Startups

Capital One commits $3M toward machine learning education at University of Maryland College Park

The funding is going toward a new innovation lab in UMD's Discovery District. It will focus on developing talent in machine learning, data analytics and cybersecurity.

Capital One wants to be closer to campus.

(Photo by University of Maryland, obtained via Creative Commons license)

Capital One’s efforts to cultivate tech talent are spreading to College Park, Md.

The Tysons Corner, Va.–based financial giant is opening a new innovation lab just outside the University of Maryland’s campus that will focus on developing a pipeline of tech talent, the two entities are announcing on Tuesday.

Being Capital One, there is also money involved. Specifically, Capital One’s  is making a $3 million endowment gift is geared toward advancing machine learning, cybersecurity and data analytics. About $2.1 million is going toward a new faculty chair in the university’s computer science department. That amount was matched by funding from the Maryland Department of Commerce.

The remaining $900,000 will be put toward research and education. The company and university will also look to create teams made up of Capital One engineers and researchers that address problems in those fields, according to the university. These will be called FIRE Streams, short for First Year Innovation Research and Experience.

With the announcement, Capital One will also become the first big private sector tenant in the Discovery District, which is just outside the university along Baltimore Avenue. The company is leasing 7,500 sq. ft. in a mixed use development called the “Diamondback Garage.”

The idea behind such innovation districts is predicated on large anchor partners from the private sector located alongside researchers and startups, so this announcement appears to be a move toward pairing at least two pieces of that puzzle.

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