The grant will support foundational infrastructure for a new Public Interest Tech (PiTech) initiative as well as efforts to build a community of researchers and practitioners focused on developing the tools, systems, datasets, research products, and curricula needed to address societal challenges that otherwise might not receive federal research funding, commercial investment, or philanthropic support. The funding also will be used to launch a Public Interest Tech Studio that provides master's students with the entrepreneurial experience needed to address real-world public interest challenges.
Founded by Cornell alumnus Charles F. Feeney ('56), Atlantic Philanthropies had a long history of giving to the university and in 2011 made its largest-ever commitment of $350 million to establish Cornell Tech. The foundation will close its doors for good later this year.
"Our commitment to initiatives like Public Interest Tech will be what sets Cornell Tech apart from other institutions," said Greg Morrisett, the Jack and Rilla Neafsey Dean and Vice Provost of Cornell Tech. "We are distinguished by a drive not simply to advance tech for tech's sake, but to build a better world. I am enormously grateful for the Atlantic Philanthropies' support of this vision."