Achievement: Xerox's famed Palo Alto Research Center was founded in 1970 as the company's way to fund more future-oriented research, apart from its established R&D department. Credited with developing the laser printer, mouse, Ethernet, and modern-looking PC, Xerox Alto, Xerox PARC wrote the book on technological innovation and is responsible for many of the products driving today's computer market. While Xerox focused mainly on the printing business at the time, PARC was a launch pad for future innovators at Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, 3Comand other tech companies that gave Silicon Valley its name.
Today: While many of PARC's researchers moved on to academia or entrepreneurship, some stayed on and continued to develop the technology of the future. In 2002 PARC was transformed into an independent subsidiary of Xerox, still dedicated to the advancement of science and business with the support of commercial clients -- of which Xerox is the main, but not lone, buyer. PARC is currently researching "clean technology."