The Deshpande Center helps some of MIT's most talented faculty and students commercialize breakthrough technologies and inventions by transforming promising ideas at MIT into innovative products and cutting-edge spinout companies. The center makes modest but pivotal investments in research and provides valuable industry expertise.

A market-oriented perspective: Beyond funding, our program helps academically oriented scientists and engineers develop a more business-minded perspective on their work—which is essential when exploring potential markets and applications.  An immersive experience exposes grantees to a rich net­work of experts—including other MIT researchers, venture investors and executives with experience in early-stage companies—as well as events sponsored by the center and MIT’s startup-friendly culture.

A volunteer Catalyst/mentor is assigned to each funded project. These seasoned en­trepreneurs provide the research team with ongoing guidance as they assess market opportunities, commercialize their inventions and launch startup companies.

In Spring 2020, there are three types of grants available through the Deshpande Center, all with a common thread of moving technology from the labs at MIT into the world to make social and economic impacts.

Deshpande Center Grants are open to all MIT departments.

J-WAFS Solutions Grants focus on water and food.

Technology to Improve Ability (TTIA) to improve the lives of people, especially those with Down Syndrome.