Ideas to Impact: The Deshpande Center grants and support services help MIT researchers move their technology to commercialization.
Our Ignition Grants and Innovation Grants are open only to MIT faculty and students; grant applications must be submitted by MIT employees with Principal Investigator (PI) status. The Deshpande Center grants help bridge a funding gap between government support for basic science and the availability of private-sector funding for emerging innovations.
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, 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, and the awards are more typically $50,000. Total funding cannot exceed $200,000 over the lifetime of the grant (including renewals).