On Nov. 19, Many top UC faculty and administrators gathered in front of the newly completed California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology building on campus for a formal opening ceremony. Various speakers shared their exuberance for the ability to conduct multidisciplinary research with the hope that it will put California at the forefront of research innovation.
The four-story, 120,000-square-foot facility cost $44 million to construct.
The institute, referred in short as Cal-(IT)2, will focus its research on sensors, devices, communications, information technologies, digital arts and related applications. The UCI faculty who will work with students at Cal-(IT)2 will attempt to solve problems in various fields including transportation, emergency response, public safety, environment, security, health care, business, education and digital arts.
UCI is not alone this endeavor. Cal-(IT)2 is a joint venture between UCI and UC San Diego. UCSD’s Cal-(IT)2 building is scheduled to be completed by next spring.
‘Several groups of faculty at UCI worked very, very hard to win, in partnership with UCSD, the grant to establish Cal-(IT)2,’ said Albert Yee, Cal-(IT)2 UCI division director. ‘This building is an embodiment of this collaboration.’
Yee described Cal-(IT)2’s mission in three words: innovate, integrate and ignite.
‘Cal-(IT)2 is about creating new knowledge … that’s true innovation,’ Yee said. ‘At Cal-(IT)2, we bring together expertise from many disciplines. … The integration of such expertise creates new things and magnifies our impact many times. … We also provide an environment to ignite a sense of excitement about the opportunities that our innovations make possible.’
In 2000, the state joined with the UC and hundreds of private businesses to charter the four California Institutes for Science and Innovation in hopes of conducting research which would drive California’s and the nation’s economy. More than 130 California computer, telecommunications, software and applications companies have already partnered with Cal-(IT)2 and will conduct research at Cal-(IT)2.
Chancellor Ralph Cicerone stressed the importance of Cal-(IT)2 in helping the UC meet its new responsibilities and thanked many people for bringing Cal-(IT)2 to life.
‘The United States will never have the privileged position that it once had with the major central labs like Bell, Exxon, IBM and Xerox and many others, that were capable of not only developing next product, but to do basic, [long-term] research. We saw … an enormous need for universities to step into that role,’ Cicerone said. ‘We thank the government of California, the businesses that support us and the people of California for allowing us to create an institute like this.’
UCI’s Cal-(IT)2 building is the first building completed among the California Institutes for Science and Innovation and Cal-(IT)2 is only one of the four institutes that make up the California Institutes for Science and Innovation.
The other three institutes include the California Institute for Quantitative Biomedical Research, which has facilities in UC San Francisco, UC Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz; the California Nanosystems Institute at UCLA and UC Santa Barbara; and the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society at UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Merced and UC Santa Cruz.
UC President Robert Dynes said that the four institutes will have a profound effect on the state.
‘It’s quite remarkable how the University of California assumes the responsibility of leading the state of California into the future,’ Dynes said. ‘The institutes will ultimately deliver new knowledge, new processes, industries, jobs and a better quality of life here in California. We are creating economic value and social value for this state. It means we will be keeping California competitive.’
Other speakers at the ceremony included UCI Executive Vice Chancellor Michael Gottfredson, Cal-(IT)2 Institute Director Larry Smarr, UCSD Chancellor Marye Anne Fox and Cal-(IT)2 Advisory Board Member and former Rockwell Corp. CEO Donald Beall. After the ceremony, guests were allowed to tour the facility and watch research demonstrations put on by various UCI faculty.