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Strengthening California’s economic competitiveness
In the year 2000, Governor Gray Davis launched a bold plan to create the California Institutes for Science and Innovation at the University of California. These institutes were designed to increase the state's capacity for creating the new knowledge and highly skilled people to drive entrepreneurial business growth and expand the California economy into new industries and markets. Economists attribute 50 percent of U.S. economic growth since World War II to investments in research and development. Recognizing this, the institutes initiative thrust California to the forefront with an aggressive plan.

Partnerships between UC, industry and the state
The institutes are an unprecedented three-way partnership between the state, California industry, and the University of California. Each focuses on a research field key to the future of California's economy, bringing together UC's world-class scientists and students with industry researchers in a cooperative research and education effort that produces both new knowledge and the next generation of scientists and technological innovators. The institutes undertake basic, multidisciplinary research on complex problems requiring the kind of scope, scale, duration, equipment, and facilities that they uniquely provide. The cooperative UC-industry effort speeds the delivery of public benefits through new products, technologies, services, and jobs.

Leveraging the state’s investment
The state planned to invest $100 million in each institute, and challenged UC and industry to match every dollar provided by the state with at least two dollars in non-state funding an effort that has been extremely successful to-date. The timeline and mechanism for the state's contribution may be adjusted given its budget situation, but total funding for the initiative is expected to be no less than $1.2 billion, including $800 million in non-state matching funds.

Proposal development and selection
The institutes were developed in a competitive process driven largely by the visions of various segments of the research communities in UC and industry. Proposals were developed in a two-phase process and were subsequently reviewed in a second, two-phase process.

For a PDF of this background: factsheets.


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