Tech Council Forming in the West

Members of the Western Governors' Association, including Gov. Ben Cayetano (D) of Hawaii -- who proposed the plan -- Gov. Dirk Kempthorne (R) of Idaho and Gov. Kenny Guinn (R) of Nevada, approved the idea for the Western High Technology Council at their recent winter meeting in Las Vegas.

The governors asked Intel Corp., Silicon Graphics Inc. and other firms to work with university representatives to develop a business plan for the council that the governors could approve next year.

The aim of the council would be to develop recommendations on issues including privacy and security, ethics, work force development, intellectual property rights and trade competitiveness. Another goal is to strengthen the working relationship between the private and public sectors.

"If we could get direction out of this strategic forum, I think it would be worth its weight in gold," Guinn said.

Tentatively, the council will include 15 to 20 high-level representatives from information technology, the health and biotechnologies industries, academia and the public sector.

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