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The CCST Story

CCST was established during a period of heightened concern about California's future.

In the 1980s, competition from abroad was threatening California's traditional leadership in areas such as aerospace and semiconductors. The State had recently lost national competitions for several important national research facilities. Economic, demographic, and environmental changes and issues which dominate our State today were just beginning to assume prominence.

Amid these concerns, a coalition of policymakers and institutional leaders began to discuss strategies to assess and catalyze the role of science and technology in California's future direction in research, industry, and policy. The effort resulted in Assembly Concurrent Resolution 162, introduced by then-Assemblymember Sam Farr, actively supported by Assemblymember John Garamendi and filed with the Secretary of State on September 15, 1988.

ACR 162 called for the establishment of "the California Council on Science and Technology". This founding statement charged the new organization "to respond to the Governor, the Legislature, and other entities on public policy issues related to science and technology" and to create a council "comprised of distinguished scholars and experts, including scientists and engineers from California's academic and industrial community." The Resolution also required the council to "identify long-range research needs for sustaining the state's economic development and competitiveness and provide direction for new scientific and technological activities." The council was also responsible for assessing "private sector/university relations and technology transfer, particularly with respect to California's economic development, leadership in research and development, and capacity to retain vital industries and scientific talent in California."

California has seen great advances and new challenges since then, and CCST has been invited as a voice of counsel at every turn. Over the ensuing decades, CCST has been asked to report on the State's R&D competitiveness, transportation, intellectual property, STEM education, energy production, and water supply, among many other timely topics.

CCST itself has evolved as well, adding Federal research facilities in the State as key affiliates, strengthening its relationships within the Capitol community, and creating two programs that connect trained professionals with California's decision makers: the CCST Science and Technology Policy Fellows, and the California Teacher Advisory Council.

Today, California remains at the forefront of research and innovation on the National and global stage, but the priorities which seeded CCST's creation still resonate nearly 30 years later.

California's leadership in technology, environmental stewardship, biomedicine, and other critical fields relies on its policymakers having access to clearly communicated, scientifically informed advice. With this need in mind, CCST will continue to engage leading experts in science and technology to advise State policymakers - ensuring that California policies are strengthened and informed by scientific knowledge, research, and innovation.


Updated 4/12/17
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