Qualcomm™ and FIRST™: A Long-Term Collaboration to Foster Tomorrow’s Innovators

Nov 21, 2019 3:00 PM ET

At Qualcomm, we believe in the power of technology. For decades, our innovations have transformed entire industries, enriched lives and addressed many of society’s biggest challenges. With the world becoming increasingly connected, we have a tremendous opportunity to shape a better future. We understand that the success of our business is fundamentally connected to the well-being of our world. We focus our efforts in four key areas where we believe we can have the biggest impact — Purposeful Innovation, STEM Education, Responsible Business, and Our People. 

As a company of inventors, we care deeply about STEM. It is part of who we are and the foundation for everything we do. As an R&D engine that has revolutionized the way people connect, our approach to innovation is strategic and purposeful.  Through our STEM education efforts, we work to inspire the next generation of inventors and advance workforce development for STEM-related careers.  Our initiatives are designed to promote and improve STEM education at all levels and to expand upon opportunities for underrepresented students.  

Our ongoing strategic collaboration with FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) provides hands-on experience with Qualcomm technology to engage students in more than 25 countries. Qualcomm has been a strong supporter of FIRST and its robotics programs for more than 13 years. As a FIRST Strategic Partner, we provide a wide range of support that includes technology integration in the FIRST Tech Challenge control system, thousands of volunteer hours from employees across the globe, as well as substantial philanthropic contributions to support teams, events, and program growth. 

Our company supports FIRST, whose global scale and reach provide foundational STEM and 21st century skills to over 575,000 students in more than 100 countries every year. In 2018-2019 alone, the FIRST Tech Challenge program, together with strategic partners like Qualcomm, have reached over 68,000 students in over 27 countries across the globe. 

One of the many reasons Qualcomm invests in FIRST is because we know it works: According to a recent longitudinal study by Brandeis University, FIRST participants are three times more likely than comparison students to show gains in STEM interest, and FIRST alumni are 4.2 times more likely to declare a STEM major than comparison students. This momentum is crucial to bringing about the transformational potential of the Invention Age across industries, continents, and economies.

We are extremely proud of the work we are doing to build and inspire this next generation of inventors through programs like FIRST. With technology progressing as fast as it is and our world facing some of the most complex challenges of our time, it’s inspiring to know that these students and this program are there to help guide us and lead the way.

Qualcomm’s support of FIRST goes beyond a traditional sponsorship. By encouraging young people, we hope to transform the future of our industry and demonstrate our commitment to inspiring the next generation of inventors.