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Philanthropist George Kozmetsky makes $6 million gift to Stanford
University Provost John Etchemendy on Tuesday will announce a $6 million gift by George and Ronya Kozmetsky to establish the Kozmetsky Global Collaboratory at Stanford.
The announcement will be made at 11 a.m. in Wallenberg Hall, Building 160. The event is open to the media.
The donation will establish a program linking researchers at Stanford and the University of Texas to conduct research on how technology can be used to enhance global prosperity. Stanford's Department of Communication and the university's Media X program will collaborate with the University of Texas' Institute for Innovation, Creativity and Capital (IC2) to develop ways to foster successful business ventures rapidly in developing countries.
"We are very pleased that the Kozmetsky family has chosen to support Stanford researchers, particularly those working at our new Media X program," Etchemendy said. "The Kozmetsky family has set an ambitious goal for us and for our collaborators at the University of Texas. They want us to show how technology can help spread prosperity globally."
George Kozmetsky, dean of the business school at the University of Texas from 1966 to 1982, founded IC2 a quarter-century ago to support sustainable economic growth and the development of civil society worldwide. In 1960, Kozmetsky co-founded the California defense electronics firm Teledyne Inc., and he helped lay the groundwork for Austin's high-tech boom in the 1990s. Kozmetsky will be founding chairman of the new venture. Communication Professor Clifford Nass and Syed Shariq, a newly appointed senior research scholar in the School of Humanities and Sciences, will jointly direct the project on campus.
"We are very pleased to be partners in the Kozmetsky Collaboratory," said Sharon Long, dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences. "There is much to be understood about how technology works for diverse groups of people in different circumstances. How is it best used? What are the barriers in terms of individual and social perceptions and habits?"
Long said that research on the nature of communications combined with the study of technology and its interfaces will help people understand how technology use is affected by knowledge, beliefs and institutions. "The Kozmetsky partnership will create the opportunity for breakthroughs in our understanding of interactive technology, which may be important for education, for economic innovation and for effective social institutions," she said.
The gift will support a new research center and facility for Media X, and an interdisciplinary research network on campus to support the training of entrepreneurs and the development of learning communities. The gift will also support research through the Department of Communication to promote the development of interactive technology for education.