PARC was founded in 1970 as part of Xerox Research and was chartered to create “the architecture of information”. PARC was later incorporated (in 2002) as an independent research business. PARC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Xerox Corporation.
PARC has contributed to the creation of more than 30 companies and is celebrated for such innovations as laser printing, distributed computing and Ethernet, the graphical user interface (GUI), object-oriented programming, and ubiquitous computing.
PARC Successful Innovations:
Over the years, PARC has been the "incubator" of several pieces of modern computing. Some of these successes include the mouse, computer generated color graphics, a graphical user interface featuring windows and icons, the WYSIWYG (What You See is What You Get) text editor, InterPress (a resolution-independent graphical page description language and the precursor to PostScript), Ethernet, and fully formed object-oriented programming.
PARC - Business Services:
PARC works closely with other organizations of all sizes - from leading global corporations and government agencies to start up ventures. PARC works to discover breakthrough concepts that solve real needs. PARC has ongoing commercial interests of its own, and works as a professional services organization to assist in the development of innovative solutions.
It is also noted that companies who are involved in the PARC collaboration process gain insights into diverse innovation "best practices". This in turn brings new thinking and helps establish future innovation in their own organizations.
Current PARC Projects:
PARC employs approximately 170 researchers from the physical, computer, biological, and social sciences (80% of whom hold doctoral degrees.) In addition, there are approximately 60 operational and business staff members. Collaboration and a passion for innovating define the culture at PARC. Employees have access to cutting edge tools and industry experts. The rich culture at PARC is sustained by everything from their 200,000 square foot headquarters, to their state-of-the-art computing and networking infrastructure, complete machine shop and prototyping facilities, various tools such as Tobii eye trackers, and materials characterization capabilities.
The PARC facility also includes interactive meeting rooms; a fitness center; classes such as yoga, Japanese, and first-aid; and a 24-hour central library staffed by information specialists during business hours.
PARC regularly hosts special seminars, colloquiums, and a popular public weekly forum speaker series, which bring leading experts and interesting ideas to PARC. Past forum topics have ranged from making chocolate and the benefits of beer, to animals' math abilities and genomics. In addition, PARC has an award-winning Alternative Transportation Program that provides financial incentives to reduce the number of single occupancy vehicles commuting to work. We recently pledged to further reduce CO2 emissions when we joined EPA-award-winning organization Sustainable Silicon Valley (SSV), and are also on track to be certified as a Green Business by Santa Clara County.
Diversity at PARC:
Part of what makes PARC such an innovative and interesting environment is the diversity that is found there. PARC employees have backgrounds in dozens of disciplines from anthropology, to statistics. PARC employees also come from 46 different countries, and include native speakers of virtually every major language. Acording to PARC "this diversity contributes to an environment in which collaboration is multi-dimensional, cutting across cultures, laboratories, and scientific disciplines." PARC employees are known for their passion to contribute in meaningful ways to society via technology.