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September 09, 2015

Intel Drops $6 Million Sponsorship of Youth Science Contest

After 17 years sponsoring the Science Talent Search, a prestigious math and science competition for U.S. high-school students, computer-chip giant Intel is ending its support of the contest, The New York Times reports.

Intel took over sponsorship from Westinghouse in 1998 and significantly raised the cash prizes for the contest, which annually brings 40 finalists to Washington to meet with leaders in government and industry. Eight past winners have gone on to receive Nobel Prizes. Maya Ajmera, president of the Society for Science & the Public, said the organization would immediately begin looking for a new corporate partner.

Intel spokeswoman Gail Dundas said the Silicon Valley firm is "proud of its legacy" in supporting the contest but could not say why it was cutting ties. Craig Barrett, a former Intel CEO, said he was "surprised and a little disappointed" by the decision, calling the annual $6 million sponsorship "a rounding error" for the firm, which had a revenue of $55.6 billion last year.