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New Nanoscience Institute
Could Lead Innovation

Advancements "Will Drive Innovation and New Products That Will Improve People's Lives," Says HP Senior Fellow R. Stanley Williams

February 19, 2003

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The California NanoSystems Institute should play the leading role in the advancement of nanoscale science and engineering, noted nanotechnology researcher Stan Williams said at the institute's groundbreaking last week.

The research center, one of four new University of California Institutes for Science and Innovation, is aimed at developing the nanotechnological advances that will dominate science and the economy in the 21st century.

Williams, who leads nanotechnology research at HP Labs, said this emerging field can create huge scientific and economic opportunities.

"Nano-engineering has the potential to greatly improve the properties of nearly every material object manufactured by humans, and will lead to the creation of new medicines, materials and devices that will substantially improve the health, wealth and security of the world's people" he said. Williams, an HP Senior Fellow, is a past winner of the prestigious Feynmann Prize in Nanotechnology.

Williams joined California Governor Gray Davis, UC President Richard Atkinson, UCLA Chancellor Albert Carnesale and other officials on the campus of the University of California Los Angeles to inaugurate the 184,712-square-foot research and education center, which is scheduled for completion in winter 2004.

Williams said he hopes the institute will help California and the United States provide global leadership in the emerging field of nanotechnology. Currently, the U.S. invests less than 20 percent of the worldwide funding for nanotechnology research.

So how can the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) lead the world? "To be bolder and smarter than anyone else," he said.

He urged the CNSI to resist the tempation to create a curriculum "in which each student learns a little bit of everything," and instead to insist that each student become very deep within a particular area but able to communicate with people from many fields.

In addition, Williams said the institute will require new models of collaboration for academic, government and industry researchers that enables them to complement each other and leverage their capabilities.

"Finally, the CNSI must simply lead," he said. "The only acceptable goal for a major research institute in the greater university system in the world is to be the best."

by Jamie Beckett

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