14:43 PM

Tech Policy Summit: Tech companies have deep pockets and short arms

Elizabeth Corcoran, an editor at Forbes, moderated Developing Top Talent: Education, Immigration, and Innovation Leadership. She did a fine, spirited job trying to enliven the panel members: Phil Bond, head of the Information Technology Association of America. Dr. AnnaLee Saxenian, Dean, UC Berkeley's school of Information, and Rosen Sharma, CEO of Solidcore Systems.

She eventually succeeded in her mission and there were some interesting points made. Mr Sharma said that the work visa process to bring in a foreign worker is too long, at least 3 months to arrange for an interview when it used to be done the same day.

He said that even if the visa process were opened up, it is not clear that the US could attract the world's top talent. He said China, for example, was hiring "hordes" of top medical practitioners to staff its medical universities.

Mr Bond complained that tech companies no longer had the same glamerous appeal they once had among politicians. And that the tech sector voice was too fragmented, it was split among too many associations.

He added that the tech industry wasn't able to bring attention to the positive aspects outsourcing, that it actually does create jobs here.

Ms. Saxenian said that tech companies lost a lot of their glamour after the dotcom bust. And that tech companies have never spent enough money contributing to political campaigns.

"The politicians like to say that the tech companies have deep pockets and short arms," she said.

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Please also see:

 Low turnout for Silicon Valley Tech Policy Summit - do tech companies care about policy?

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