fight a fast-spreading disease that’s become a global crisis.

Of the funding, $40 million will go toward two main activities. The first is helping Intel customers and business partners develop tests, vaccines and treatments, including computer simulations and service delivery. The second is aimed at helping nonprofits get computer technology and online services to students who don’t currently have them, starting in the US and then expanding globally, Intel said.

The remaining $10 million will fund innovation projects. Three examples Intel is supporting:

COVID-19 has led to the deaths of thousands in the US, triggering lockdowns to slow its spread and a scramble to find enough medical supplies to treat an influx of patients. Unemployment has surged, and the extent of the economic shock isn’t yet known.

Many companies have launched special efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic. Those include Apple producing 20 million face shields for medical workers; automakers like Ford, GM and Tesla building ventilators; HP offering 3D printing capabilities to make face shields; and Airbus and other European companies making ventilators. 

Tech companies like Zoom, Google, Microsoft and Adobe are also offering free or discounted use of their online services.

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