Intel and Partners Open Applications for New AI Labs at Community Colleges

Ten community colleges will be selected for $400,000 in grants to build artificial intelligence labs as part of Intel’s AI for Workforce program.




What’s New: Intel, Dell Technologies and the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) are announcing the AI Incubator Network, a new initiative from Intel’s AI for Workforce program that will design and build artificial intelligence (AI) labs across the country by utilizing the expertise and industry connections of America’s community college system. The partnership is opening applications for community colleges that would like to participate in the AI Incubator Network by designing and building their own AI incubators as physical laboratories, on virtual platforms or in hybridized models.

“Building upon Intel’s partnership with the American Association of Community Colleges and Dell by establishing incubators for emerging technology education across the U.S. will provide greater access to critically needed technical skills and training in AI. This specialized program is a starting point for the next generation of U.S. technologists, engineers and inventors to expand their innovative thinking and go on to land careers in all sectors of the digital economy.”

—Michelle Johnston Holthaus, Intel executive vice president and general manager of the Client Computing Group

What It Is: Community colleges that join the AI Incubator Network can participate in discussions, connect on economic development, strategize on student engagement into AI programming, share lessons about student projects between the participating colleges, and gather best practices from the field of AI Incubation as identified by AACC, Intel, Dell and other industry partners. The labs will also provide students with more access to AI equipment, tools and resources, and foster the skills needed for future jobs.

Ten colleges will be selected for 12-month grants of $40,000 each to build out their AI labs.

Since the AI for Workforce program launched in 2020, Intel has expanded it to 31 schools across 18 states. The AI Incubator Network Initiative will quickly expand the AI for Workforce program, spurring a national dialogue and bringing coordinated resources to the broader community college system.

Why It’s Needed: A 2021 EdScoop survey underwritten by Dell Technologies and Intel found that higher education officials believe the demand for AI training is outpacing both supply and the current ability of higher education institutions to meet that demand. Fifty-three percent of survey respondents suggested AI would account for the most significant increase in instructional demand over the next three years, and 50 percent said they would like support from a consortium/association of peer institutions.

About the AACC’s Role: For colleges that choose to participate, AACC will support the implementation of the AI Incubator Network. As the voice of the nation’s community colleges, the AACC delivers educational and economic opportunities to nearly 12 million diverse students.

About Dell’s Role: Dell Technologies will provide technical expertise to the 10 selected schools to configure AI labs for teaching in-person, hybrid and online students. Dell’s engagement with Intel’s AI for Workforce aligns with its commitment to its Progress Made Real 2030 goals, transforming lives by providing access to education and technology that supports the U.S. workforce in reaching its full potential.

About Intel’s Role: Intel is providing $400,000 in funding as part of its RISE Technology Initiative (IRTI) which reviews and funds projects related to health care, education and the economy with dedicated workstreams for social equity, human rights, accessibility and climate action. Intel has committed to expand digital readiness to reach 30 million people in 30,000 institutions in 30 countries. This commitment is part of Intel’s 2030 Goals  and the company’s dedication to using tech as a force for good, underscoring its aim to make technology fully inclusive and to expand digital readiness worldwide. 

How to Participate: Community colleges can apply on the American Association of Community Colleges' websiteThe application deadline is Feb. 25, 2022.


More Context: Intel Launches AI for Workforce Program for Students in 18 Community Colleges