MIT Deshpande Center Grants

The Deshpande Center awards Ignition and Innovation Grants


based primarily on the stage of an MIT investigator’s research. The cumulative value of an initial grant plus subsequent renewals cannot exceed $200,000.  Grants are also available for joint projects between MIT and Masdar Institute.  

Ignition Grants

The center awards first year Ignition Grants of $50,000 to MIT researchers who are doing promising work with a potentially significant impact. By funding positions for graduate students and post-doctoral researchers, a grant allows the team to continue experiments that validate a concept, and/or develop a working prototype of an invention.  Grantees who accomplish their milestones and demonstrate lab viability are invited to apply to renew their funding via an Innovation Grant.

Innovation Grants

Innovation, or renewal grants are by invitation only and support MIT researchers to continue their Ignition Grant work. This type of grant provides the support needed to refine and enhance an innova­tion, systematically explore potential markets, and assess the commercial viability of specific applications. The ultimate goal is to attract sufficient investment to commercialize a product and launch a spinout company and/or to license the technology to an existing company.  Funding requests for an Innovation Grant cannot exceed $150,000.   Total funding cannot exceed $200,000 over the lifetime of the grant (including renewals).