California NanoSystems Institute
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CNSI director Paul Weiss (left) and NSQI director Daniel Robert at the UCLA signing ceremony

March 03, 2010 - The California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) at UCLA and the Centre for Nanoscience and Quantum Information (NSQI) at England's University of Bristol have entered into an agreement to expand research collaborations and educational exchanges in nanoscience and nanotechnology.

CNSI director Paul Weiss and NSQI director Daniel Robert signed a memorandum of understanding at a March 2 ceremony on the UCLA campus. The MOU forges a link between two of the world's foremost centers for nanoscale research, allowing them to apply their combined resources in nanotechnology to problems of global concern in energy, health and the environment.

"This is a landmark event for CNSI," Weiss said. "It is our first MOU with a European institution and will provide access to advanced instrumentation and new approaches to nanoscale research. The joint research and education efforts of CNSI and NSQI members will provide benefits of worldwide importance."

"Current collaborations between individual members of CNSI and NQSI will be strengthened by this agreement," Robert said. "It raises these partnerships to an institutional level, giving the researchers involved access to the full resources of UCLA and the University of Bristol. The MOU will accelerate the flow of people and ideas between the U.S. and the U.K."

The memorandum is the culmination of a series of research interactions that began with a collaboration between the CNSI's Jim Gimzewski, distinguished professor of chemistry and biochemistry, and NSQI's Mervyn Miles. The University of Bristol was one of two U.K. university participants in a workshop on nanotechnology held at the CNSI in 2009.

Currently, three members of NSQI are spending a week in residence at the CNSI as part of a program funded by the British Research Council to encourage academic exchanges between British and American universities. Weiss will travel to Bristol for the official NSQI opening this September.

The CNSI carries out both basic and applied research, all focused on increasing the understanding of phenomena at the nanoscale and finding applications for nanoscience and nanotechnology in the fields of energy, medicine, communications and the environment. Specific areas of research include renewable energy; cancer care, including diagnostics, therapies and targeted drug delivery; nanotoxicology; biosensors; and graphene production.

Research at the CNSI is based on the assumption that scientific inquiry is borderless, transcending political boundaries, and is advanced through international partnerships and collaborations. The agreement with NSQI continues the efforts of the CNSI to play a leading role in the globalization of science. Over the past three years, the CNSI has created formal links with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Beijing Nano Center, the University of Tokyo, the University of Kyoto, Kyushu University, Yonsei University, Seoul National University, KAIST and the University of Bristol.

The Bristol Centre for Nanoscience and Quantum Information provides state-of-the-art specialized laboratories whose vibration and acoustic noise levels are among the lowest achieved anywhere. The center also has a unique purpose-designed environment in which a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research community drawn from science, engineering and medicine can be fostered and thrive through stimulating interactions and the exchange of ideas.

UCLA Newsroom


Dame Barbara Hay, consul-general at the British Consulate of Los Angeles, joined Paul Weiss and Daniel Robert during the signing ceremony for the Memorandum of Understanding between the CNSI and NSQI


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