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SAP Launches Inaugural North American Academic Symposium to Showcase Role of Academia in Business Innovation


Symposium is a Highlight of SAP Silicon Valley Week Activities;
Will Feature Keynote by SAP CEO Henning Kagermann

PALO ALTO, Calif.- SAP AG (NYSE: SAP) today announced the opening of its inaugural North American Academic Symposium, hosted at the Computer History Museum in Silicon Valley. Attendees of the Symposium, luminaries from universities and business, will focus on the expanding role of academia in business innovation through an executive keynote delivered by SAP CEO Henning Kagermann and a panel discussion led by scientists and administrators from top research universities. In today’s fast-paced, high-tech marketplace, organizations face a growing challenge to increase the speed and impact of innovation. As a result, companies such as SAP are re-examining and optimizing the role of academia in their research and development organizations. The announcement was made during SAP’s Silicon Valley Week, being held in Palo Alto, California, June 6-8.

The symposium is a key initiative of SAP’s North American Sponsored Academic Research Program, which provides opportunities for researchers in both the academic field and information technology industry to collaborate on subjects such as computer science, economics and engineering, as well as to discuss the latest trends in enterprise software and services. Current joint-research projects in areas including security, environmental monitoring and sensor networks will also be presented at the Symposium, highlighting the latest in academia-led innovation. More than 90 attendees from leading North American universities will participate in the inaugural event.

Through SAP’s partnerships with renowned research universities in the United States and Canada, the company is able to explore additional avenues of determining, influencing and investigating emerging IT trends. The program provides a structured environment for leading academic researchers to collaborate directly with SAP’s global network of more than 8,000 researchers, architects and developers.

As a founding member of the MIT Center for Digital Business, SAP has an ongoing collaboration with MIT Sloan School in productivity research.

“At the MIT Center for Digital Business, we’ve been studying the role of technology in the American productivity resurgence,” said Professor Erik Brynjolfsson of MIT Sloan School and director of the MIT Center for Digital Business. “We found that investments in enterprise information technology not only increased business performance, but also triggered a virtuous cycle of follow-on investments in related technologies and new processes.”

In his keynote, SAP CEO Henning Kagermann will highlight the important role of academia within SAP’s ecosystem of open innovation. He will discuss both co-operation and co-innovation as playing a decisive role in SAP’s strategy of organic growth. Kagermann will also speak about the North American Sponsored Academic Research Program, and how it embraces the academic community for collaborative development to accelerate the transfer of new technologies from universities to SAP products and ultimately to SAP customers. In conclusion, Kagermann will reinforce that SAP is dedicated to vivid ecosystems like the Silicon Valley; especially given that SAP Labs Palo Alto is a cornerstone of the distributed development strategy of SAP global labs.

“The North American Sponsored Academic Research Program is mutually beneficial for SAP and the participating universities,” said Dr. Ike Nassi, SVP and head of SAP Research Americas and China. “Through the program, North American universities receive sponsorship for their research and are provided a forum to discuss upcoming trends with an experienced vendor – and SAP gains the benefits of cutting-edge research and technologies.”

SAP Silicon Valley Week Activities
SAP Silicon Valley Week is a series of events that provide an opportunity for SAP to demonstrate its on-going commitment to Silicon Valley and all it has to offer SAP’s customers, partners and employees. SAP’s Silicon Valley presence continues to grow and has become a vital component of the company’s globalization and organic growth strategies.

The week is packed with a wide variety of activities and meetings designed specifically for SAP CEO Henning Kagermann, Deputy CEO Léo Apotheker and SAP senior management to engage with customers, ecosystem partners, the venture capital community, academic leaders, SAP Labs employees and local media.

SAP also announced today the opening of the SAP Co-Innovation Lab at SAP Labs U.S. in Palo Alto, Calif. (see press release titled, “SAP Unveils Co-Innovation Lab in Silicon Valley”). SAP and the Computer History Museum announced the museum has acquired a new collection of rare computers, made possible by a $250,000 donation from SAP (see press release titled, “SAP Donation Helps Computer History Museum Procure Rare European Computer Collection”).


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