MIT's Deshpande Center Announces Spring 2007 Research Grants

Center Awards $628,000 to Seven Research Teams Turning New Ideas into Commercial Innovations

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (MARCH 12, 2007) -- The Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation at MIT today announced it is awarding $628,000 in grants to seven MIT research teams currently working on discoveries that could revolutionize medical diagnostics, x-ray technology, environmental cleanup, medical device technology, solar energy technology, and electronics.

Since 2002, The Deshpande Center has funded 61 MIT research projects with approximately $7.1M in grants, acting as a catalyst for innovation and entrepreneurship and increasing the impact of MIT technologies in the marketplace. Nine projects have spun-out of the center as independent startups, having collectively raised over $40M in outside financing from top-tier Venture Capital firms.

The spring 2007 grant recipients are:

Medicine delivery method for bladder disorders: Michael Cima
A new device to provide medicine over a period of time that treats bladder disorders, from overactive bladder to interstitial cystitis to cancer. (Renewal from 2006)

Rapid Multiplexed Analysis for Molecular Diagnostics: Patrick Doyle
A new method to perform multi-target bioassays using microparticles that may enable clinical bedside diagnostics and easier, less-costly diagnosis of disease.

High throughput cell microinjector: Klavs Jensen
A new automated microinjector that promises high-throughput delivery of any molecule or nanoparticle into single cells to accelerate laboratory research.

Phase contrast X-ray imaging: Richard Lanza
A phase contrast approach to x-ray imaging that could impact a wide range of areas, from medical imaging to homeland security.

Gallium Nitride High Electron Mobility Transistors: Tomás Palacios
A new approach to the fabrication technology of Gallium Nitride semiconductors to reduce the cost and improve the performance of electronic products.

High efficiency multi-crystalline solar cells: Emanuel Sachs
A new approach to improve the efficiency of multi-crystalline solar cells that could lower the cost per watt of solar energy, allowing it to become more competitive with grid electricity.

Super-hydrophobic Nanomaterials: Francesco Stellacci and Jing Kong
A simple and rapid nano-material approach to controlling surface wetting that could impact how environmentally hazardous materials are cleaned.

“Our goal is to assist in bringing MIT research projects out of the labs so they can have an even greater social, economic and academic impact," said Leon Sandler, executive director of the Deshpande Center. “This group of projects has great potential, and we look forward to working with the research teams to provide the resources they need to prove their commercial viability.”

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.

All grant projects will be featured on April 12, 2007 at the Center's invitation-only IdeaStream Symposium. IdeaStream is sponsored by several leading firms, including: Accenture and Choate Hall & Stewart.

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 millions 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.