There are exciting things happening in the Berkeley life science research industry. Of particular interest is the developing partnership between UC Berkeley and the Lawrence Berkeley Lab. This partnership has the potential to foster more collaboration between institutions and allow for more joint research ventures in the East Bay Area.
A recent development in this partnership is $10 million in new life science funding awarded to UC Berkeley to advance the partnership with the Lawrence Berkeley Lab. This grant would create a new nanoscience research center that would be jointly administered by both institutions. This new funding is part of the vibrant life science research culture developing in and around UC Berkeley.
University of California, Berkeley
A Center for Innovation
The $10 million grant was awarded to UC Berkeley by the Kavli Foundation. Additionally, UC Berkeley has promised to match the grant with $10 million in funding for the new center's endowment. The center also received further funding from the Heising-Simons Foundation and the Philomathia foundation.
This new center, called the Kavli Energy NanoSciences Institute, or Kavli ENSI, will focus on researching energy and nanotechnology. It will be run jointly by researchers from UC Berkeley and from the Lawrence Berkeley Lab. Paul Alivisatos, director of the Lawrence Berkeley lab and a chemistry professor at UC Berkeley, along with Omar Yaghi and Peidong Yang, both UC Berkeley chemistry professors, will be responsible for overseeing the new center.
The Kavli Energy NanoSciences Institute's mission is to study how energy functions on a micro level. Some possible research areas include understanding the mechanisms through which plants or animals use heat, solar or vibrational energy, along with many other projects.
An important aspect of the institute will be to bring a diverse range of specialists in various specific areas of nanoscience together under the same roof to foster collaboration and innovative new research projects. Kavli ENSI member Jeff Neaton, director of Lawrence Berkeley's Molecular Foundry and a professor of physics at Berkeley, praised this aspect of the institute saying "Collaborating with so many different creative experts across disciplines is the real opportunity here. We're putting a critical mass of knowledge in one place. There is a real qualitative change in what we can do when we bring together such a diverse set of strengths."
The new Kavli Energy NanoSciences Institute hopes to provide a new and innovative direction for this particular form of nanoscience. Instead of devising strategies to improve existing technologies, the researchers at Kavli ENSI plan to develop entirely new research directions. Paul Alivisatos has called the mission of the institute "curiosity driven science."
A New Culture of Research and Collaboration at UC Berkeley
The creation of the Kavli Energy NanoSciences Institute is occurring in an incredible climate of new innovation and collaboration in and around the UC Berkeley campus. When talking about any partnership between UC Berkeley and the Lawrence Berkeley Lab, it is impossible to neglect to mention the major new Lawrence Berkeley research campus in nearby Richmond, California. This new multi-million-dollar campus will greatly expand the strength and vibrancy of the partnership between UC Berkeley and the Lawrence Berkeley Lab.
Dan Mogulof, a spokesman for UC Berkeley, recently summed up the purpose of this new campus. He said that it is intended to create a vibrant "ecosystem" of innovation, research, and investment at UC Berkeley, the Richmond campus and the larger East Bay area.
The recent creation of Kavli ENSI is just one aspect of a vibrant life science research collaboration between UC Berkeley and the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.
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