Founded in 2005, the Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute (RBNI) is a campus-wide multidisciplinary framework comprised of ~65 faculty members and ~300 graduate students and post-doctoral fellows from the Faculties of Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Materials Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Medicine, Biotechnology & Food Engineering, Mathematics, Computer Science and Aerospace Engineering. The Institute was established by a three-way matching donation (Russell Berrie Foundation, Israeli government and the Technion), structuring a program that was based on existing scattered activities around the campus prior to its foundation, with an inspired vision to create and nurture research into advanced science, education and technology, with emphasis on nanoscience and nanotechnology. The success of the program is reflected in its academic and technological activities and achievements resulting in hundreds of published scientific papers, 111 projects launched with industry and several launched startups, and more than 110 patent applications.
Since its establishment in 2005, the RBNI program has focused on various research areas that were classified into the following topics: nanomaterials, nanooptics, nanoelectronics, nanomechanics and bio-nano interface. During this period, the RBNI undertook the following actions:
Upgrading existing facilities or establishing new public infrastructure centers (allocated within the relevant faculties around campus): Micro and Nanofabrication Unit, Electron Microscopy, Electron Microscopy of Soft Matter, High-Resolution Surface Characterization, X-ray Characterization, Life Sciences, Computational Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Biomechanics and Tissue Engineering, and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Unit (in the chemistry building).
Establishing the Norman Seiden Multidisciplinary Graduate Program in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (currently including over 80 graduate students). The graduate students in the Program are offered full research fellowships, special seminars and can apply for competitive prizes.
Holding winter schools every second year (for a duration of one week in a nice remote location, e.g., Ein Gedi or Galilee), bringing the most prestigious speakers, including Nobel Laureates.
Holding an annual student two-day symposium (in a remote location).
Faculty members from the Schulich Faculty of Chemistry are involved in various RBNI activities, including A. Hoffman, E. Lifshitz, E. Kolodney, T. Maniv, I. Schechter, A. Schmidt, A. Blank, N. Adir, E. Keinan, N. Moiseyev, M. Eisen, U. Peskin, Y. Eichen, Z. Gross, and new faculty members L. Amirav and G. Maayan.