The Philomathia Foundation’s philanthropic relationship with UC Berkeley began in 2001 with a gift to support the building of the university’s East Asian Library. The Foundation established the Chang-Lin Tien Graduate Fellowship in Environmental Sciences in 2004 in commemoration of Chang-Lin Tien, a dear friend and the campus’ late chancellor. Shortly thereafter, an endowment was provided for alternative energy research at Berkeley. This was followed by the establishment of the Philomathia Distinguished Chair in Alternative Energy. The Foundation provided urther funding to support the establishment of the Berkeley Environment and Climate Institute (BECI) and all the programs were consolidated into the Philomathia Center in 2012.
In addition to supporting research and post-graduate education in the science and policy related to energy and climate issues, BECI also holds an annual Philomathia Forum to allow local and international scholars and policy makers to exchange ideas.
In 2014, the Foundation established an Innovation Fund to help establish the Kavli Energy NanoScinece Institute (ENSI) at Berkeley. ENSI is one of sixteen global Kavli Institutes and focuses on the understanding and development of artificial and biological energy systems at a nanoscale.