Sponsoring the Ptolemy Project

The Ptolemy project relies heavily on sponsorship from industry. The interaction with industry and the pressure to address problems that are considered important in industry have had a major positive impact on the project. Much of the funding for the project has come from industry. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, the following information may be useful.

Two levels of sponsorship are common:

  • Supporting students.
  • Enrolling in the Berkeley CHESS (Center for Hybrid and Embedded Software) program.
Most industrial support for research is treated by the University as an "unrestricted gift", which means that the University reduces overhead charges. Thus, more of the contribution goes to supporting the research project, and less of it goes to buildings, campus maintenance or utility expenses. Checks are made out to "The Regents of the University of California," and the cover letter should indicate that support is intended for the Ptolemy Project, directed by Professor Edward A. Lee.

Supporting Students

The cost of supporting a student (stipend, travel, equipment, and pro-rated portion of staff support) is approximately $50,000 per year. California companies can usually get partial matching funds from the State of California through the MICRO program. In this case, a contribution of approximately $30,000 per student is sufficient. Benefits resulting from this type of sponsorship are detailed below.

Sponsorship entails the following specific benefits (note that nonsponsors also get access to the software and publications, although usually not as promptly):

  • Membership in the EECS Industrial Relations Program.
  • Regular updates on the progress of the Ptolemy project (we currently make monthly reports available by email (if you want them -- not everyone does) and annual reports on paper).
  • Regular updates on publications from the group.
  • Access to all software with the freedom to modify, extend, or resell, subject only to minimal constraints (detailed in our copyright notice). These constraints are designed only to (1) ensure that Berkeley gets credit for its contribution, and (2) to ensure that Berkeley is not held liable for defects in the software.
  • Invitation to project reviews with preferential registration.
  • Informal support for the software. While we cannot commit to provide support for anyone, we make every effort to respond quickly to problems that sponsors may have with the software.
  • Personal interaction. We will allocate more time to tell you in person what we are doing and to listen to your suggestions about the directions in which we should be going. In fact, we rely on this sort of guidance from our sponsors to make sure our work remains relevant to industrial applications. This guidance can have a strong effect on the direction that the students' research will take.
  • Short-term visitors to the campus are welcomed (stays from 1 day to 2 weeks can be arranged). For longer term visitors, you must join the affiliates program.

CHESS Participating Members

Participating Member Companies have the opportunity of direct involvement with the research team, and open access to the research center. Each Participating Member Company may elect to send a participating researcher for an assignment to the Center as a visiting researcher. Visiting researchers fall into two classes:
  1. Provisional Industrial Researcher (PIR) is a visiting researcher who is present at the Center for less than two continuous months.
  2. Visiting Industrial Fellow (VIF) is a visiting researcher who is present at the Center for more than two continuous months. VIFs are formally included in the Center research staff and required to sign the University of California Patent Policy.

Each Participating Member Company is allocated one seat on the CHESS Board of Advisors. Participating Member Companies support the Center through the following contributions:

Product, equipment, or technology donations.

Annual membership fee of $150K.

For Founding Corporate Members of the Berkeley CITRIS Institute that wish to participate in CHESS, the annual membership fee of $150K is included in annual CITRIS membership fee.

CHESS Associate Members

Associate Member Companies have the opportunity of informational involvement with the faculty and student researchers. This includes access to all research result presentations and reports, and attendance at research reviews and member day conferences. Associate Member Companies benefit from having access to all CHESS research collectively supported from all sources. Associate Members support the Center through the following contributions:
Product, equipment, or technology donations.

Annual membership fee of $75K.

Further details of this program are provided by the Industrial Relations Program office.


The main contact for sponsorship issues is:
Edward A. Lee                           Professor
phone: 510-642-0455                     EECS Dept., Cory Hall
fax: 510-642-2739                       University of California
email: eal at eecs                      Berkeley, CA 94720