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California Nanosystems Institute is a multidisciplinary center focused on creating revolutionary new materials, devices and systems that will enhance virtually every aspect of our lives.
The California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA (CNSI) was founded in 2000 as part of the statewide California Institutes for Science and Innovation (CAL-ISI) initiative to keep California at the forefront of innovation and technology through advanced academic research and partnership with the private sector. Investments in infrastructure were made throughout the University of California system to address the most pressing challenges of the 21st century.
In the 20 years since, CNSI has become a leader in basic and applied research, producing high impact discoveries in the areas of health, clean energy, environment, and information technology. The Institute houses infrastructure for physics, chemistry, biology, and engineering intermixed in communal laboratories with the capacity to support diverse teams of investigators. CNSI is a hub of multidisciplinary research activity on campus, with over 300 faculty members from 35 departments across UCLA.
Six CNSI technology centers provide advanced research capabilities to UCLA investigators and colleagues from other universities, start-up companies and industry partners. These capabilities include high-throughput molecular screening to discover novel drug candidates, cryoelectron imaging to reveal atomic structures ranging from new materials to therapeutic targets, super-resolution light microscopy for examining the behavior of single molecules within cells, and nanofabrication facilities for observing and manipulating matter at the nanoscale. In addition to providing leading-edge technologies, our centers invent them, giving UCLA researchers and entrepreneurs a unique competitive advantage.
The CNSI Education program at UCLA is committed to inspiring the next generation of leaders who will solve the grand challenges affecting our society. Exposure to stimulating hands-on science early in a student’s education is a proven predictor of successful completion of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) degrees at the university level. CNSI advances K-12 STEM education through its high-impact nanoscience teacher training workshops high school summer programs, public outreach events, and our annual Nanovation Competition that links entrepreneurship with science.
Through one-time five-year funding from the California state budget in 2022, the CNSI has initiated a three-part program to enhance student engagement with the Institute’s corporate network and address the need for student and workforce training that aligns with the needs of California’s high-tech employers. The Magnify Internship Program is a fellowship program to provide undergraduate students hands-on experience with industry partners. The Summer Capstone program is a transdisciplinary industrial capstone experience for up to 20 senior undergraduate students annually, and is meant to address the skills gap between academia and their first job. The Tech Center Training Program provides skills training to undergraduate and graduate students in the use of advanced, industry-relevant technologies to address the current skills shortfall faced by high-tech companies in California.
The Magnify Incubator at the CNSI provides capital efficient resources for early stage start-up companies working on scientific innovations to address unmet needs.
Magnify currently hosts 30 start-up companies largely founded on intellectual property generated by UCLA faculty and researchers. Magnify companies have access to state-of-the-art scientific equipment and advanced instrumentation through CNSI’s Technology Centers, a network of mentors, a community of entrepreneurs, and organized partnering meetings; all geared to increase the likelihood of success.
The CNSI building is UCLA’s first LEED Silver-certified green building.
CNSI uses state-of-the art shared Core Research Laboratories.
Your Gift May Be Tax Deductible
Your Gift is Tax Deductible