Intel and a group of corporations and VCs are investing $3.5 billion in U.S. technology companies. The Invest in America Alliance, announced today in Washington D.C. is an effort to make U.S. businesses more competitive on a global level. "Strong, enduring economies grow out of a culture of investment and a commitment to innovation," said Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini. The Alliance will complement state and federal job-creation programs. It will focus on current segments in IT, clean technology and biotechnology, but will also target newer markets like molecular diagnostics, bioinformatics, electric vehicle ecosystem and wireless infrastructure "We simply must have a clear, consistent strategy to promote innovation, investment and start-up companies,” Otellini said.

In addition to the investments, as part of the initiative 17 corporations will double the amount of college graduates they hire in 2010, creating 10,500 jobs in technology and business positions.

"Many college graduates have been among the hardest hit by the economic downturn and providing them a place in the economy today is the best way to ensure America's innovation and competitiveness tomorrow," said Richard Taylor, vice president and director of Human Resources for Intel.

Also today, Juniper announced the launch of the Junos Innovation Fund, which will invest $50 million in startups using the Juno networking platform.

Juniper’s fund will be aimed at early- and growth-stage venture backed companies in security infrastructure, mobility, video, virtualization, network automation, optical technology, and green networking.

It’s not every day that corporations pledge over $3.5 billion to fund innovation. Federal and state recovery programs are already starting to drive growth in certain sectors, and corporate recovery programs will further hasten industry recovery as well as innovation.

“There are things business can do, and ought to do, independent of what government achieves,” Otellini said.

By Mark Alvarez