The California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) is a research center at UCLA whose mission is to encourage university collaboration with industry and to enable the rapid commercialization of discoveries in nanosystems. CNSI members who are on the faculty at UCLA represent a multi-disciplinary team of some of the world's preeminent scientists. The work conducted at the CNSI represents world-class expertise in five targeted areas of nanosystems-related research including Renewable Energy; Environmental Nanotechnology and Nanotoxicology; NanoBiotechnology and Biomaterials; NanoMechanical and NanoFluidic systems; and NanoElectronics, Photonics and Architectonics. The CNSI's new building on the campus of UCLA is home to eight core facilities which will serve both academic and industry collaborations.
The CNSI was established in December 2000 through a State of California initiative to create four Institutes for Science and Innovation, one of them being the CNSI, and requiring them to forge partnerships with industry as a way to accelerate technological changes for society in general and advances for the peoples of California in particular. CNSI members represent an interdisciplinary collaboration among UCLA and UCSB faculty from the life and physical sciences, engineering, and medicine. The CNSI at UCLA opened a brand new complex in 2007. The 180,000 square feet (17,000 square meter) facility will house a 260-seat theater, wet and dry laboratories, fully outfitted conference rooms, and three floors of core facilities with equipment in the form of electron microscopes, atomic force microscopes, X-ray diffraction microscopes, specialized optical microscopes, high throughput robotics for molecular screening and class 100 and 1000 clean rooms for projects led by CNSI and other faculty. In addition, the campus at UCLA is funding the CNSI to the tune of 15 jointly-hired faculty to ensure that the institute has the expertise that is essential to making rapid progress in nanoscience and nanotechnology against fierce international competition.