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Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Third Annual Industry Studies Meeting -
A Success!

ATLANTA, GEORGIA, June 1, 2004 -- Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) was the site of the annual industry studies meeting. The meeting was made possible through a grant by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to the Georgia Tech co-hosts of the meeting, the Center for Paper Business and Industry Studies and the Trucking Industry Program - two Sloan Industry Centers.

The meeting entitled Factors of Success for the New Competitive Environment, brought together scholars from the twenty-three Sloan Foundation's Industry Studies Centers and the broader growing community of Sloan Industry Studies Affiliates from across North America's leading Universities and Public Institutions. The participants shared evolving knowledge and research results from their various industry sectors and disciplines.

The Sloan Industry Centers and the Sloan Industry Studies Affiliates have collectively assembled a unique and rich collection of data and knowledge about various key North American industry sectors that can be useful to companies and people in these sectors, as well as to individuals and firms who study or do business with companies in these industry sectors, to governmental agencies, and to the media as well. Research conducted at the centers and by the affiliates employs a wide variety of both quantitative and qualitative research methods, and is characterized by the researchers having close contact with the people in industry sectors for data, observations, and insights. The premise is that such observation based work by well informed academics will (and has) led to the many significant practical contributions the centers and industry studies affiliates have made to their respective industry sectors over time.

One of the most popular sessions was the keynote dinner address by Dr. Robert M. Solow, Institute Professor Emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Professor Solow studied at Harvard and received the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1987 for his theory of growth. He noted he had enjoyed the sessions he attended and encouraged the Industry Centers and Affiliates to share knowledge and work together to solve problems that bridge over the various industry sectors.

Other key sessions -- as well as the conference keynote address from Dr. Timothy Bresnahan, a leading economist from Stanford University -- addressed the combined issues of job outsourcing and offshoring plus the need for innovation in industry to stimulate successful sector outcomes. And, importantly, the conference also provided for a major session designed around the shared presentation of 20 individual leading edge and topical industry studies papers from the family of Sloan Industry Centers and Industry Studies Affiliates.

About the Sloan Industry Centers and Industry Studies Affiliates Programs: Supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and contributions from industry, each Sloan Industry Center consists of a multidisciplinary group of leading faculty and students who study many aspects of a single industry sector. All the centers generally involve faculty from economics and a wide variety of business and technical disciplines. The Industry Studies Affiliates group encompasses a wide array of leading academics and institutions' staff members who also are engaged in Sloan Foundation supported investigation of selected industry multi-disciplinary issues of importance to a wide variety of industry sectors. Some centers as well as the Affiliates group also include faculty from the other social sciences (e.g., anthropology, sociology), the humanities (e.g. history), public policy, industrial relations, law, agriculture, medicine, public health, etc. Since the beginning of the Sloan Industry Centers program in 1989, well over 700 faculty members and 850 graduate students have taken part in the centers' research. There have been over 300 Ph.D.'s produced, most of whom have gone on to other academic positions and many of whom have continued to study industries.


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