The High Technology Council, a cornerstone of Los Angeles County's defense conversion effort, was launched Thursday, and the first federal loans to assist small businesses attempting to commercialize military technology were announced.
The council is supposed to have broad responsibility for setting defense conversion policy in the region, to monitor federal legislation affecting Los Angeles firms and to facilitate joint efforts among universities, government and private companies.
The organization, first proposed more than a year ago in a county task force report, has attracted many corporate executives, university presidents and government officials to its board. The council has two co-chairmen, Aerospace Corp. President Pete Aldridge and Pacific Enterprises Chairman Willis Wood.
But its funds are far short of the vast sums that eventually will be needed to assist significant numbers of small companies trying to commercialize their technology, according to officials at the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp., the nonprofit organization supporting the council.