PARC (Palo Alto Research Center Incorporated), formerly Xerox PARC, is a research and co-development company in Palo Alto, California, with a distinguished reputation for its contributions to information technology and hardware systems.
Founded in 1970 as a division of Xerox Corporation, PARC has been responsible for such well known and important developments as laser printing, Ethernet, the modern personal computer, graphical user interface (GUI), ubiquitous computing, amorphous silicon (a-Si) applications, and advancing very-large-scale-integration (VLSI) for semiconductors.
Incorporated as an independent but wholly owned subsidiary of Xerox in 2002, PARC now works with other commercial (major corporations, ventures, licensees) and government partners.
In 1969, Chief Scientist at Xerox Jack Goldman approached Dr. George Pake, a physicist specializing in nuclear magnetic resonance and provost of Washington University, about funding and generously funded a second research center for the company.
Dr. Pake selected Palo Alto, California, as the site of what was to become known as PARC. While the 3,000 mile buffer between it and Xerox headquarters in New York afforded scientists at the new lab great freedom to undertake their work, the distance also served as an impediment in persuading management of the promise of some of their greatest achievements.
PARC's West Coast location proved to be advantageous in the mid-'70s, when the lab was able to hire many employees of the nearby SRI Augmentation Research Center as that facility's funding from DARPA, NASA, and the U.S. Air Force began to diminish. Being situated on Stanford Research Park land leased from Stanford University  allowed Stanford graduate students to be involved in PARC research projects, and PARC scientists to collaborate with academic seminars and projects.
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