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Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society

Lead campus: UC Berkeley
Cooperating campuses: UC Santa Cruz, UC Davis and UC Merced
For more information:

The Berkeley-based Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society will be the first to create and harness information technology to tackle society's most critical needs: energy, transportation, seismic safety, education, healthcare, farming, and the environment. The technology developed by CITRIS may create opportunities to: save as much as $8 billion in California's energy costs and 5 million metric tons of carbon each year; optimize traffic to conserve 37.5 million gallons of fuel annually; create an emergency lifeline network to save lives and minimize structural damage; serve more of California's students through distance learning and the delivery of undergraduate curriculum to UC Merced; monitor health-care with state of the art devices; prevent environmental damage and develop more efficient farming.

With participation from engineers, scientists and social scientists, the initial focus of the institute's research is to develop the technical foundations of such Societal-scale Information Systems (SIS) to meet many of California's grand-challenge needs within years rather than decades. Initial work will provide distributed "smart classrooms" for enhanced education and training, "smart buildings" that adapt their environment to their inhabitants, an urban SIS for transportation management, disaster response, seismic planning and environmental monitoring, and a medical alert network to monitor and treat patients.

UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz and UC Merced will be partners in the institute. The California Institutes initiative will provide the infrastructure needed to tackle these and other challenges facing society, maintain and strengthen California's leadership in information technology, and ensure that all its citizens and industry reap the benefits.

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