Remarks by George Blumenthal, University Associates - NASA Ames Partnership

Chancellor George Blumenthal, chair of the University Associates-Silicon Valley partnership, and Congresswoman Anna Eshoo spoke during the celebratory event Friday at the NASA Ames Research Center.
Participating in the event were, from left, Pete Worden, director of the NASA Ames Research Center; Rep. Mike Honda; Martha Kanter, chancellor of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District; Chancellor Blumenthal; Rep. Zoe Lofgren; Father Michael Engh, president of Santa Clara University; Rep. Eshoo; Jared Cohon, president of Carnegie Mellon University. (Photographs by Terry Way)

Remarks by George Blumenthal

Chancellor, UC Santa Cruz

University Associates - NASA Ames Partnership

NASA Ames Research Center

March 13, 2009

Thank you, Carl [Carl Guardino, President and CEO, Silicon Valley Leadership Group]

On behalf of the University of California, Santa Cruz, and our many partners, thank you for joining us this afternoon as we celebrate a Defining Moment for Silicon Valley.

Today we celebrate the formation of a partnership between University Associates and NASA Ames, a unique 21st century collaboration.

A collaboration that will deliver enormous impact in the Silicon Valley and beyond.

UC Santa Cruz is honored to be a major part of this partnership.

Today, you will hear from the key individuals whose vision, energy, dedication, and plain old hard work have made this partnership possible.

Without them none of us would be here today.

Let me acknowledge and thank several individuals and institutions for their support.

First, our dedicated Congressional representatives who have supported UCSC's growing presence here in the valley, and who have traveled from Washington today to join us in celebrating this partnership.

The Honorable Anna Eshoo.

The Honorable Mike Honda.

The Honorable Zoe Lofgren.

This partnership and its promise for the future is possible because of the vision, collaboration, and effectiveness of our colleagues at NASA, and our partner and potential partner educational institutions.

Pete Worden, director of the NASA Ames Research Center, whose vision for this partnership cannot be underestimated, has been a key player in this partnership.

Martha Kanter, one of the real leaders of this collaboration. She is president of Foothill-De Anza Community College District - a key education partner and the first educational institution to join us as a formal partner.

I would also like to thank Father Michael Engh, president of Santa Clara University, and Jared Cohon, president of Carnegie Mellon University - representing two institutions closely involved early on and whom we hope will become official partners very soon.

I am delighted also to be joined by Dean Pam Stacks, representing President Jon Whitmore of San Jose State University.

And Dan Dooley, who's representing the UC Office of the President.

So, why are we calling this a Defining Moment?

First of all, because we are launching a partnership that will harness and leverage the ideas and drive of all the partners to create an innovative, sustainable community for education, research, and entrepreneurship.

Secondly, because we are contributing to revitalizing and enhancing an important public asset for the 21st century.

And third, because we envision a vibrant, sustainable community of students, teachers, researchers, and valley partners who will contribute to the economic vitality of the region.

What can we accomplish together?

Let's have a look; we have a short video presentation.

What do I mean by delivering the future

The Silicon Valley has long been a global center of innovation. Now it is becoming the epicenter of the green revolution.

Our University Associates partnership will provide a dynamic, nurturing environment for green innovation.

Researchers, working together, will expedite development of emerging green technologies.

We will create knowledge, apply it to real-world challenges, and equip students to deliver results in the valley's burgeoning green-tech sector.

Who is going to benefit from all this?

First of all, students at all levels of higher education - community colleges, CSUs and UCs - who will find unique opportunities to learn from experts, participate in world-class research and become the workforce and innovators of the future while crossing the traditional boundaries of higher education.

Second, researchers, who will be located in a state-of-the-art environment that fosters collaboration with valley entrepreneurs on solving problems and bringing big ideas to market.

And the rest of us, we'll also benefit. Society at large, as the partners focus on innovative solutions to real-world problems.

I'll give you an example that addresses one of the great challenges facing us: energy.

We will collaborate across disciplines to address future energy needs and cut greenhouse gas emissions.

One R&D lab is already in place. UC Santa Cruz's Bio-Info-Nano Research and Development Institute is launching projects in renewable energy - solar, and the conversion of waste-heat to electricity.

I want to thank Congressman Mike Honda for his support for our Bio-Info-Nano effort.

These new laboratories depend not just upon the strategic partnership between NASA, UC Santa Cruz, and Foothill-De Anza Community College District, and our other educational partners, but also on relationships with other academic institutions and corporations.

And on the continued support from leaders in national, state, regional, and local government.

With nearly 800 employees in the valley, UCSC's teaching and research programs already serve more than 18,000 students from pre-kindergarten to the executive level. UC Santa Cruz is committed to our exciting partnership in Silicon Valley.

And we are committed to being the UC for Silicon Valley.

Thank you.