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December 3, 2001

Media Contact:
   Denine Hagen (858)509-4871, cell - (858)336-4508


Menlo Park, CA. December 3, 2001 – Jacobs School of Engineering Dean Robert Conn was among top business, government and academic experts gathered in Silicon Valley on December 3 to discuss new paradigms for innovation. Of particular interest are the business and social implications of public/private partnerships for innovative science and technology research.

A "meeting-of-the-minds," the eighth Hitachi California Public Affairs Forum: New Paradigms for Innovation in Science and Technology, organized by the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) exemplified the fruit of a public/private partnership-- as Hitachi and SRI International (a nonprofit research institute) partnered with the public sector California Technology, Trade and Commerce Agency and the University of California Institute for Mexico and the United States (UC MEXUS) to host the event.

"Innovation affects Californians in many different ways," said Hitachi Senior Corporate Officer Shojiro Asai. "For almost a century, Hitachi’s corporate philosophy has combined contribution to society through the development of technology and products."

The forum, which recommended specific changes in public policy to help guide and foster innovation, marked the beginning of a five-month research period, after which participants will gather again to publish their individual findings on new innovation paradigms within their respective fields.

Policy recommendations developed from the forum will be included in CCST's report, Critical Path Analysis of California's Educational System.

"It is time to take a fresh look at what is happening to California's great assets: its research laboratories with their semi-permeable walls, its entrepreneurs, and its industries that commercialize new technical innovations," said Susan Hackwood, Executive Director of the CCST.

Forum organizers hope this research undertaking will give state and national policymakers insight into factors that influence technology sector growth.

"Research and technology innovation have helped the State of California become the world’s fifth largest economy. Understanding how policy can shape and support California’s R&D infrastructure is essential to ensuring a robust economy and technology pipeline," said Curtis Carlson, President and CEO of SRI International, the Silicon Valley-based research institute founded in 1946. Dr. Carlson was the forum’s keynote speaker, and he led a panel discussion about technology transfer models.

As Governor Gray Davis traveled through Mexico with President Vicente Fox the forum hosted Director General Jaime Parada of CONACYT, Mexico's National Council for Science and Technology and the country's principle funding institution for research and higher education. "Scientific and technological advances between California and Mexico have helped members of both societies cross borders of innovation."

In addition to Dean Conn, other featured guests included: Paul Jennings, Professor, California Institute of Technology; Tim Bresnahan, Professor of Economics, Stanford University; C. Judson King, Provost and Senior VP, Academic Affairs, University of California; Lawrence Gilbert, Director, Office of Technology Transfer, CALTECH; Robert J.T. Morris, Vice-President, IBM Research; Katherine Ku, Director, Office of Technology Transfer, Stanford University; Michael Cleare, Executive Director, Columbia University; Lawrence Coleman, Vice Provost for Research, University of California; C. Bruce Tarter, Director, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory; Michael Paige, Vice President and Director, Xerox PARC; Peter Schwartz, co-founder and Chairman, Global Business Network; Joe Raguso, Deputy Secretary, California Technology, Trade and Commerce Agency, Division of Science, Technology and Innovation.

This year's forum is the eighth Hitachi California Public Affairs Forum. The series began in 1987 as a platform for finding solutions to problems that face California and the nation.

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