MARS42 with Molecular Foundry and Berkeley Labs

When I was a Master of Science student in Physics, in Italy, and the moment to choose a thesis was approaching, I remember the thrill that was spreading among people in my class. I suppose that all students feel their thesis as a bet, as the moment to test and show to the community the abilities acquired in the years and eventually do their step forward among peers. It is a competition and a pitch at the same time: for a full semester you are on the stage, looking for the most effective way to successfully solve a problem and thus step into word-class scientific research. This is why everybody becomes thrilled to get positions in the best labs all around the world and one of those labs is Berkeley Laboratory.

I remember the atmosphere created by that sentence: “I am going to the Berkeley Labs...”

Now that I am a PhD candidate and a scientist, facing everyday in my research the problems that Science lets arise, I understand the reason behind that atmosphere. In order to understand the mysteries laying under Science’s hat, you need the best facilities possible, you need to be able to manipulate science and look at it from different perspectives. Richard Feynman, who was teaching in the same marvelous and visionare State, said:

“What I cannot create, I do not understand”

Well, at the Berkeley Labs you can create it, what you are investigating, and, even better, at the Molecular Foundry nearly everybody can do it!

The Foundry’s mission is to provide communities of users worldwide with access to expert staff and leading‐edge instrumentation to enable the understanding and control of matter at the nanoscale in a multidisciplinary, collaborative environment. Users come from academic, industrial and national laboratories, both domestic and international, at no cost for non‐proprietary research. They gain access to the Foundry on the basis of a competitive external peer‐reviewed proposal process.

The Foundry is providing enabling technologies and best-quality expertise to external users, coming from research environments as well as companies and startups. It is promoting the cultural exchange and the cross-fertilization between worlds that usually need to spend huge effort in order to find contact points between each-other. Foundry’s mission is above all a hymn to a new state of mind, it is a vision of a new concept of innovation in which scientific research and enterprises communicate and work synergistically to boost the change.

This is why we at MARS42 Summer School are glad to announce our collaboration with Molecular Foundry and Berkeley Labs!

We want to give birth together to a new way of doing scientific innovation and to break free the potential energy laying within our Universities in order to solve our Society’s problems. We are shaping brand new Scientific Entrepreneurs, able to understand the jobs to be done in the near future and we are doing it with a common and clear vision.

The focus of the MARS42 Summer School, to help students and postdocs explore the world of science-based industry and innovation, resonates with the culture and mission of the Molecular Foundry. Over ten percent of Molecular Foundry users come from industry, most of them from startup companies, and we see directly the value of supporting and encouraging crossover between the worlds of science and industry.

We at the Molecular Foundry are enthusiastic about this summer school and wish you every success.


Dr. Alison Hatt, Director, Molecular Foundry User Program


Learn how to apply your scientific skills in the industry world and have an impact on the innovation space.

Daniele Conti - PhD Candidate in Physics

PhD Candidate in Physics