Vet News: SAS Public Sector to Sponsor Institute for Defense and Business Program

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CARY, N.C. (April 14, 2004) – SAS, the leader in business intelligence, announced today a commitment to sponsor a program designed to bring together retired senior military personnel with leaders in the private sector and academia to study and facilitate the adoption of best business practices by the military.

The Executive Fellows Program is an initiative of the Institute for Defense and Business (IDB), a nonprofit research and education organization that specializes in educational and research programs involving military, academic and private sector executives. Created in 1998 by the University of North Carolina and the state of North Carolina, the IDB has its main offices in Chapel Hill.

SAS’ commitment to the IDB Executive Fellows Program marks the most significant private-sector contribution since the creation of the IDB. The program is expected to become a model for future research and teaching partnerships with leading private sector firms, IDB leaders said.

"The dedication of the IDB to foster synergy and the exchange of proven best practices between the private sector and military is highly innovative and offers a valuable opportunity for exploring how business intelligence solutions can deliver the insight needed to meet mission-critical challenges," said Jeff Babcock, vice president of SAS Public Sector. "SAS has been an active participant in a number of IDB programs for the military, and it is clear that senior leadership in the DOD and the military services consider IDB as a valuable partner in improving their business operations. SAS Public Sector is honored to sponsor the IDB Executive Fellows Program, as the program’s mission aligns directly with SAS’ commitment to help Department of Defense organizations solve specific business problems."

Recently retired senior military officers and senior civilians from the various branches of service will engage in research, writing and teaching in academic and business disciplines important to both the military and the private sector. IDB will select the fellows based on such factors as service experience, expertise and education as well as representation of the military branches, the Department of Defense and the joint commands. At least four fellowships will be sponsored each year.

In addition, the SAS contribution will help establish and equip a software solutions laboratory to demonstrate solutions of interest to the U.S. Department of Defense. While a demonstration of world-class SAS solutions will be a key feature of the laboratory, it also will include examples of other leading-edge software that has the potential to improve military efficiency.

"We are pleased that a company with the global vision of SAS recognizes the unique value of the Executive Fellows Program to the Department of Defense and our military services," said William T. Powell Jr., president of the IDB. "It is characteristic of SAS to be in the vanguard of creative business intelligence solutions, and we feel the sponsorship not only strengthens the IDB’s programming, but also offers a unique opportunity to build relationships with defense-related companies that have not had wide exposure to North Carolina."

The military has a significant economic presence in North Carolina. Military bases contribute $15.2 billion each year to the state’s economy, according to a 2004 East Carolina University study. "North Carolina can expand its economic relationship with the military through partnerships like the Executive Fellows Program," Powell said. "SAS’ contribution creates new opportunities that may extend beyond the fellows program. We hope other companies will see this possibility." In addition to SAS, leading corporations participating in IDB programs include Boeing, FedEx, Caterpillar, Stewart and Stevenson, and others.

The Institute for Defense and Business manages basic and applied research and creates and conducts educational programs with a particular emphasis on U.S. military relationships. The flagship program of the IDB is the Department of Defense Center of Excellence in Logistics and Technology (LOGTECH), which was developed in partnership with the Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC Chapel Hill. The IDB is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit research and educational organization.

SOURCE: PR Newswire

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