HERNDON, Va., Dec. 18 /PRNewswire/ – Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) hosted a conference on Nov. 6 designed to give technologists from America Online, Inc. (AOL) an opportunity to begin dialogues with Virginia university researchers working in fields of interest to the company. Peter Jobse, CIT’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, welcomed more than 100 employees in technology-related roles at AOL and 40 research professors and doctoral candidates from six Virginia universities: George Mason University, George Washington University – Virginia Campus, James Madison University, Old Dominion University, the Virginia Commonwealth University, and Virginia Tech. “Finding Common Ground 2002: University Research Day” included presentations, demonstrations and poster sessions on topics such as data mining, digital government, mobile/wireless capabilities, targeted Web design and home networking.
In his opening remarks, Clayton Lewis, vice president of AOL’s Innovation Center, cited the benefits of infusing AOL’s process of innovation with ideas from the universities. “This program helps us continue to build lasting and productive relationships with Virginia’s research community. The day is about exploration and discovery that doesn’t end when we leave the building,” Lewis said.
CIT established the program for AOL three years ago as a way to focus the company’s attention on cutting-edge research being conducted at Virginia’s colleges and universities, and to encourage AOL’s investment in university research to remain in the Commonwealth. The first year’s program in July 2000 resulted in a partnership between AOL and GWU’s Virginia campus on the Home of the 21st Century, announced in April 2001, and the establishment of two fellowships at Virginia Tech. In addition, AOL’s positive interaction with the universities led to summer internships for 29 students from eight Virginia universities. This year, AOL provided $20,000 in awards for outstanding presentations and poster displays.
“This is one way that CIT can work with Virginia’s technology businesses, large and small, to achieve a primary goal: helping ideas generated in Virginia’s colleges and universities reach the marketplace, CIT’s Jobse said. “Research conducted by Virginia universities that can add value to a Virginia company’s products or services results in economic benefit to the Commonwealth. AOL’s enthusiastic participation in this event demonstrates its commitment to seeking solutions in its own backyard.”
CIT has used this conference as a model for other university-industry events that focus on applied research and technology transfer. Two events last spring, the Virginia Technology Showcase and the Advanced Materials Showcase, also attracted participants who had technologies available for licensing and those who were interested in applying those ideas to new and existing businesses.
“We encourage an expansion of this activity to other companies in Virginia that have research needs the universities can fill,” said Professor Scott F. Midkiff, of Virginia Tech’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. It’s an avenue into the Commonwealth’s intellectual resources that also affords the research community an opportunity to understand the marketplace perspective.”
About Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology, http://www.cit.org CIT is a state-chartered nonprofit corporation focused on three goals: enhancing federal research funding to Virginia’s colleges, universities and industry; commercializing intellectual property from universities and laboratories and growing entrepreneurial companies; promoting technology-based industry development by serving as the Commonwealth’s technology extension service.
SOURCE Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology
CONTACT: Margo Dunn of Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology, +1-703-689-3070, or [email protected]