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Industrial Liaison Program opens Palo Alto office

MIT has announced the establishment of a West Coast office to assist more than 20 companies there which are members of MIT's Industrial Liaison Program. The formal announcement was made at an MIT-sponsored conference January 22 in Silicon Valley.

The Palo Alto conference, "Doing Business in the Pacific Rim: The High-Tech Perspective," drew together faculty from MIT's Sloan School of Management, industry representatives, and other noted experts to define and discuss the strategic challenges facing high-tech management in the Pacific Rim.

At the conference, MIT President Charles M. Vest and Provost Mark S. Wrighton announced the opening of the West Coast office for MIT's Industrial Liaison Program, a service that helps companies draw on the expertise and resources of MIT to inform and catalyze their technology strategies. The office in Palo Alto, in the heart of Silicon Valley, will be headed by Howard R. Engelson, a former Grumman Corporation vice president who has been with MIT since 1987. Mr. Engelson is a senior industrial liaison officer at MIT.

"A growing number of Industrial Liaison Program members are located on the West Coast," Dr. Vest said. "Because of the East Coast-West Coast time difference, the new office will effectively lengthen the business day by three hours and will allow the Program to stay in closer touch with the needs and interests of West Coast firms, helping them to build stronger and mutually beneficial ties to MIT."

About 25 Liaison Program members currently have major facilities on the west coast, including Apple Computer, Inc.; The Boeing Company; Hughes Aircraft Co.; Intel Corporation; Sun Microsystems; TRW, Inc.; and Tektronix, Inc. There are now nearly 235 members worldwide.

MIT has had a strong impact on Silicon Valley. A recent study conducted by the Chase Manhattan Corporation showed that MIT alumni have founded nearly 180 companies in northern California, directly or indirectly providing more than 152,000 jobs in the state.

At the conference, Dean Lester C. Thurow of MIT's Sloan School of Management, led off a morning session of presentations by MIT faculty with a talk entitled "The Global Economy." Industry representatives presented their views on the strategic challenges of the Pacific Rim in an afternoon session. Speakers included Takashi Kiuchi, chairman and chief executive officer of Mitsubishi Electronics America; Morris Chang, chairman, Industrial Technology Research, Taiwan; David Brown, former vice chairman and chief operating officer, Quantum Corporation; Peter Rosenbladt, director of strategic alliances, Hewlett-Packard Company; Hiroshi Yashuda, manager of semiconductor strategic alliance, Toshiba Corporation; and Robert Bishop, international president, Silicon Graphics.

Other specific topics covered by MIT faculty were the internationalization of R&D, importing human resource practices, strategy and technical innovation across borders, and a look back at US-Japan relations during the 1980s.

Sponsored by MIT's Sloan School of Management, the Pacific Rim conference was the second part of a two-day Northern California Convocation and Career Forum planned primarily to address the continuing educational and career management needs of Sloan alumni/ae. On the first day, the forum allowed West Coast company representatives to meet informally with MIT/Sloan graduates and current students to discuss career opportunities in the region. Nearly 700 MIT/Sloan graduates now work in the northern California area.

A version of this article appeared in the January 27, 1993 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 37, Number 20).

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