IT'S THE GREAT HIGH-TECH sell-a-thon of 1995. Microelectronics & Computer Technology Corp., the privately funded research consortium formed in 1982 to combat Japan's high-tech challenge, is selling off projects. Lots of them.
New Chief Executive John McRary wants to make more room for basic research--and put a smile back on the faces of the 20 corporations belonging to Austin (Tex.)-based MCC, ranging from Motorola to Hughes Aircraft. Example: making computers more conversant in plain English.
The overhaul, say the corporate members, is much needed. Before McRary's mid-1994 arrival, they griped when basic research funds were diverted to create startups to take technology to market--and bring royalties to MCC. That income would offset declining member support, which caused revenue to drop from $60 million in 1989 to $40 million in 1994.
MCC plans soon to sell EINet, a network that supports electronic commerce between companies. The information systems technology from its Carnot Project is being licensed out. And McRary on Jan. 23 sold most of its chip-packaging operation, including an 40,000-square-foot lab and 100 patents, to SI Diamond Technology, an electronic-display maker. The key problem: The technology pipeline out of MCC is far fuller than the pipeline with new projects coming in.