|Volume 1: No. 07|
Craig Fields is trying to change MCC from an ivory tower into a cost-effective research house. Scientists, who had been "somewhat arrogant" about research schedules, must now stay in close touch with sponsoring organizations. Long-range research has been de-emphasized in favor of products nearly ready for marketing. MCC's mission is now "business success for our members," rather than long-term competitiveness.
Doug Lenat is reportedly unhappy at finding no sponsors for 5- to 10-year research in machine translation. Companies are looking for projects with a 90% guarantee of success. MCC claims transfer of 150 technologies to industry, but it has been too lean a return on the $372M spent to date.
Another development is the spin-out of entrepreneurial companies to exploit MCC's developments. Katherine Hammer's company, Evolutionary Technologies Inc., is the first. MCC owns a small piece, and corporate sponsors of the MCC research will get preferential rates on software licenses. [Evelyn Richards, Washington Post; from the San Jose Mercury, 5/5/91.]