CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (October 22, 2007) -- The Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation at MIT today announced it is awarding $1,030,000 in grants to 10 MIT research teams currently working on emerging technologies. These projects have the potential to revolutionize disease therapies, nano-scale imaging, renewable energy from biomass, energy storage, HIV care in the developing world, wound healing, medication delivery and explosives detection.
“MIT faculty and students constantly demonstrate amazing creativity,” said Leon Sandler, executive director of the Deshpande Center. “We give the researchers working on these high risk, high potential projects the resources and assistance to prove their technologies. Since this smoothes the way for funding by commercial investors, we ultimately enhance the quality of life by moving innovative technologies from the labs at MIT to the marketplace. It’s an investment in the future.”
Each spring and fall, the Deshpande Center awards Ignition Grants and Innovation Grants, which fund proof-of-concept explorations and validation. Since 2002, it has funded 68 MIT research projects with approximately $8 million in grants, acting as a catalyst for innovation and entrepreneurship and allowing MIT technologies to benefit the quality of life. Eleven projects have spun out of the center as independent startups, having collectively raised over $90 million in outside financing from investors.
The fall 2007 grant recipients are:
Continuous Drug Delivery: Yet-Ming Chiang
A new device to provide medicine through a portable delivery device to assist individuals with chronic diseases. (Renewal from 2006)
CD-4 T Lymphocyte-Counting Microchip: Utkan DemirciA disposable CD-4 T lymphocyte-counting microchip providing fast, cost-effective on-site HIV virus monitoring to improve patient care in the developing world.
Drug Delivery for Heart Surgery Patients: Elazer Edelman
A unique means of safely administering peri-operative drugs for heart failure patients.
Compound to Enhance Immune Stimulation: Gerald Fink
A compound to stimulate a more powerful immune response to specific monoclonal antibodies, potentially enabling development of effective new disease therapies.
Energy Storage in Carbon Nanotube Super-Springs: Carol Livermore and Timothy Havel
A dramatically improved mechanical energy storage system that could lead to new products such as mechanical watches than run for a month between windings. (Renewal from 2006)
Power Source for Terahertz Imaging: Keith Nelson
A compact power source enabling safe and efficient terahertz imaging for explosive detection and other applications.
High-Amperage Energy Storage Device: Donald Sadoway
A new technology to store high-amperage energy for industrial settings. (Renewal from 2006)
High throughput Nanoscale Imaging: Henry Smith and Rajesh Menon
An absorbance modulation technique enabling economical high-resolution, high-throughput, nanoscale imaging for faster, more flexible analysis of nano-structures.
Renewable Propane from Biomass: Jefferson Tester
Technology to allow the production of propane from biomass, such as sugar, starches, or cellulose.
Drug delivery system to enhance healing of wounds and burns: Ioannis Yannas and François Berthiaume
Novel skin substitutes designed to accelerate blood vessel growth, improve wound and burn healing, and to reduce the risk of infections.
The Ignition and Innovation grants 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 business plans or licensing strategies.
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.