Thursday, September 25, 2008

MassTLC Innovation2008 unConference

Thursday, October 2, 2008; 7:30 am - 5:30 pm

Sun Microsystems, One Network Drive, Burlington, MA

Fostering Entrepreneurship & Driving Innovation

Four generations of entrepreneurs will gather in a new setting on October 2, 2008. With the focus on early stage entrepreneurship, the day will be focused on providing timely help to early stage companies. Instead of the planned sessions and passive audiences of typical conferences, MassTLC’s Innovation 2008 is an unConference where the agenda is set by the attendees, where 8-12 discussions run in parallel in each of four sessions and where everyone gets to know each other by gathering around areas of common interest. A professional facilitator helps make it happen.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Governor Patrick Meets With Robotics Cluster

Mass Technology Leadership Council was pleased to host Governor Deval Patrick at a recent Robotics Cluster meeting, held at iRobot Corporation in Bedford, MA. Governor Patrick said that "extraordinary advances are happening in the robotics industry and today's discussion will help us foster this critical and burgeoning sector of our economy."

At the meeting, industry leaders spoke about the diversity of ongoing robotics research in areas such as defense, healthcare, homeland security, logistics, marine, and other sectors critical to the region's economy. The Governor saw robots that neutralize roadside bombs, patrol the oceans, automate warehouse distribution, rehabilitate patients, and vacuum floors.

Included in the dialogue with the Governor was a discussion of the unique characteristics of the Massachusetts robotic industry. Cluster members highlighted the fact that Massachusetts has a wide range of companies serving a very diverse set of markets, a group of 10 universities engaged in cutting-edge research, track record of innovation and commercial success, critical mass of workers, and the only robotics engineering degree in the country (at Worcester Polytechnic Institute).

The meeting ended with a discussion of the Cluster's goals which are to double employment and revenue by 2015; establish an academic consortium; and increase cluster identity, visibility, and connections.

The Mass Robotics Cluster was formed by the Council in 2005 to bring together companies, institutions, and individuals engaged in robotics research, education, and product design and commercialization. The Cluster includes a broad range of 80 companies, 10 Massachusetts colleges and universities, and service firms that support the industry. The 80 companies in the Cluster employ over 2,500 people and generate sales in excess of $942 million annually.

The changing demographics of the US will raise the need for the capabilities that robotics can deliver. Massachusetts is currently the US leader of this new and emerging industry. "This was a great opportunity to help showcase to the Governor the growing robotics industry in Massachusetts," said Council President Joyce L. Plotkin. "We are pleased that the governor has agreed to work with the Cluster to raise its profile and to reach out to other important constituencies."

Information about the industry was collected as part of a "Cluster Development" grant from the John Adams Innovation Institute of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Tech @ the Movies

September 25, 2008; 6-8:00 pm
UK Trade & Investment, One Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA

Massachusetts companies have played a pivotal role in the evolution of Hollywood. Movies might still be in black-and-white -- and we might never have had "The Wizard of Oz" -- if not for Technicolor, founded by Massachusetts entrepreneurs. And Avid Technology won an Oscar in the 1990s for introducing computers to the movie editing process. You'll hear from a panel of technology innovators who're changing the way movies get made in the 21st century -- helping directors create special effects or helping movie fans buy their favorite pics in digital form. Journalist Scott Kirsner will introduce the panel with a short, illustrated overview of his new book Inventing the Movies, which tells the heretofore untold technological history of Hollywood -- including the stories of Avid and Technicolor.

Monday, September 1, 2008

IT Executives Gather at Federal Reserve

MassTLC's Financial Services Cluser convened a meeting of IT leaders at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

Massachusetts Rich History of Technology Innovation

Massachusetts has a rich history of technology innovation and has been at the forefront of each major technology platform in the information technology industry. A few data points pulled from the Council's file on local accomplishments...

- Mainframes were developed in Massachusetts at Harvard/MIT. Digital Equipment Corp (DEC), Data General, Prime, and other Route 128 companies had the first successes in the area of minicomputers;
- Massachusetts was a leader in PC software development. Council Trustee Dan Bricklin created VisiCalc, the first electronic spreadsheet on the Apple computer; 
- Massachusetts' Bolt Beranek & Newman (BBN) got the federal contract from Advanced Research Projects Administration (ARPA), renamed in 1972 the Defense Advanced Research Projects Administration (DARPA), to develop Internet technology and in the process developed ubiquitous email;
- The World Wide Web Consortium which establishes standard for the Web is headquartered at MIT;
- Council Trustee Jeff Taylor, a serial entrepreneur, changed the way people look for jobs when he created;
- E-learning was created in Massachusetts. Council Trustee, Carol Vallone, founder of WebCT, developed the technology that makes it possible for millions of students around the globe, including in our own state and community college system, to have online access to education anytime, anywhere;
- The role of our area universities in development of transformative technologies includes traditional academic research and technology transfer as well as cutting edge student-created businesses, such as Facebook (Harvard) and Napster (Northeastern);

Massachusetts companies have been leaders in robotics and have pioneered commercially successful products:
- First industrial robots for semiconductor manufacturing 
- First and leader in ground robots to support U.S. troops 
- First therapeutic robots 
- Leader in home use robots such as vacuum cleaners, floor washers, and physical therapy 
- Leader in service robots for use in distribution/logistics and inventory management 
- Leader in underwater robotics for oceanographic survey, defense, and security 
- Leader in educational robots 
- First behavior-based robots

Massachusetts information technology community is continuing its legacy of technology innovation and leadership. Local software entrepreneurs are developing new products and service delivery models to capture untapped markets, including Clean Tech, Digital Games, HealthCare, Open Source, Robotics, Social Media, Software as a Service, an more.