Xerox Corp. said last week that it is transforming its Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) into an independent company.

The move sets the stage for “key strategic partners” to invest in the laboratory while ensuring that Xerox continues to control access to the centre’s research and technology, the company said in a statement.

Last year, Xerox announced plans to create the wholly owned subsidiary and said it would seek strategic, non-competitive partners for PARC. The company said today active discussions are under way with potential investors.

The new company, which is expected to begin operations after Jan. 1, will continue to generate a stream of inventions, creating opportunities for Xerox and future investors to market PARC-developed technology commercially.

Xerox said it expects that PARC employees will transfer to the new company after the first of the year. A search for a CEO of the new company is under way.

Founded in 1970, PARC has developed such technology as the graphical user interface, client/server architecture, laser printing and Ethernet.

Xerox officials could not be reached for further comment.