MIT's Deshpande Center Announces Fall 2006 Research Grants

Center Assists in Turning New Ideas into Innovations Through Financial Support and Entrepreneurial Leadership

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (OCTOBER 10, 2006) -- The Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation at MIT today announced it is awarding $488,000 in grants to six MIT research teams currently working on discoveries that may revolutionize methods for storing energy, delivering medicine, drug development and high throughput wireless networks.

For the past four years, The Deshpande Center has funded 56 projects with over $6.5M in grants, acting as a catalyst for innovation and entrepreneurship by supporting leading edge MIT research and increasing the impact of MIT technologies in the marketplace. Over nine projects have spun out of the center as independent startups, having collectively raised over $40M in outside financing from top-tier VCs.

The fall 2006 grant recipients are:

Device for Sensing Tissues and Tissue Compartments: Alexander Slocum, Omid Farokhzad and Jeff Karp
A new device to assist in sensing tissue as catheter needles are inserted during common medical procedures.

High-Amperage Energy Storage Device: Donald Sadoway
A new technology to store high-amperage energy for industrial settings.

Portable Power Sources: Carol Livermore and Timothy Havel
A new method for creating efficient long-lasting portable power sources that could change the battery market.

Continuous Drug Delivery: Yet-Ming Chiang
A new device to provide medicine through a portable delivery device to assist individuals with chronic diseases.

High-Throughput Dense Wireless Networks: Dina Katabi
A new network design to create high-throughput for wireless networks to increase network availability in urban settings.


Human liver models for faster, safer drug development: Sangeeta BhatiaThis miniature human liver tissue could lead to safer, faster, and more cost-effective drug development by measuring toxicity at an early stage in the development process.

“The projects we are funding this fall are indicative of the innovative ideas MIT researchers have begun: projects aimed at improving the way of life worldwide. The goal of the center is to assist in bringing these ideas out of the labs and into real-world applications,” said Leon Sandler, executive director of the Deshpande Center. “In the past four years, the center successfully bridged the gap between idea concept to actual entrepreneurial innovation for a number of new technologies in the medical, technology and other areas.”

Each spring and fall, the Deshpande Center awards $50,000 Ignition Grants, which fund proof-of-concept explorations, and Innovation Grants ranging from $50,000 to $250,000 to help recipients assess and reduce the technical and market risks associated with their innovations. In addition to financial support, the Deshpande center's network of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and academic and legal experts helps recipients assess the commercial potential of their innovations and make decisions that accelerate progress toward the development of a business plan or licensing strategy.

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.