Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) CEO Paul Otellini is in Israel to launch the company's $5 million investment in Israeli high schools over the next four years, in partnership with the Ministry of Education. Speaking at a press conference in Jerusalem's David Citadel Hotel, he said the projects aim is "to double the number of high school students completing their science and technology matriculation certificate."
Otellini made the announcement in between a meeting with President Shimon Peres and a tour of the Old City walls. He then plans travelling on to Intel Israel's development center in Haifa. At the press conference, he was sitting between Intel Israel president Mooly Eden and Intel Israel general manager Maxine Fassberg.
Intel is currently investing $100 million worldwide in education and according to Otellini the chip giant has invested $1 billion over the past decade. Explaining Intel's motive in investing in Israeli education he said, "We are perhaps the largest private employer in Israel (about 8,000 employees in the company's development and production centers S.S.) and most of those employees have technological know-how. Some of our most sophisticated engineering efforts are carried out in Israel."
Intel's involvement in education will encompass interaction with the school system, teacher guidance, and encouraging students to deepen their technological and scientific know-how. Otellini stressed, "I don't just believe in writing out the check."
Otellini says he is sometimes skeptical about the involvement of private enterprise in government activities but insists that Intel's education project is the right thing. He said, "I don't think there is a conflict of interest with our investment. Ultimately we are doing it to make the children more enthusiastic about science. That's a good thing. I don't see any potential problem."
Otellini continued, "We have been in Israel for 40 years and we have done many things. We're here for the long term and we will decide next year regarding our next factory." This message will soothe those who are concerned that Intel's connection with Israel is weakening. Otellini added, "I don't see us making any cutbacks at the moment."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on November 1, 2012
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