The message in the National Academies’ Rising Above the Gathering Storm report – that the nation’s science and technology capabilities are poised to falter in the coming years – has been sounded before in other venues. However, this report has succeeded in grabbing the attention not just of policymakers, but of industry leaders.
“The problems highlighted in this report are far-reaching and will require sustained cooperation to address,” said CCST Council Member Andrew Viterbi, who is serving on the CCST committee working to develop a California response to the report. “In particular, the participation of industry will be important in developing sustainable long-term solutions.”
Viterbi currently serves as president of the Viterbi Group, LLC, a company founded in 2000, which advises and invests in startup companies, predominantly in wireless communications, network infrastructure and imaging. Previously, Viterbi co-founded QUALCOMM Incorporated, a developer and manufacturer of mobile satellite communications and digital wireless telephony, where he served as vice chairman until 2000 and as chief technical officer until 1996. Under his leadership, QUALCOMM received international recognition for innovative technology in the areas of digital wireless communication systems and products based on Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) technologies. He is also a co-founder of LINKABIT Corporation, a digital communications company, where he served as executive vice president and later as president.
“Companies like QUALCOMM are built on a combination of successful innovation and a highly skilled workforce,” said Viterbi. “Maintaining an environment where innovation has a chance to develop, and where there are people to enable that to happen, is critical for the nation’s future as a high-tech leader.”
Viterbi brings both industry and academic experience to the project – he was a professor in the Department of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of California, Los Angeles for ten years, and continued teaching on a part-time basis at the University of California, San Diego until 1994, where he is currently professor emeritus. In 2001, Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, invited him to become a distinguished visiting professor of electrical engineering. He has received numerous awards and recognition for his leadership and substantial contributions to communications theory and its industrial applications over the years, including honorary doctorates from universities in the United States, Canada, Italy and Israel. From 1997 until 2001, he served as a member of the U.S. President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee.
“It is often difficult for policymakers to plan effectively over years or decades,” said Viterbi. “The strong response to the Gathering Storm report has given us an excellent opportunity to make a genuine difference for California over the long term.”