Press Archive

$300 Million UC San Diego-UC Irvine Research Initiative to Guide Innovation in Telecommunications and Information Technology

Published 12/07/2000

UC SAN DIEGO - Governor Gray Davis announced today that the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology [Cal-(IT)²], led by UC San Diego in partnership with UC Irvine, has been selected as one of three California Institutes for Science and Innovation.

A major investment in California's scientific and technological leadership, Cal-(IT)2 will be funded by a four-year, $100 million state allocation matched by more than $200 million expected from industry, federal, private, and university resources. Cal-(IT)2 partners some 220 UCSD and UCI faculty with research professionals from more than 40 leading California telecommunications, computer, and software companies.

In addition to Cal-(IT)², the other two institutes established by Governor Davis today are the UCSF-led Bioengineering, Biotechnology, and Quantitative Biomedicine institute and the UCLA-led California Nanosystems Institute.

Cal-(IT)² researchers will guide innovation in Internet telecommunications and information technology, which is intended to revolutionize how we live, work, and communicate.

"This institute will leverage UCSD's and UCI's complementary strengths in telecommunications, information technology, and applications with the powerful industry base along the High Tech Coast from San Diego to Irvine. This will ensure California's global competitiveness in high technology," said Robert C. Dynes, Chancellor of UCSD.

"UCI is proud to bring its pioneering spirit, scientific innovation and expertise to this important endeavor with UCSD and our corporate partners," said UCI Chancellor Ralph J. Cicerone. "This multifaceted institute will shape California's economic future by developing new information-technology knowledge and devices that will benefit all segments of society."

Over the next decade, digital wireless links will extend the Internet throughout the physical world. At the same time, tens of millions of households and businesses will be able to switch from slow modems to speedy broadband Internet connections, and an all-optical core architecture will vastly increase the Internet's capacity to support new users and more demanding applications. Cal-(IT)² faculty, industry partners and students will research the scientific and technological components needed to create this transformation.

The technological advances will result in applications important to the economy and day-to-day life such as improved health care and greater public safety. For example, cardiac biosensors may be developed to allow health care providers to remotely monitor elderly patients; and sensing devices embedded in highways and bridges will provide electronic damage reports immediately after earthquakes and other natural disasters.

"Our institute's mission is simple: Extend the reach of the current information infrastructure throughout the physical world. But as simple as this statement is, the research required to bring the new Internet into being is formidable," said Larry Smarr, Director of Cal-(IT)2 and Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering. "No single investigator could hope to study this emerging system in its entirety, nor does any single company have sufficient resources to dominate the market. That's why we need an interdisciplinary institute of such broad scope."

Working closely with Smarr will be: Cal-(IT)² Associate Director Peter Rentzepis, a UC Presidential Chair and UCI Professor of Chemistry and Electrical & Computer Engineering; Cal-(IT)² Associate Director Ramesh Rao, UCSD Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Director of the UCSD Center for Wireless Communications; and Institute Chief Scientist Ronald Graham, UCSD Irwin and Joan Jacobs Professor of Computer Science and Engineering.

"Cal-(IT)² scientists and engineers from both UCI and UCSD campuses will work with industry to develop new materials, devices, software and systems that will be directed toward improving the quality of life in our communities, maintaining industry leadership, and creating new start-up companies that will keep our economy vigorous for the next 20 to 40 years," said Rentzepis.

The research teams will integrate the technologies developed and create living laboratories where the researchers will be able to test new products and concepts. For example, in partnership with the institute, UCSD's new Sixth College, scheduled to open in 2002, will be "born wireless." At UCI, a "smart house" will be constructed to demonstrate how computer-controlled appliances, entertainment suites, and security systems can be operated remotely via wireless Internet links.

The institute proposes that UCI and UCSD students will work with academic and industrial researchers in a powerful, dynamic environment, and upon graduation, become the leaders of the next generation of research and development in academia, industry, and government. In addition, Cal-(IT)2 will use wireless Internet capabilities to create new learning tools such as online courses.

The research effort will be supported by the construction of a 215,000-square-foot building at UCSD and a 119,500-square-foot building at UCI, both to be completed by 2004. The buildings will be equipped with state-of-the-art laboratories and telecommunications equipment to facilitate collaborative interaction among groups on each campus and between the two campuses. Each of the buildings will have public viewing areas where visitors will be able to see the research under way and exhibit galleries to explain the impact of the integrated research program.

"The comprehensive Cal-(IT)² research plan is the result of a remarkable collaboration among the faculty of UCI and UCSD," said Robert Conn, chair of the institute's UCSD steering committee and dean of the UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering. "This plan will be especially beneficial to the state because of strong endorsement from our partner companies. We were able to build on our existing industry relationships to establish a comprehensive set of new commitments for support and participation in Cal-(IT)²."

An Integrated Research Approach

To address the full scope of the new Internet, Cal-(IT)² interdisciplinary research teams have been organized into five interacting layers: 1) Materials and Devices; 2) Networked Infrastructure; 3) Interfaces and Software Systems, 4) Strategic Applications; and 5) Policy, Management, and Socioeconomic Evolution. The key applications areas to be studied include the environment and civil infrastructure; intelligent transportation; telemedicine, bioinformatics, and digitally enabled genomic medicine; and new media arts. Cal-(IT)² also hopes to shape government policies and international standards so that all sectors of society can benefit from the information revolution. Institute Associate Directors Rentzepis and Rao will oversee their respective campus executive committees, consisting of faculty members representing these layers and applications areas.

The institute layers and applications involves faculty from a broad range of UCSD departments and research centers including the Jacobs School of Engineering, School of Medicine, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, divisions of Physical Sciences, Biology, Arts and Humanities, and Social Sciences, and Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies. From UCI, key participants include The Henry Samueli School of Engineering, Department of Information and Computer Science, School of Physical Sciences, Graduate School of Management, and Claire Trevor School of the Arts. The institute also involves many research centers at the two campuses that have strong industry ties, including UCSD's San Diego Supercomputer Center, Center for Wireless Communications, Center for Magnetic Recording Research, and Center for Research in Computing and the Arts, and, at UCI, the Integrated Nanosystems Research Facility, Institute for Software Research, and Center for Pervasive Communications.


Media Contacts:
UC San Diego-Denine Hagen, (858) 534-2920
UC Irvine-Karen Newell Young, (949) 824-6925

Related Links

Press Kit Materials - http://www.jacobsschool.ucsd.edu
Gov. Gray Davis news release - http://www.governor.ca.gov/briefing/pressreleases/dec00/dec00.shtm
Cal-(IT)2 - http://www.calit2.net
California Institutes for Science and Innovation - http://www.ucop.edu/california-institutes/