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Distributed May 18, 2004
Contact Tracie Sweeney

Department of Computer Science’s 25th Anniversary
Summit will explore technology transfer between academia, industry

Leaders from industrial research laboratories, academia and the government will gather at Brown University on Monday, May 24, to address the future of corporate research and the role of universities. This summit, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Department of Computer Science’s Industrial Partners Program.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. —Jack Breese, the head of Microsoft’s research arm, and research innovators from the labs of such companies as IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Sun Microsystems will be at Brown University on Monday, May 24, to take part in a Brown University summit titled “The National Research Landscape: Leveraging the Academic/Industry Partnership.“ The summit is sponsored by the Department of Computer Science’s Industrial Partners Program as part of the department’s 25th anniversary.

The daylong event, which begins at 8 a.m. in the Starr Auditorium of MacMillan Hall, corner George and Thayer streets, is free and open to the public and to the media, but space is limited. The summit may be of interest to anyone involved in the management of research and development in industry, academia or government. Companies large and small that need to find ways to engage universities in the creation or licensing of intellectual property will also find the summit of interest.

The last few years have seen dramatic changes in the way research is funded and pursued in industry. This summit will be an opportunity to evaluate how academia and industry can best cooperate to advance fundamental research and technology transfer. In particular, it will explore models for collaboration, corporate philanthropy in academia, the future of research labs in the United States, intellectual property and technology transfer, co-invention in industry and academia, and models for pre-competitive cooperation.

The summit begins with breakfast and introductions, includes lunch, and concludes with a 5:15 p.m. reception. The speakers and their topics are:

  • 8:45 a.m. – “Reflections on Innovation”
    John Seely Brown, former chief scientist of Xerox Corporation and director of its Palo Alto Research Center, currently a Brown University trustee
  • 9:30 a.m. – “Vibrant Industrial Research”
    Alfred Spector, vice president of services and software, IBM Research
  • 10:45 a.m. – “Partnerships for Innovation”
    Per-Kristian Halvorsen, vice president and director, Solutions and Services Research Center at Hewlett-Packard Labs
  • 11:30 a.m. – “One Fellow’s View of Research”
    Robert Sproull, fellow and vice president, Sun Microsystems
  • 1:30 p.m. – “Fostering Practical Innovation at Microsoft Research”
    Jack Breese, director, Microsoft Research
  • 2:15 p.m. –“Industrial Research Labs – Neither for the Faint of Heart, Nor the Short of Sight, but Vital!”
    Richard Waters, president and CEO, MERL
  • 3:30 p.m. – “Innovation at Scale: The Imperative to Think Big, Start Small, Scale Fast”
    Saul Kaplan, director of business development, Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation
  • 4 p.m. – ”Leveraging the Academic Entrepreneur – and Success Factors in Commercializing University Discoveries”
    John Preston, senior lecturer, MIT

Additional biographical information about the speakers is available through the News Service. Reporters who would like to cover all or portions of the summit should contact the News Service for details. Members of the public who would like to attend the summit may register online at


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