Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society

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Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society
FormationJuly 1, 2001; 18 years ago (2001-07-01)
TypeGovernor Gray Davis Institute for Science and Innovation
PurposeTo create technological solutions for emerging societal issues
HeadquartersSutardja Dai Hall, UC Berkeley campus
FieldsTechnology, Policy, sciences, design
Costas Spanos
Parent organization
University of California
SubsidiariesCITRIS Foundry[1]
over 300 faculty

The Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society and the Banatao Institute (CITRIS) is a research institute operated by the University of California to facilitate the real-world application of technological research. Approved in 2000,[2] it is part of the Governor Gray Davis Institutes for Science and Innovation, along with the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences, California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology, and the California Nanosystems Institute.[3] Headquartered at UC Berkeley, CITRIS was founded in 2001 from a desire to see innovative technologies put to practical use in improving quality of life for people.[3][4]

In the organization's own words, "CITRIS was created to 'shorten the pipeline' between world-class laboratory research and the creation of start-ups, larger companies, and whole industries," a mission it seeks to achieve through partnering academicians at UC Santa Cruz, UC Merced, UC Davis, and UC Berkeley with industrial researchers.[5] CITRIS's many cross-campus collaborations include work with the UC Davis School of Medicine, the UC Berkeley School of Public Health, the UC Merced Water Research Program, and the Berkeley Center for New Media in conjunction with Santa Cruz. CITRIS also addresses state and national level issues through funded research programs and active collaboration with the California Energy Commission, the California Telehealth Network, and many others.

The launch of 100 floating sensors into the Sacramento River for the Floating Sensor Network project

One notable project, the Floating Sensor Network project, collected in 2012 data to help researchers and scientists better understand how water flows from the Sacramento-San Joaqiun River Delta to pumping stations and the San Francisco Bay. It is a collaborative effort between CITRIS and UC berkeley's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Electrical Engineering.

Vision 2025[edit]

As powerful new technologies – machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), drones and UAVs, augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR), genetic editing, and, powering it all, quantum leaps of data science – shape the future needs of people and questions of ethics, a technological paradigm shift must occur. To lead us through this new landscape, CITRIS launches Vision 2025. CITRIS will expand to include additional research thrusts in core technology and Technology and society; world-class labs, testbeds, and research opportunities; multicampus participation; under/graduate student discovery; and tech outreach.[6]

Research Thrusts[edit]

CITRIS and the Banatao Institute has expanded its research thrusts to address a new era of vast technological change. Its research thrusts are grouped into the subcategories of Core Technology and Technology and Society.[7]

  • Health focuses on improving health outcomes and access to cost-effective care. CITRIS develops and integrates innovative technology in telehealth, sensors, analytics and mobile devices. Projects include Transatlantic Telehealth Research Network and AATRN, Big Data Analytics for the Assessment of Pathologic Patient-Ventilator Interactions, AQUA: Children's Asthma Technology Solution, etc.[9]
  • CITRIS Policy Lab: Led by Founding Director Brandie M. Nonnecke, PhD[11], the CITRIS Policy Lab supports interdisciplinary research, education, and thought leadership to address core questions regarding the role of formal and informal regulation in promoting innovation and amplifying its positive effects on society. It envisions a world where decisions related to the development, deployment, and distribution of technology are informed by considerations grounded in timely interdisciplinary research on current and future technological capabilities and their implications for society. Due to its strong interdisciplinary approach to technology research and development, the CITRIS Policy Lab is uniquely positioned to be a leader in driving policy research and engagement in public and private sectors at local, state, national, and international levels.[12] Nonnecke and the Policy Lab has been involved in projects such as the California Report Card and DevCafe.[13]
  • The Future of Work explores how to shape the world we want in the age of intelligent tools. The challenge, deep and real, is to architect that world, to find ways of working, earning, and learning that support the healthy development of our societies and economies, and the people who inhabit them. [14]
  • The Women in Technology Initiative envisions a world in which women are proportionately represented and equitably compensated in professional and academic fields of technology. The Women in Technology Initiative is a trusted resource that integrates research and action to address the technology industry's diversity challenge. It brings together faculty, staff, and students from a range of disciplines and multiple campuses to work in partnership with executives, board members, investors, entrepreneurs, and career technologists in the technology industry — all committed to promoting an inclusive and equitable environment for women in technical fields.Women in Tech Initiative.[15]

Labs and Programs[edit]

CITRIS provides a plethora of spaces for students, faculties, and innovators to create and research cutting-edge technologies.

  • The Berkeley Marvell Nanofabrication Lab is a 15,000 square foot class, 100 clean room with a wide range of micro and nanofabrication capabilities. The Nano lab serves over 70 principal investigators and more than 450 graduate and postgraduate researchers on an annual basis. The Nano lab is first and foremost an academic research facility. However, excess equipment capacity is made available to affiliate companies if their research needs do not conflict with academic research priorities. Over the past 15 years, the Nano lab has welcomed more than 100 affiliate member companies―approximately one-quarter of them based upon UC Berkeley developed technologies or founded by UC Berkeley alumni.[16]
  • The CITRIS Invention Lab is an onsite rapid prototyping and packaging lab that works in conjunction with the Marvell Nanofabrication Lab. Resources consist of an array of traditional prototyping equipment that range from the basic craft tools to machining and electronics instruments. It offers a unique opportunity for researchers on all four CITRIS campuses to create, produce and package a prototype that can be tested and ultimately pitched to potential users, customers and investors. The CITRIS Invention Lab supports faculty, student and community innovation by providing the knowledge, tools and support to rapidly design and prototype their ideas. The new facility is a vital part of the CITRIS “pipeline” running from the innovative minds of researchers, through CITRIS laboratories, and out into the world.[17]
  • The Tech for Social Good Program provides funding support to undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral students developing hardware, software, events or programs that support healthy, sustainable, connected, and equitable livelihoods in the United States and abroad. The Tech for Social Good Program is currently available on the UC Berkeley and UC Davis campuses.[18]
  • The CITRIS Foundry was created in 2013 to help entrepreneurs build companies that make a significant impact on the world. The Foundry provides access to design, manufacturing & business development tools, along with a community of entrepreneurs and experts to transform entrepreneurial teams into founders.
    • Notable start-ups include Dash Robotics, Inc, Correlia Biosystems, Cortera Neurotechnologies, Lion Semiconductors, GenEdit, etc[19]


  1. ^ "CITRIS Foundry". Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  2. ^ Julie K. Petersen (2003). Fiber optics illustrated dictionary. CRC Press. p. 481. ISBN 978-0-8493-1349-3. Retrieved 3 August 2010.
  3. ^ a b "CITRIS: An Informal and Personal Introduction from the Director". November 2009. Retrieved 3 August 2010.[dead link]
  4. ^ "The History of CITRIS: A Campaign to Re-engineer Engineering". Retrieved 3 August 2010.
  5. ^ "Mission Statement". Retrieved 3 August 2010.
  6. ^ "Vision 2025". Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  7. ^ "Research Thrusts". Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  8. ^ "Sustainable Infrastructures". Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  9. ^ "Health". Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  10. ^ "People and Robots". Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  11. ^ Nonnecke, Brandie. "Tech, Policy, and Society". Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  12. ^ "CITRIS Policy Lab". CITRIS and the Banatao Institute. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
  13. ^ Nonnecke, Brandie. "Tech, Policy, and Society". Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  14. ^ "The Future of Work". Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  15. ^ "Women in Tech Initiative". Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  16. ^ "Marvell Nanofabrication Laboratory". Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  17. ^ "Invention Lab - CITRIS". Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  18. ^ "Tech for Social Good". Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  19. ^ "citris foundry portfolio". Retrieved 6 June 2019.

External links[edit]