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Science & Technology Commission
Meeting Minutes
December 7, 1999

Attendees: Anita Jones (chair), John Bean, Don Brown, Suzanne Farnsworth, Ariel Gomez, Ian Harrison, Bob Jones, Tom MacAvoy, Dennis Proffitt, Kevin Sullivan. Ex officio: Gene Block, Erik Hewlett, Jeffrey Plank, Dick Sundberg, Haydn Wadley. Staff: Amy Cronin, Denise Karaoli, Brian Moriarity, Peggy Reed.


Meeting Summary:

The Commission discussed philanthropic support of science and technology with Dr. Jaleh Daie, program director for science at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

Dr. Daie noted the substantial growth in the number and assets of private foundations in the last two decades. Since 1982, the number of foundations has grown from 20,000 to 54,000, and their cumulative assets have increased as well, from $5 billion to $20 billion. Dr. Daie predicted continued growth in both the number and size of foundations in the next 20 years.

Dr. Daie noted that foundations will have an important role as the federal government moves away from funding certain issues. She also noted that industry today primarily funds product development, while foundations are funding research. According to Dr. Daie, foundations must be careful about what they fund, since resources are limited. She believes foundation grants ought to be catalytic, short-term, and should focus on proof of concept. If foundations can help get research to this level, then there is lower risk for the federal government to fund the research further.

In reviewing proposals, Dr. Daie said foundations want to fund the best people with the best ideas. Currently, most new areas of emphasis for funding are multi-disciplinary.


Next Meeting

Tuesday, December 21, 1999, 7:30-9:00 a.m., Newcomb Hall Room 389

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