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MoU Between California NanoSystems Institute, UCLA and MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology

The California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI), UCLA and MESA+ Institute of Nanotechnology, University of Twente, signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOU) on September 14th. This agreement unites two of the world’s leading institutes of nanoscience and nanotechnology.

Their combined intellectual and physical resources will focus on expanding understanding of the nature and behavior of phenomena at the nanolevel. Through joint research projects and educational exchanges CNSI and MESA+ will apply nanotechnology to problems of global concern in health and the environment. Special attention will be given to new materials, nanoelectronics, and medical diagnostic devices. Collaborative efforts will be undertaken to commercialize their research, moving it from the lab into the marketplace in order to maximize the economic and social benefits of discoveries and devices.

The MOU was signed by Prof. Paul Weiss, CNSI director, and Prof. Dave Blank, Scientific Director of MESA+ at a ceremony held at the University of Twente in conjunction with the MESA+ annual research conference. “This is an event of great importance for CNSI,” observed Professor Weiss. “It provides access to a preeminent Dutch research institute and represents our first formal connection to facility located on the European continent. MESA+ is a highly respected center of nanoscience, known throughout the world for the quality of its research and its innovative approaches to technology transfer. CNSI will gain enormously from this link to MESA+.”

Professor Blank expressed similar pleasure with the MOU. He noted the shared research agendas at MESA+ and CNSI. “We are both using nanotechnology to explore operations at the cellular level. Our discoveries will contribute to the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and viral diseases,” he said. “This agreement will be a valuable means of generating collaborations among researchers and exchanges of graduate students. From these joint efforts are certain to flow discoveries and inventions having great social and economic value for the Netherlands and the United States and for the entire world.”

THE CALIFORNIA NANOSYSTEMS INSTITUTE is a research facility devoted entirely to nanoscience and nanotechnology. It occupies a 17,500 square meter, seven story building situated in the center of the campus of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). A partner institute is located at the University of California, Santa Barbara. CNSI was established in 2000 through a $100 million capital grant from the state of California. An additional $250 million in support has come from federal and industry sources.

Research at CNSI is strongly interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary. Its 120 members, all tenured or tenure track UCLA faculty are drawn primarily from the School of Medicine, the School of Engineering, and the divisions of the physical and life sciences. Their work, focused on measuring, modifying and manipulating atoms and molecules -- the building blocks of our world -- takes place in an integrated laboratory environment. This unique setting has advanced our understanding of phenomena at the nanoscale and gives promise of producing transformative discoveries in health, energy, and the environment and information technology.

CNSI is an international center for nanoscience and nanotechnology with links to universities and other institutions throughout the world. It serves as a hub for exchanges between scientists engaged in nanoscale research in Asia and Europe. Currently it has formal agreements with major universities and institutes in Japan, Korea, the UK, Germany, and Singapore.

MESA+ INSTITUTE FOR NANOTECHNOLOGY is part of the University of Twente in Enschede, the Netherlands, and draws upon the physical and intellectual resources of the University. It is one of the world’s largest nanotech research facilities, employing 500 people, 275 of which are PhD’s or postdocs. Its extensive research facilities include 1250 m2 of cleanroom space combined with a wide array of advanced instrumentation and other equipment necessary for nanoscale research.

Research at MESA+ has achieved a high level by emphasizing interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary projects. The institute encourages and supports cooperative activities among researchers through a unique, flexible administrative structure. It is designed to allow physicists, electrical engineers, chemists, and mathematicians to work collaborative on problems in the environment, energy, and drug delivery. Their efforts are enhanced by cooperative research arrangements with scientists and institutions throughout the world.

MESA+ has constructed an environment which fosters the establishment and maturation of start-ups in the micro- and nano-industries. Through a special tech transfer program, MESA+ opens its research facilities and cleanroom space to small and medium-sized enterprises. This policy has resulted in the creation of more than 40 high-tech start-ups.

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