UXBRIDGE -- As part of its commitment to encourage scientific research, collaborate with academic leaders and aid higher education, Xerox has granted about $200,000 this spring to support 10 new research projects at leading universities in Europe, the U.S. and Canada.

These contributions are among the Xerox Foundation's nearly $1 million annual contribution to fund research grants and its annual $13 million investment in support of educational and non-profit initiatives.

The research grants are part of Xerox's University Affairs Committee programme, which aims to advance science, technology and management research by promoting interaction between Xerox researchers and their counterparts at universities. The grants are designed to stimulate basic academic research in technologies of long-term importance to Xerox. Students and faculty aren't required to deliver a specific result, nor is the work proprietary to Xerox.

"The full range of technology found in Xerox products is being studied at universities as well as in our research labs, and this grants programme helps strengthen the bridges between our organisations and our people, while advancing science at the same time," said Gregory Zack, chair of the University Affairs Committee. "Investing in the work of science and engineering students today may lead to their success as inventors at Xerox tomorrow."

Since the University Affairs Committee grant programme started more than 20 years ago, Xerox has provided over $15 million for more than 300 research projects across a range of technical disciplines. Each year, about 40 projects are funded at 30 colleges and universities worldwide.

How grants are selected

Any college or university is eligible for funding but cannot apply for it directly; instead, a Xerox scientist or researcher prepares and presents a proposal to the University Affairs Committee, which includes researchers from across Xerox.

Awards are based on originality, technical merit, and quality of the researchers and institutions as well as relevance of the project to Xerox and the commitment of the Xerox employee to monitor progress.

The research is oriented toward basic science in a variety of fields, as opposed to next-generation technology related to document processing systems and software - which is the focus of Xerox's five global research and technology centres in the U.S., Canada and Europe.

The 10 new grants for spring 2006 are:
  • Lancaster University, United Kingdom: "Technologies of Leadership." This research consists of a work practice investigation into the practical work of leadership, especially regarding the use of documents.

  • University of Bremen, Germany: "Software Architecture Tools Research." This research looks at ways to develop clean, maintainable, and fast implementations of complex software systems.

  • University of California-Berkeley: "Experimental Investigation of Pressure Wave Propagation in Structures Representative of Piezoelectric Print Head Manifolds." The goal is to understand the fundamental interactions between ink and print heads.

  • University of California-Santa Barbara: "Efficient Non-linear Image Processing." This project will investigate next-generation image enhancement algorithms that provide a high level of image quality, performance and automation in image processing.

  • University of Maryland, Baltimore: "Comparing Software Development Approaches." This project will gather and analyse data related to the results of using different software development lifecycle models.

  • University of Massachusetts, Amherst: Membership in the Bhatia Group Industrial Liaison Program. This programme in the Department of Chemical Engineering conducts fundamental and applied research in the field of colloid surface science and engineering.

  • Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind.: "Context Dependent Image and Document Processing." This research will investigate how a computer can classify an image - business graphics, photos, etc. - so that the computer can optimise its processing for speed, quality and efficiency.

  • University of Rochester, Rochester, N.Y.: "Biases in Prior Evaluation and Subsequent Utilisation of Novel Technological Product Attributes." This project will investigate factors that affect consumer purchasing decisions and how consumers trade off technological capability and complexity.

  • University of Windsor, Canada: "Developing Design Criteria for High Charge Mobility Organic Electronic Devices." The objective is to develop new disc-shaped electrically conducting molecules that can be used in the next generation of electronics.

  • University of Toronto, Canada: "Thermo-Fluidics of Solid Ink - Solid Surface Interaction." This project is a continuation of one that studies the interaction between droplets of hot melt waxes as they are deposited on a solid surface.

  • Xerox and educational support

    Xerox contributes more than $2 million a year through a variety of educational programmes, including University Affairs grants, Xerox's technical minority scholarships, scholarship support to more than 140 colleges and universities, and matching employees' gifts to educational institutions. Xerox people also help champion science in elementary schools by volunteering through the Xerox Science Consultants Program and by mentoring high-school FIRST robotics-competition teams.

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    Media Contacts
    David Millican, Xerox UK, tel: +44 (0) 1895 843 196,
    email: david.millican@xerox.com

    Kinross + Render (on behalf of Xerox),
    Tony Brown or Camellia Zarbhanelian,tel: +44 (0) 20 7592 3100,
    email: tb@kinrossrender.com/ cz@kinrossrender.com