Deshpande Center IdeaStream Symposium showcases MIT innovations

MIT President Susan Hockfield Will Kick Off Daylong Event; Legendary Filmmaker and Climber David Breashears Will Close

Cambridge, Mass. (April 26, 2005) -- The MIT Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation (Deshpande Center) will showcase MIT research innovations with commercial potential at its annual IdeaStream Symposium Tuesday, April 26 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Cambridge.

Susan Hockfield, MIT President and innovator in the field of neuroscience, will open the daylong event, and legendary filmmaker and climber David Breashears will close it with a talk on "Leadership at 26,000 Feet: Managing Risk and Creating Opportunity in Unlikely Places." Now in its fourth year, this invitation-only event connects innovators with the business community, showcasing the most exciting technologies coming out of labs at MIT.

Dr. Hockfield's welcome address will lead into brief overviews by some of the most exciting Deshpande grant recipients, who will give brief overviews of their projects. Breashears' closing plenary talk will take the audience through a blend of first-person storytelling and rarely seen images from the 1996 Everest IMAX filming expedition. When the blizzard of May 10, 1996 hit Mount Everest, killing eight climbers, Breashears and his team were in the midst of making this historic film. In the tragedy that soon followed, Breashears and his team stopped filming to assist several of the stranded climbers to safety. The Everest IMAX film went on to become the highest-grossing IMAX film in history.

"Because the Deshpande Center's mission depends on teamwork, managing uncertainty, and finding opportunity in unlikely places, David Breashears is a surprising yet fitting close to our symposium," said Krisztina Holly, Executive Director of the MIT Deshpande Center. "We look forward to hearing his perspectives on risk, innovation, and leadership in life-or-death situations."

Innovations in Communications, Materials, Energy, Health Care, IT, and Other Sciences

IdeaStream will feature a line-up of MIT innovators presenting their ideas in various formats. In the morning plenary, Deshpande Center grant recipients will give brief updates on their projects. Then, in small Ignition Forum breakouts, faculty, researchers, and industry experts will exchange ideas in five different themes:

  • A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned: Adding to the Bottom Line with Smarter Energy Technologies
  • Video Games Invading your Home, Office, and Gym
  • Reinventing the Rust Belt: New Material Approaches to Traditional Industries
  • Medical Imaging
  • Portable Devices: The Hundred Million-Unit Value Chain


The venture lunch will engage the guests in brainstorming with Deshpande grant recipients, and the afternoon Innovation Showcase event will feature 18 selected projects proposed by faculty and students who believe they have marketable innovations in breakout sessions on:

  • Health Care
  • Tiny Tech & Materials
  • Information Technology & Communications
  • About the MIT Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation

    The Deshpande Center is part of the MIT School of Engineering and was established through an initial $20 million gift from Jaishree Deshpande and Desh Deshpande, the co-founder and chairman of Sycamore Networks. It serves as a catalyst for innovation and entrepreneurship by supporting leading-edge research and bridging the gap between the laboratory and marketplace. The Deshpande Center supports a wide range of emerging technologies including biotechnology, medical devices, information technology, new materials, "tiny technologies," and environmental innovation.