SOURCE: Bay Area Economic Forum

May 22, 2006 07:00 ET

BASIC to Participate in $15M Innovation Study

Creating Jobs Through Innovation

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 22, 2006 -- Reporters are invited to an interview opportunity with leaders of the WIRED project: Jaime Fall, assistant secretary, Workforce Strategies, CA Labor and Workforce Development Agency; California Space Authority executive director Andrea Seastrand; Bay Area Science and Innovation Consortium chair Regis Kelly; and Bay Area Economic Forum president Sean Randolph will be available for interviews on Wednesday, May 24 from 9:30 - 10:00 a.m. PST at Rock Hall Auditorium, Room GD-102 (across courtyard from Byers Hall), Mission Bay, 1700 4th Street, San Francisco, CA 94107. A news conference to announce details of the project will follow immediately at the same location.

The Bay Area Science and Innovation Consortium (BASIC) and the Bay Area Economic Forum are partners in the winning federal grant developed by the California Space Authority (CSA) to promote entrepreneurship, develop innovation-oriented talent and support industrial competitiveness throughout a 13-county region from San Diego to Alameda dubbed the "California Innovation Corridor."

The $15 million "Workforce Transformation" project is a three-year effort funded by the U.S. Department of Labor as part of its Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development (WIRED) grant process. The California project seeks to drive systemic transformation to increase sustainable entrepreneurship, advance and sustain global competitiveness in manufacturing and the supply chain; and to create the next generation of innovators and technicians. BASIC and the Bay Area Economic Forum are lead partners in three of the project goals: moving innovation to commercialization, developing the 21st Century workforce, and accelerating technology commercialization.

"Partnering with the CSA on this project is a perfect fit in BASIC's focus on advancing the interests of science, technology and innovation in the Bay Area," said Regis Kelly, BASIC chair. "With this funding we can capture Bay Area innovation more efficiently and aggressively, which should enhance the global competitiveness of our region, state and nation."

"This is an extremely important opportunity for BASIC and CSA to work together on this critical effort to ensure California's future economic prosperity and success," said Andrea Seastrand, CSA executive director. "A highly skilled, technical workforce is vital to the future of our state and the nation. BASIC and the CSA will work together to achieve that goal -- in the Bay Area and throughout the California corridor."

Jaime Fall, Assistant Secretary for Workforce Strategies in the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency, said, "Innovation and entrepreneurship are critical factors in keeping California and the nation competitive in global markets. The Schwarzenegger Administration is excited about the potential of this project, and our Agency will be working closely with CSA, BASIC and all the partners."

"The California Innovation Corridor project is a natural complement to the National Innovation Initiative, and the president's American Competitiveness initiative and it provides an avenue through which California can respond to the National Academies challenge in its report, 'Rising Above the Gathering Storm,' said Sean Randolph, president of the Bay Area Economic Forum.

The WIRED initiative focuses on labor market areas in multiple jurisdictions within a state or across state boundaries. It supports innovative approaches to education and workforce development that go beyond the traditional strategies of training individuals for existing jobs.

BASIC and the Bay Area Economic Forum will collaborate with the CSA, the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration, the State of California's Labor and Workforce Development Agency and its Employment Development Department, and more than 60 industry, workforce and economic development partners.

The Bay Area Science and Innovation Consortium is a program of the Bay Area Economic Forum, co-sponsored by the Bay Area Council and the Association of Bay Area Governments. BASIC's mission is to develop innovative collaborative programs that take advantage of the unique capabilities of Bay Area R&D institutions to provide solutions addressing major national and regional challenges. For more information, go to:

http://www.bayeconfor.org/basic/index.html

The California Space Authority is a non-profit organization representing the diverse interests of the California space community in commercial, civil and national security domains. As the state's designated space authority, CSA works closely with industry, government, academia and workforce entities. For more information, go to:

www.californiaspaceauthority.org

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