ARMONK — IBM is launching two initiatives, including $11 million in assets, to support Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), with several based in North Carolina.

First, Big Blue has initiated its new IBM Quantum education and research initiative for HBCUs — with North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NC A&T) among the beneficiaries.

Led by Howard University and 12 additional HBCUs, including NC A&T, the IBM-HBCU Quantum Center is a multi-year investment designed to prepare and develop talent at HBCUs from all STEM disciplines for the quantum future.

Students receive access to support and funding for research opportunities, curriculum development, workforce advocacy, and special projects.

The other HBCUs are: Albany State University, Clark Atlanta University, Coppin State University, Hampton University, Morehouse College, Morgan State University, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Southern University, Texas Southern University, University of the Virgin Islands, Virginia Union University, and Xavier University of Louisiana.

Investing $100M

As part of the Skills Academy Academic Initiative in Global University Programs, a multi-year program, IBM is also donating more than $100 million in assets. That includes university guests lectures, curriculum content, digital badges, software and faculty training to select HBCUs by the end of 2020.

“We believe that in order to expand opportunity for diverse populations, we need a diverse talent pipeline of the next generation of tech leaders from HBCUs,” said Carla Grant Pickens, IBM’s chief global diversity & inclusion officer, in a statement.

The learning tracks address topics such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, blockchain, design thinking and quantum computing.

The HBCUs involved include North Carolina A&T State University, North Carolina Central University, along with Clark Atlanta University, Fayetteville State University, Grambling State University, Hampton University, Howard University, Johnson C. Smith University, Norfolk State University, Southern University System, Stillman College, Virginia State and West Virginia State University.

“IBM’s investment in HBCUs is part of the company’s efforts around social justice and racial equality by creating equitable, innovative experiences for HBCU students to acquire the necessary skills to unlock economic opportunity and prosperity,” the company said per release.