The head of Intel wants to see the U.S. more competitive and has proposed a $3.5 billion investment to help achieve that goal.
Intel President and Chief Operating Officer Paul Otellini has announced plans for a new alliance to invest $3.5 billion in fledgling U.S. technology companies over the next two years.
The Invest in America Alliance plans to supplement state and federal funds by investing in businesses and individuals working on innovative, new technologies. Led by Intel, other corporations, and venture capital firms, the alliance hopes to jump-start American competitiveness in the technology arena.
Otellini made the announcement at a speech (PDF transcript of prepared remarks) that he gave before the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., Tuesday morning. He opened by stressing the need to invest in American companies, noting that the United States faces a world of tough competition as other nations invest in their future faster than the U.S. does.
"Strong, enduring economies grow out of a culture of investment and a commitment to innovation," said Otellini in his speech. "We simply must have a clear, consistent strategy to promote innovation, investment, and start-up companies. There are things business can do, and ought to do, independent of what government achieves."
Teaming up with 24 top venture capital firms, Intel's investments will include $200 million in the Capital Invest in America Technology Fund. The money from this fund will be targeted toward businesses involved in information technology, clean technology, and biotech. But funds will go to help newer state-of-the-art industries as well, including molecular diagnostics, bioinformatics, electric vehicle ecosystem, and wireless infrastructure.
Looking to the future, Intel's Invest in American Alliance is also seeking promises from leaders in the tech industry to boost their hiring of recent college graduates. Companies that have already pledged to this commitment include Adobe, Cisco, Dell, Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo, among others.
Many of these corporations have promised to double their hiring of college grads this year, opening up around 10,500 new jobs. Most of the opportunities will be for those with computer science and engineering degrees. But jobs will also be available in finance, marketing, and sales. Intel said it plans to increase hiring of recent grads as well as more experienced professionals.
"It would be a long-term mistake to let our future scientists and engineers sit idle after graduation," Otellini said. "Today's announcements are both an investment in the country's innovators and a signal to the global marketplace about America's commitment to innovation and future competitiveness."
Other VC firms and corporations are expected to join the effort by investing their own funds and pledging to hire more college grads over the next few weeks and months.