Gift from The Atlantic Philanthropies Launches Cornell Tech’s Public Interest Tech

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Gift from The Atlantic Philanthropies Launches Cornell Tech’s Public Interest Tech

Cornell Tech has announced a $1 million grant from The Atlantic Philanthropies to jump-start its Public Interest Tech (PiTech) initiative, aimed at developing the tools, systems, datasets, research and education needed to address significant public sector concerns.

The gift will help Cornell Tech create the foundational infrastructure for PiTech, with the goal of building a community of researchers and practitioners dedicated to addressing societal challenges that otherwise might not benefit from federal research funding, commercial investment and foundation support.

“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.”

The gift also will support the launch of a Public Interest Tech Studio, which will provide master’s students with product development and entrepreneurial experience addressing real-world public interest challenges with non-profits and other socially-minded organizations.

In Studio, a core part of the Cornell Tech curriculum, students work in interdisciplinary teams to develop tech solutions for startups, companies and organizations in New York City.

The Atlantic Philanthropies, founded by billionaire businessman Charles F. Feeney ’56, has a long history of giving to Cornell University. In 2011, Atlantic made its largest ever commitment, $350 million, to support the establishment of Cornell Tech at a critical moment in Cornell’s winning bid to build an applied sciences and technology campus in New York City.

This grant will be the final one to Cornell from Atlantic Philanthropies, whose contributions to Cornell over the years have totaled nearly $1 billion. Atlantic has announced that it will cease operations this year...

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