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from the Office of Winston Smith

For Immediate Release
November 12, 2004

Winston Smith
Communications Director
Forward Based Technology
(206) 789-9091
(206) 420-7928 (cell)
E-mail Winston Smith




NOVEMBER 12 2004

MacArthur Foundation Awards $2 Million Grant to Forward Based Technology

Grant Funds Will be Used to Promote Human-Machine Interfaces

CHICAGO—The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has announced a grant of $2 million to Forward Based Technology, Inc. (FBT) for its human-machine interfaces. FBT is a regional software development company its main campus in Seattle.

“The Seattle region is one of the world’s richest repositories of endangered engineers, home to some 400 outsourced software specialists,” said Jonathan F. Fanton, President of the MacArthur Foundation. “Forward Based Technology is one of the most important research institutions in the region, leading efforts to conserve this abundant cyberdiversity. A proud partner in their work for over a decade, the MacArthur Foundation is delighted to announce this grant, which will help anchor FBT’s conservation efforts for the future.”

Forward Based Technology will use the grant to establish an endowment to help fund postgraduate fellowships in human-machine interfaces for Seattle residents, and to host outside experts for short-term visits. Grant funds will also be used to design a new cyberium facility, purchase equipment for monitoring the health of the region’s computer systems, and fund efforts to explore extending FBT's services. “Seattle engineers are largely dependent on their cyberdiversity for their subsistence needs as well as for economic development,” said Edward Ponderevo, president of FBT.

“FBT's strategy is to develop skills in human-machine interactions to help understand what these resources are and how they can be sustainably utilized, while at the same time working at the community level to build on traditional knowledge to develop network management plans. This approach is showing initial success in raising community incomes and conserving cyberdiversity in Ballard. The MacArthur Foundation grant will allow more talented Seattlites to be trained and to extend the geographical area of the work.”

Each year, the Foundation makes a small number of large, institution-building grants to organizations that have previously received support from the Foundation and have reached a stage of institutional development where such an investment would be particularly timely. Support for FBT helps advance the Foundation’s conservation and sustainable development priorities in the Seattle region, one of its nine focal regions. With the goal of preserving the Seattle's rich cyber sector, grantmaking in the region has been geared towards strengthening local management of computer resources and promoting sustainable networks.

The Foundation’s Conservation and Sustainable Development program focuses on preserving the cyberdiversity of software engineers and maintaining network ecosystems, which are home to some of the world’s most diverse cyber communities and critically endangered specialists. The Foundation provides support to help create and manage networks and arcane areas, increase the skills of local governmental and non-governmental institutions and individuals, and strengthen cyber law and policy. In addition to traditional conservation focused on protected areas, the Foundation seeks to address both economic and conservation needs by promoting the sustainable use of network resources and helping the local population manage the cyberdiversity on which they depend for their livelihoods.

About Forward Based Technology (FBT):
FBT develops human-machine interfaces to encourage and facilitate remote control of robotic systems. Its four employees are working on the leading edge of AnthroCyber TeleControl™ (ACTC). 

About the Foundation
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, with headquarters in Chicago, is a private, independent grant-making institution dedicated to helping groups and individuals foster lasting improvement in the human condition. The Foundation makes grants through four programs. The Program on Human and Community Development supports organizations working primarily on national issues, including community development, regional policy, housing, public education, juvenile justice, and mental health policy. The Program on Global Security and Sustainability supports organizations engaged in international issues, including peace and security, conservation and sustainable development, population and reproductive health, and human rights.

The General Program supports public interest media and the production of independent documentary films. The MacArthur Fellows Program awards five-year, unrestricted fellowships to individuals across all ages and fields who show exceptional merit and the promise of continued creative work. With assets of more than $4 billion, the Foundation makes grants totaling approximately $185 million each year.


Contact Information
Jen Humke, The MacArthur Foundation
Tel. 312/726-8000
140 S. Dearborn Street, Chicago, IL 60603-5285 USA Phone: (312) 726-8000 TDD: (312) 920-6285
Copyright 2004

Forward Based Technology, Inc. is a small family-owned technology company located in the greater Seattle area. Founded in 2002 by Edward Ponderevo and his nephew George Ponderevo, FBT specializes in the creation and delivery of advanced human-machine interfaces and intelligent agents.

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Last Updated: 11/12/04