Intel® Labs and the National Science Foundation Invest in Artificial Intelligence


  • After an initial investment in 2020, additional funding by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) to support 11 new institutes expanding the reach of these institutes to include a total of a total of 40 states and the District of Columbia to advance artificial intelligence (AI) technology and its proliferation.

  • Intel® Labs co-funds two significant initiatives, including the NSF AI Institute for Advances in Optimization led by the Georgia Institute of Technology, and the NSF AI Institute for Learning-Enabled Optimization at Scale (TILOS) led by the University of California San Diego, in collaboration with five other universities.



Intel Labs has a long standing partnership with the NSF involving several programs aimed at advancing AI technology and innovation. The two organizations started working together decades ago when co-founding the Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC), the world's leading microelectronics research consortium. Since then, they have established several exciting collaborations and programs spanning industry, government, and academia. 

Today, the NSF announced a $220 million investment in 11 new NSF-led AI Research Institutes in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA), U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and leading companies, including Intel, the AI Institutes will facilitate a broader nationwide network that will pursue transformational advances in various economic sectors and science and engineering fields — from food system security to next-generation edge networks. 

The additional funding builds on the first round of seven AI Institutes funded in 2020, totaling $140 million invested last year. This second round of funds expands the reach of the AI Institutes to include a total of a total of 40 states and the District of Columbia. This investment, each at about $20 million over five years support 11 institutes spanning seven research areas: 


  • Human-AI Interaction and Collaboration 
  • AI for Advances in Optimization 
  • AI and Advanced Cyberinfrastructure
  • AI in Computer and Network Systems 
  • AI in Dynamic Systems 
  • AI-Augmented Learning 
  • AI-Driven Innovation in Agriculture and the Food System

Specifically, the new funding will support the expansion of research areas in AI that bring about a range of advances, including: helping older adults lead more independent lives and improving the quality of their care; transforming AI into a more accessible “plug-and-play” technology; creating solutions to improve agriculture and food supply chains; enhancing adult online learning by introducing AI as a foundational element; and supporting underrepresented students in elementary to post-doctoral STEM education to improve equity and representation in AI research.

“I am delighted to announce the establishment of new NSF National AI Research Institutes as we look to expand into all 50 states,” said National Science Foundation Director Sethuraman Panchanathan. “These institutes are hubs for academia, industry and government to accelerate discovery and innovation in AI. Inspiring talent and ideas everywhere in this important area will lead to new capabilities that improve our lives from medicine to entertainment to transportation and cybersecurity and position us in the vanguard of competitiveness and prosperity.”

Among the newly established AI Research Institutes, two are co-funded by the NSF and Intel. They include: 

  • NSF AI Institute for Advances in Optimization
    Led by Georgia Tech, this institute will revolutionize decision-making on a large scale by fusing AI and mathematical optimization into intelligent systems that will achieve breakthroughs that neither field can achieve independently. The institute will create pathways from high school to undergraduate and graduate education and workforce development training for AI in engineering that will empower a generation of underrepresented students and teachers to join the AI revolution. 

    It will also create a sustainable ecosystem for AI, combining education, research, entrepreneurship, and the public at large. The institute will demonstrate foundational advances on use cases in energy, resilience and sustainability, supply chains, and circuit design and control. It has innovative plans for workforce education and broadening participation, including substantial leadership from a collaborating minority-serving institution.
  • NSF AI Institute for Learning-Enabled Optimization at Scale (TILOS)
    Led by the University of California San Diego, in collaboration with five other universities across the nation, this institute will aim to "make impossible optimizations possible" by addressing the fundamental challenges of scale and complexity. The institute will apply learning-enabled optimization in several technical focus areas vital to the nation's health and prosperity, including semiconductor chip design, robotics, and networks. 

    The research agenda also includes plans for workforce development and broadening participation at all academic levels, from middle school to advanced research levels, including community outreach efforts to promote AI.

“Intel Labs is thrilled with the NSF’s decision to increase its investments in AI in an effort to help foster more innovation and improve the world we live in,” said Somdeb Majumdar, head of Intel AI Lab U.S. “We look forward to working together with these world-leading institutions to create the next generation of technology and enable AI to reach its fullest potential.” 

For more information on the new AI Research Institutes, visit NSF AI Research Institutes or by visiting For more on NSF's investments in AI, see the NSF Science Matters article, “Expanding the geography of innovation: NSF AI Research Institutes 2021.”