“The high-tech scene in Tacoma is heating up this week, beginning with the South Sound Technology Conference 2000 May 31 at the Sheraton Tacoma.SST 2000, as the one-day conference is known, is bringing together a veritable Who’s Who of South Sound – and national – technology leaders to discuss how to realize the vision of creating a successful high-tech business environment here. As of Friday, over 300 attendees had registered.Conference speakers include congressmen Adam Smith and Norm Dicks, keynote speaker, Paul Schindler, editor of Byte Magazine, Jim J. Thomas, chief scientist for information technology of the Battelle Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and Mike Phillips, CEO of Frank Russell Company.Forum moderators include Steve Forbes, CEO of Y3K; Ed Lazowska, professor and chair of the Department of Computer Science & Engineering of the University of Washington; Jeff Von Schmauder, president of Capital Connection Corporation; and Marcus S. Gaspard, executive director of the Higher Education Coordinating Board.Forum topics include: Now and Future Company Profiles and Market Development; Bandwidth and Telecom Infrastructure in the South Sound Region – Leading the Nation in Connectivity; Business Resources – What the Regions Have to Offer in Technology Resources; and Education, Research and Business: Partners in Filling Area Technology Needs.Networking opportunities will also be possible during lunch, breaks, and an evening reception.Keynote speaker Schindler is editor of Byte and Windows magazines. He has worked for CMP Media and Ziff Davis at PC Week. He also has worked as a technology broadcaster on First-TV and Life Online Radio, as well as the PBS program Computer Chronicles, and its annual Buyer’s Guide show.Thomas has over 30 years experience in IT science. At Battelle his responsibilities include establishing investment directions for information technology, leading major technology initiatives, representing Information Technology inside and outside the lab, mentoring staff, and being a PI on a number of major programs. He specializes in the research, design, and implementation of innovative information visualization, multimedia, and human computer interaction technology.Thomas as received several international science awards including being named to the Science Digest Top 100 Scientific Innovators, list, and twice to the Research and Development’s Industrial Research 100 Significant Scientific and Industry Accomplishments Top 100 Innovators in Science and Industry.He was also twice awarded the Federal Laboratories Consortium Technology Transfer Award for innovation in transferring research technology to industry and universities.Currently, Thomas also serves as editor in chief for IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications.The success of the SST2000 Conference is further indication that the technology boom in the greater Tacoma area is real, said Scott Bourne, principal at the Scott Bourne Consulting Group, a venture catalyst group that assists new high-tech companies. With low cost real estate, great quality of life, widely available digital bandwidth and the synergy of other high-tech firms in the area, Tacoma and its surrounding area is going to be a factor in the new e-conomy.Bourne is a member of the SST2000 steering committee. His consulting group is a sponsor of the event.High-tech continues to be the high-intensity focus for the area on Thursday, June 1, as a one-day training session for economic development professionals in the South Sound region is conducted as a follow-up to the SST 2000 Conference.Economic development specialists from the private sector will join with their counterparts from chambers of commerce, economic development councils, cities, counties and ports from around the South Sound area. The instructor is Walter Plosila, vice president for Public Technology Management, Battelle Memorial Institute.Topics for the day-long session include developing strategies and programs for technology-led economic development; entrepreneurs in the new economy; the role of government; higher education, technology transfer and commercialization; workforce and technology infrastructure; business climate and financing; and a tour of two local high-tech firms.Continuing the high-tech drive in the South Sound, Techoma.com, a recently created group of Internet startups, is hosting a high-tech startup forum Tuesday, June 6 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.Techoma.com 1.0 will feature six local startup Internet companies, which will make presentations and discuss high tech venture capital and funding needs and possibilities.Firms making presentations include DonationDepot.com; IdealRental.com; HomeAuction.com; BetterNIC; FanActive.com; and ImprintStore.com.The forum will be held at the DonationDepot.com auditorium at 728 Pacific Avenue in downtown Tacoma.”
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