April 2009 Newsletter

Dear Readers,

Welcome to the first issue of our newsletter in 2009!

It has been a while since our last newsletter and I'd like to bring you up to date with the exciting happenings at the Deshpande Center. We have a strong portfolio of active projects covering a wide area of technologies and market applications. These include drug discovery and therapeutics, medical devices, diagnostics, energy, materials, communications, and microscopy. You can always find the complete project listing on our website. We continue to see a pattern of 20-25% of our projects spinning out of MIT and moving to commercialization, mainly as start-ups and occasionally as licenses to existing companies. This past year saw several of our projects forming start-ups, including Hepregen (screening for drug development), and some others that are still "in stealth mode".

The current economic climate has certainly made life challenging for individuals and organizations, and MIT and the Deshpande Center are no exceptions. Our economic model requires us to continually raise money to be able to fund new grants and it is not the easiest time to do so. However we continue to find support amongst individuals, organizations and companies that see the value of the Center, and who believe as we do that technological innovation is one of the keys to building a better and more economically viable society. We greatly appreciate their support.

We also have tremendous support from our many volunteers who devote a significant amount of time to help our projects and grantees. We could not run the Center and achieve our remarkable results without them.

Best Regards,
Leon Sandler
Executive Director

In This Issue

  • Deshpande Center Grantees' Research Included in Major Publications
  • By The Numbers
  • 8th IdeaStream Symposium - June 9, 2009
  • Staff Updates

Deshpande Center Grantees' Research Included in Major Publications

Dr. Rajesh Menon had a paper published in Science on etching very fine lines on a microchip.  This work is part of a larger Deshpande Center project in conjunction with Professor Henry Smith to use the technology for high-resolution optical microscopy.

Professor Alex Slocum's and Professor Jeff Karp's innovative sensing needle project had a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The MIT News Office published an article and the actual paper is available for those of you who want the technical details.

Professor Francesco Stellaci's project on super hydrophobic nanomaterials was featured in an article published by the MIT News Office

Professor Carol Livermore's project on carbon nanotube super springs was featured in an article in The Boston Globe

Professor Donald Sadoway's project for a liquid metal battery for grid storage was featured in an article in MIT Technology Review

By The Numbers

As the Deshpande Center enters its seventh year we have now supported over 70 projects with almost $10 million in grants. So far these projects have resulted in 18 startups that have raised over $140 million in capital.

8th IdeaStream Symposium - June 9, 2009

We are looking forward to our annual IdeaStream conference which will be held this year on June 9th at the Sheraton Boston and have a great line-up of speakers, topics and sessions. The title of IdeaStream 2009 is "Challenges for Innovation in Turbulent Times".

Staff Updates

Our newest member of staff is Erica Deary who joined us recently as our Administrative Assistant. Those of you who call the office will recognize her cheerful voice on the phone.