SOURCE: Kauffman Foundation

November 13, 2008 15:27 ET

Academics and Entrepreneurs Come Together to Address Pressing World Problems at UC Berkeley's First Global Technology Leaders Conference

Luminaries in Technology, Energy and Health Care to Discuss Grand Challenges From Oil Independence to Fighting Cancer; Conference Accessible via Free Live Web Cast

BERKELEY, CA--(Marketwire - November 13, 2008) - UC Berkeley will host the inaugural A. Richard Newton Global Technology Leaders Conference on Thursday, Nov. 20. Bringing together luminaries from a range of disciplines, the conference will prompt discussions on the world's most significant challenges and identify pathways to their solution in the health sciences, energy and technology fields. The conference is sponsored by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and is being held during Global Entrepreneurship Week.

The conference will include notable entrepreneurs, scientists and researchers, including Shai Agassi, CEO, Better Place; Tom Siebel, chairman, First Virtual Group; Paul Camuti, president and CEO, Siemens Corporate Research; Jay Keasling, director, Physical Biosciences Division, Lawrence Livermore Berkeley; and Irv Weissman, director, Institute of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Stanford University.

Participants will take part in the half-day event, reviewing a number of proposals, all with a common goal of addressing major challenges and offering solutions. The conference participants will discuss the expected social impact and potential for industry creation of each proposal.

"Today, the world faces both tremendous challenges as well as opportunities for industry development and social impact in areas from healthcare to economic uncertainty to our global energy supply," said Ikhlaq Sidhu, co-chair of the Global Technology Leaders Conference and Industrial Engineering & Operations Research professor. "Unprecedented levels of innovation and partnerships between academia and private industry, like this conference, will play a critical role in identifying and driving solutions for our future, and building new industries to address them."

The conference will feature two sessions, one focused on energy and technology and one focused on health and quality of life. Shankar Sastry, dean of Berkeley's College of Engineering, will discuss Berkeley's initiatives in these areas. Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli, professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at Berkeley, will provide the keynote address, "The Future of the Future."

The goal of the conference is for the group to develop a roadmap that will lead to new industries in energy, technology and health care. The roadmap will be made available in electronic format to influence research and curriculum at U.C. Berkeley, partner global educational institutions and industry partners.

"It is fitting to launch this annual series during a week that seeks to inspire young people to be innovative and entrepreneurial," said Lesa Mitchell, vice president, Advancing Innovation, Kauffman Foundation. "Richard Newton was an innovator and entrepreneur himself, and this conference incorporates his passion for the interplay between science and technology, business, and the economic and societal challenges facing young entrepreneurs."

The conference will take place from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Pacific time at the International House at the UC Berkeley Campus. The live web cast is available at and

Richard Newton was considered a visionary technology leader and was dean of Berkeley's College of Engineering and the Roy W. Carlson Professor of Engineering. The A. Richard Newton Global Technology Leaders Conference will be held annually at UC Berkeley. For more information on Newton, visit

About the UC Berkeley Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology

Through teaching, programs, and research, the Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology (CET) equips engineers and scientists with the skills to lead, innovate, and commercialize technology in the global economy. UC Berkeley faculty and students have started more than 200 UC ventures in areas such as IT, biotechnology and clean energy. More information on the CET here:

About the Kauffman Foundation

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private nonpartisan foundation that works to harness the power of entrepreneurship and innovation to grow economies and improve human welfare. Through its research and other initiatives, the Kauffman Foundation aims to open young people's eyes to the possibility of entrepreneurship, promote entrepreneurship education, raise awareness of entrepreneurship-friendly policies, and find alternative pathways for the commercialization of new knowledge and technologies. It also works to prepare students to be innovators, entrepreneurs and skilled workers in the 21st century economy through initiatives designed to improve learning in math, engineering, science and technology. Founded by late entrepreneur and philanthropist Ewing Marion Kauffman, the Foundation is based in Kansas City, Mo. and has approximately $2 billion in assets. More information is available at

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