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Governor and Legislature act to fully fund four California Institutes for Science and Innovation

25 April 2002

Media Relations

On April 25, California Gov. Gray Davis signed a bill that fully funds the four California Institutes for Science and Innovation. The bill authorizes $308 million dollars in lease-revenue bond financing for completion of the capital projects associated with the Institutes.

UC Berkeley is the home of the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS), which uses advances in information technology to solve pressing problems in fields of energy conservation, transportation, education, and emergency preparedness. Berkeley is also a partner (along with UC San Francisco and UC Santa Cruz) in the Institute for Quantitative Biomedical Research (QB3).

UC Berkeley Government Affairs, other campus officials, alumni, and corporate partners had been working for months to achieve this win. In the Assembly, there had been strong opposition to the method of financing, but in the final days, proponents of the bill prevailed.

By signing the bill into law, the governor and the Legislature have recognized that the Institutes are a critical part of the economic recovery of the state.

Susan Marqusee, associate director of QB3 at Berkeley, said the state action was extremely helpful. "This ensures that California, and University of California scientists, will be leading the way," said Marqusee. "This new type of research will have a major impact on biotechnology and human health in the next half century."

Ruzena Bajcsy, director of CITRIS, was equally pleased by the state action.

Said Bajcsy, "The legislature, by granting this award, had the foresight to invest in an opportunity that allows us to examine - in a serious fashion - the result of information technology on people and on society as a whole.

"The information technology revolution is profoundly different from the industrial revolution in that, during the latter, the engines could be separated from the people, and thus had only an indirect effect on peoples' lives. However, information technology intimately influences people's ways of acting, thinking and their interaction with each other. This affects not only our social system, but ultimately our legal, governmental and global actions."