Industry Heavyweights Line Up to Advise California NanoSystems Institute
In what may be the first collaboration of its kind, a group of prominent venture capitalists and corporate investors has lined up to advise the new $350 million nanotechnology research center run jointly by UCLA and UC Santa Barbara. The industry advisory board of the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) will help researchers focus on small technologies with potentially big economic payoffs.
"We are delighted to be working with such a stellar group of business leaders," said Dr. Fraser Stoddart, director of CNSI. "Our board members have vast experience with starting and building companies, from early stage investment through to marketing and distribution. Their knowledge and insight will be invaluable to the CNSI as we seek to commercialize our discoveries and inventions for the benefit of California's taxpayers."
The list of CNSI's advisory board members reads like the Who's Who of nanotechnology investment and development. They include Lee Bailey, a partner at Rustic Canyon Ventures; Real Desrochers, director of Alternative Investments at the California State Teachers' Retirement System; Steve Jurvetson, managing director at Draper Fisher Jurvetson; Gary Lazar, a partner at California Technology Ventures; Daniel Leff, senior associate at Sevin Rosen Funds; and Alan Marty, executive-in-residence at JPMorgan Partners, LLC.
Corporate representatives include senior scientists and managers from Agilent Laboratories, Amgen Inc., Chiron Corporation, DuPont, General Electric, IBM, Intel Corp., Medtronic Minimed and Veeco Metrology Group.
The board's membership reflects the broad applicability of nanotechnology, which is expected to affect virtually every industry. CNSI was established with $100 million from the state of California and an additional $250 million in federal research grants and industry funding. Its mission is to encourage university collaboration with industry and enable the rapid commercialization of discoveries and inventions in nanosystems.
Nanotechnology is the science of building devices at the scale of individual molecules, or smaller. Possible nanosystem applications include smaller, faster and more efficient computers; medicines that target the molecular errors that cause disease while leaving healthy cells unharmed; lighter, stronger, more durable building materials that may make cars, buses, planes and other forms of transportation safer and more energy efficient; lamps that use one-tenth as much energy as light bulbs and never burn out; and new products and materials created with a molecular-level precision that have properties well beyond what can be manufactured today.