Among the technology industrys historic monuments sits Xerox PARC, the almost-legendary R&D facility nestled in the heart of Silicon Valley. Xerox also has a big research center in New York, and researchers from that facility and from PARC recently held a soiree in San Francisco to show some of the companys key research efforts.
Credited with developing the graphical user interface, the laser printer, and Ethernet, the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center has also seen its share of tough times. In January of 2002 the imaging company spun off PARC, and today the center serves as a more focused facility to develop technologies that Xerox can commercialize itself, as well as license to other companies. The New York research facility complements PARC.
"The goal is to develop research that one day will be available for internal development and licensing," said Sophie Vandebroek, chief engineer at Xerox.
About 85 percent of the companys research portfolio right now is tied up in projects that hopefully will be commercialized in three years or less, she said. At Xerox, research is focused on what Vandebroek called "sustained innovation," or the constant struggle to improve existing products, and "revolutionary innovation," or the need to create new markets.
Xerox shipped several of its top scientists and research projects up to a hotel in San Francisco last week to demonstrate some of its revolutionary innovations, work that could change the way users interact with the world over the next decade.
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