July/August 2003 Newsletter

Applications pour in for next round of grants, Deshpande Center gains momentum

Dear Friend of the Deshpande Center,

The big news for the summer is that interest in the Deshpande Center continues to grow, both on and off campus. We received 45 pre-proposals for our upcoming round of grants, to be announced in October. Also, the editorial community continues to recognize us. The Boston Business Journal recently ran a nice, full-page spread with photos on the Deshpande Center, highlighting the accomplishments of the Center and select grant recipients.

Our July/August newsletter focuses on our rising public profile and on the important role of the IdeaStream Symposium and Ignition Forums. Please also note our new fall calendar of Ignition Forums!

In This Issue

  • New proposals pour in, cover wide range of ideas
  • Upcoming fall Ignition Forums: wireless networking, bioMEMS, and nanotechnology
  • Boston Business Journal covers Deshpande Center successes
  • IdeaStream keynote available on MIT World website

New proposals pour in, cover wide range of ideas

Word about the Deshpande Center is clearly getting out to MIT faculty who want to bring their research to the marketplace; we received 45 pre-proposals for our next round of grants, up from 37 in the previous round. The grants, for which we have over $1 million available, will be announced in October.

“There is clearly a desire amongst our faculty to make their research marketable” notes Charles Cooney, Faculty Director.

The three-page pre-proposals, of which 21 will be invited to expand into full proposals for the final round of submissions, cover a broad array of ideas, in areas as diverse as nanotech, biotech, IT, and energy innovations.

“The breadth of proposals is key,” says Executive Director Krisztina Holly, “since we want to be able to pick from the most promising commercializable ideas throughout the School of Engineering,” alluding to the Center’s aim to connect innovative technology across the engineering spectrum to local entrepreneurs. “We were very impressed with not only the quantity but the quality of the submissions this round.”

Upcoming fall Ignition Forums: wireless networking, bioMEMS, and nanotechnology

The Deshpande Center’s Ignition Forums, gatherings designed to spark new ideas and inventions that address real market opportunities, will continue this fall. Please mark your calendars; the tentative schedule is as follows:

September 16 - Wireless Networking
October 14 - BioMEMS
December 11 - Wearable Nanotech: What is the next Gore-Tex™?

Following each forum, the Deshpande Center and MIT’s TechLink club will co-host a networking event. Students, faculty, and members of industry can enjoy some refreshments while discussing possible solutions to the challenges posed during the forum. The Center is inclined to fund proposals that address challenges raised during these Ignition Forums.


Boston Business Journal covers Deshpande Center successes
A July 4 article in the Boston Business Journal profiles the Deshpande Center and discusses some of our grant recipients’ recent accomplishments.

“Just since October, the Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation has helped two grant recipients begin early-stage testing of their technologies, brought another team close to finding outside financing and saw recipients finish strongly in MIT’s annual $50,000 business plan competition. And the center is only starting to gain momentum,” writes BBJ reporter Tom Witkowski.

IdeaStream keynote available on MIT World website
The Deshpande Center’s growing recognition owes a great deal to IdeaStream 2003. The event kicked off May 13 at the Boston Museum of Science and featured Governor Mitt Romney as the dinner keynote speaker.

You can see a streaming video of the Governor’s speech, along with remarks from Executive Director Krisztina Holly, MIT President Charles Vest, and Deshpande Center founder Desh Deshpande here.

IdeaStream is an annual symposium bringing together the leading minds in innovation and entrepreneurship for two days of networking and idea sharing. Its aim is to bridge the gap between research in MIT's School of Engineering and the emerging-tech business community.

We hope you are enjoying a relaxing summer. See you in the fall!

Krisztina Holly
Executive Director
Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation