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Oracle chairman bolsters scientific research

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Oracle chairman bolsters scientific research

Oracle chairman Jeff Henley is giving $50 million to the University of California, in Santa Barbara - the largest donation in the school's history -to promote scientific research and help overcome budget cuts, Bloomberg reports.

Henley's donation to his alma mater will go towards the engineering college and the school's Institute for Energy Efficiency (IEE), which conducts research in areas such as batteries, lighting and computer data centres, the university said in a statement. The gift is also in the name of Henley's wife, Judy.

Some $30 million of the donation - which Henley prefers to call an investment - will go towards recruiting faculty and building a new facility (called Henley Hall) for the Institute, which houses research projects in cutting-edge energy-saving technologies, The Santa Barbara Independent notes.

The other $20 million is an estate commitment, which will be given to the College of Engineering.

The IEE offers Henley a venue by which to focus his investment in the university, which he was surprised to see - after moving to Santa Barbara in 2000 - had grown into a word-class research institution since he graduated in 1966. “I wouldn't call myself a rabid environmentalist,” said Henley. But, he added, “we all have to worry about sustainability. I'm a big believer that technology has and will continue to solve a lot of our problems.”

One of the Institute's biggest projects is the development of an LED light with 20 times the efficiency of an incandescent bulb. Another is a computer that can generate, transmit and store data 100 times faster than the ones that exist today, Pacific Coast Business Times writes.

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