Mission and History

CITRIS and the Banatao Institute - Mission and History

The Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society and the Banatao Institute (CITRIS) create information technology solutions for society’s most pressing challenges.

The Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society and the Banatao Institute (CITRIS) leverage the research strengths of the University of California campuses at Berkeley, Davis, Merced and Santa Cruz, and operate within the greater ecosystem of the University and the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of Silicon Valley. We strengthen bridges between world-class laboratory research, state and national policymakers, and companies and startups creating new applications and reshaping entire industries. CITRIS and the Banatao Institute facilitate interdisciplinary work among hundreds of University of California faculty members, students, corporate partners and international institutions. Together with these public and private partners, we are shaping the future of technology in ways that cross traditional boundaries.

From concept to prototype, the CITRIS invention ecosystem includes competitive seed funding, specialized testbeds, the Berkeley Marvell Nanofabrication Laboratory at CITRIS, the CITRIS Invention Lab and the CITRIS Foundry.

We bring the expertise of multiple disciplines to bear on critical challenges such as designing sustainable energy, water and transportation systems; improving the human experience with robotics and inclusive intelligence; modernizing health care delivery; fostering responsible tech policy; promoting diverse perspectives; and examining the future of work and the global economy in the age of automation.

CITRIS and the Banatao Institute represent a bold and exciting vision that engages one of the top university systems in the world to generate social and economic benefits.


Since its creation in 2001 as one of Governor Gray Davis’ institutes for science and innovation at the University of California, CITRIS has demonstrated an impressive return on investment by any measure. Through collaboration with industry, government agencies, and international partners, CITRIS has enabled innovations in nanotechnology, computer science, engineering, manufacturing, social media and other sectors. Notable contributions include the California Telehealth Network, the Pacific Research Platform, the California Report Card citizen engagement platform, annual seed funding for interdisciplinary research and more than 70 high-tech startup ventures.

In 2016, we recognized the Banatao Institute as an integral part of our affiliated UC campuses. In alignment with the goals and values of Dado and Maria Banatao, the Banatao Institute at CITRIS leverages the University of California expertise and IT solutions for the benefit of developing regions in the United States and abroad. This widening sphere of influence is celebrated in our name, “CITRIS and the Banatao Institute.”

Governor Gray Davis Institutes for Science & Innovation

In 2000, the California governor’s office launched four visionary Institutes for Science and Innovation. The institutes share a vital mission: to address large-scale societal problems through interdisciplinary research and new market applications.

The state of California, the University of California and hundreds of leading businesses joined together in an unprecedented partnership to lay the foundation for California’s future economic and social development. These multicampus institutes are opening doors to a new understanding, new solutions and new applications through essential research in biomedicine, bioengineering, nanosystems, telecommunications and information technology.

In addition to the Center for Information Technology in the Interest of Society and the Banatao Institute (CITRIS), the other three institutes are:

The Banatao Institute

The Banatao Institute is an integral part of our affiliated UC campuses. By extending the reach of our core initiatives and assets, the Banatao Institute’s programs foster the exchange of best practices, create opportunities, and highlight successes in areas of global relevance. As the world grows smaller and more interconnected each day, the challenges of education, health, civic engagement, economic growth, and technology development in low-resource areas become more pressing. Great needs and opportunities exist in the development of sustainable systems to address intertwined issues of poverty and access to public resources such as clean air, clean water, energy, and reliable cyberinfrastructure.

This widening sphere of influence was celebrated with a new name, “CITRIS and the Banatao Institute,” which debuted across the four campuses in fall 2016. In alignment with the founding goals and values of Dado and Maria Banatao, the Banatao Institute at CITRIS leverages the University of California expertise and IT solutions for the benefit of developing regions in the United States and abroad.

Dado & Maria Banatao

Dado Banatao is a successful venture capitalist and Silicon Valley technology visionary who pioneered the personal computer (PC) chip set and graphics acceleration architecture, two foundation technologies that are still found in every PC. Dado serves on the CITRIS Advisory Board and the Berkeley Engineering Advisory Board. His wife, Maria, is a UC Berkeley Foundation Trustee, and their three children have all earned UC Berkeley degrees.

In recognition of their early cornerstone commitment to CITRIS and their ongoing leadership, the four-campus collaboration was named the Banatao Institute at CITRIS.

In addition to supporting CITRIS, the Banataos have passionately supported education throughout the world. With that in mind, the Dado & Maria Banatao Center for Global Learning and Outreach from Berkeley Engineering (GLOBE) was established to bring “the world’s best to Berkeley Engineering and to bring Berkeley Engineering’s best to the world.” GLOBE fulfills this mission by establishing and supporting extensive educational and research programs with international partner universities.