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Spring 2001
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The announcement that the UCLA-UCSB proposal was a winner led to some mild and short-lived celebration among the participants. "We were really happy," as Hu puts it. "We breathed a little more deeply, and then we realized the real work is yet to come."

For starters, three CNSI buildings - two at UCLA and one at UCSB - now have to be planned, designed, built and staffed, with the goal of creating what Hu calls the "new collaborative working environment of the future." All three buildings, she says, "are intended to be both focal points for activities of the institute and also a means of bringing people and researchers together, with shared facilities and the kinds of instrumentation needed to be accessed by a broad scope of researchers."

The unique CNSI multidisciplinary training and education program also must be developed. Says Hu: "Part of what makes the investment in CNSI worthwhile is the development of new kinds of multidisciplinary educational programs that will produce new kinds of students, with new kinds of skills, with a broader vision and perspective and with experience already in working with industry in the kinds of multidisciplinary teams that will be needed in the next generation."

In the meantime, Heath, Hu and their colleagues are busy tracking down temporary facilities for imaging and manufacturing, and beginning to recruit faculty, as well.

"The task right now is pretty Herculean," says Heath. "My major fear is that if we don't do it right, the CNSI will end up nothing more than a research motel, with a bunch of unrelated people taking up lab space. That's not the point; it's supposed to be a real institute with a common scientific purpose. That's going to be a challenge to make sure we do that correctly."

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