Alabama A&M receives $1.25 million Apple Innovation Grant


FILE – In this Saturday, March 14, 2020 file photo, an Apple logo adorns the facade of the downtown Brooklyn Apple store in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — As part of its New Silicon Initiative, Apple is awarding $5 million “Innovation Grants” to 4 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

The three-year grants were announced Tuesday as a small part of Apple’s broader “Racial Equity and Justice Initiative”, a plan launched in January by the company.

Alabama A&M University is among one of four universities to receive this “Innovation Grant”, which will help to expand silicon and hardware technologies. The aim is to inspire and prepare students to pursue careers in the ever-increasing hardware engineering, technology fields, and silicon chip design.

Alabama A&M will receive $1.25 million of the $5 million grant.

“The HBCU community is home to incredible Black talent and we are thrilled to work alongside these universities to enhance the opportunities for their students,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s Vice President of Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives.

Apple’s “Racial Equity and Justice Initiative” is the company’s latest push to invest in programs and colleges to create interest in an industry that is known for lacking diversity in its workforce.

Alabama A&M University President Dr. Andrew Hugine, Jr. said, “As the leader in producing minority STEM graduates in Alabama and being among the top 4 HBCUs nationally with this designation, Alabama A&M is excited about this opportunity to partner with Apple to strengthen our engineering programs and enhance our student pipeline into the workforce.”

The grant will provide funding and other support from Apple for lab space, scholarships and fellowships, faculty training, curriculum support, internships, and more. The company’s aim is to support each university’s engineering school, and expand new hardware technologies in computer science and silicon engineering.

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