July 28, 2011
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Miller touts Lab capabilities as resource for economy

Mechanisms to grow a healthier economy, whether for Livermore, the Tri-Valley and greater Bay Area, the state or nation, were discussed during a special Innovation Forum, as part of the Livermore Chamber of Commerce's Summer Luncheon series.

Director George Miller served as one of the panelists, along with John Chen, chairman and CEO of Sybase, Inc.; S. Shariq Yosufzai, vice president of Chevron Corporation and chair of the California Chamber Board of Directors; Rob Lampkin, CEO, Cool Earth Solar; and John Dulchinos, president and CEO of Adept Technology. CNBC technology correspondent John Fortt served as the moderator.

Throughout the discussion panelists emphasized the need to grow the nation's manufacturing capabilities, maintain a stronger education system -- including higher education, particularly in California -- grow the nation's wealth and find ways to make it more attractive for businesses to stay in California.

Miller pointed out that Lab technologies produced $425 million in the U.S. economy in the previous year alone. He went on to describe the Lab's high performance computing capabilities, such as those offered through the newly formed HPC Innovation Center within the Livermore Valley Open Campus, as a means for helping U.S. industry and manufacturing. He also drew similarities between the Cold War and today's economic problems -- both required immediate solutions.

"A crisis is a terrible thing to waste," Miller said, drawing a laugh while driving home the point that it isn't until things reach crisis stage that solutions are sought and accepted. Miller said the national labs are well positioned to help answer these challenges because of their multidisciplinary nature.

Following the panel, Miller sat down for a one-on-one interview with CNBC's Jon Fortt. They discussed how the Lab's high performance computing capabilities can support industry, the Livermore Valley Open Campus and LLNL efforts to collaborate with outside industry and academia, and the National Ignition Facility and its experiments in fusion energy.

Miller's interview will be broadcast at a later date.