Public Release: 

New technology institute welcomes California budget signing, cites strong corporate support despite technology downturn

University of California - San Diego

San Diego and Irvine--Just six months after its creation, the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology is on firm financial footing. Late last week, Gov. Gray Davis signed into law the 2001-02 state budget that includes $25 million in capital funds for Cal-(IT)2 (pronounced cal-eye-tee-squared), the second of four equal installments pledged by the state last year. The institute has also completed agreements worth nearly $47 million with industrial partners and is in active negotiation on more than $90 million more. Recently, Cal-(IT)2 welcomed its newest industrial partner--Enosys Markets (pronounced en-OH-sis), a San Diego-based firm that makes software that queries and integrates results from distributed information sources. Separately, faculty associated with Cal-(IT)2 aggressively pursued federal funding on a wide range of projects--leading to well over $38 million in awarded or pending grants since January 1. That is two-thirds of the original four-year grant goal for the institute, a collaborative partnership of UC Irvine and UC San Diego.

"We thank Governor Davis and state legislators for recognizing the importance of fully funding this endeavor, and we are heartened at the strong response in the corporate sector as well," says Larry Smarr, director of Cal-(IT)2 and professor of computer science and engineering at the Irwin and Joan Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego. "The original pledges occurred before the tech sector came under intense financial pressure, so it's especially gratifying that our partners are meeting their commitments--and recognizing that an investment in Cal-(IT)2 will pay dividends for them, their communities and California well into the future."

The institute's industrial partners include leading San Diego companies such as Qualcomm and AMCC; Orange County-based firms including Intersil, Broadcom and Conexant; and national and international technology leaders such as Microsoft, IBM, Sun Microsystems and Ericsson.

"Corporate support has been of significant assistance to faculty during the solicitation of federal research funds," says William H. Parker, Vice Chancellor, Research, at UC Irvine. "The partnership of UC faculty, corporation research resources and federal agencies will result in major advances in telecommunications and information technologies."

Among the first to benefit from the funding are 22 undergraduate students awarded research fellowships this summer. Cal-(IT)2 is also awarding 73 graduate fellowships for the 2001-2002 school year across the two campuses.

Says director Smarr: "Our fellowships are meant to attract and retain the highest-caliber students. That will be crucial if we are going to fulfill our promise of laying the foundations for the new wireless Internet five to ten years into the future."

Cal-(IT)2 is one of four institutes funded through the California Institutes for Science and Innovation initiative. Created in late 2000 by Gov. Gray Davis, CISI aims to ensure that California maintains its leadership in cutting-edge technologies. As part of CISI, the mission of Cal-(IT)2 is to extend the reach of the current information infrastructure throughout the physical world--enabling anywhere/anytime access to the Internet. More than 220 professors and senior researchers from the two campuses are collaborating on interdisciplinary projects.


Financing for the institute is being shared by the state ($100 million), industry ($140 million pledged to date), private donations and campus sources ($30 million each), and federal research grants which are expected to push the total Cal-(IT)2 budget to more than $400 million over four years. For more information, including a list of the institute's industrial partners, go to

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