MIT Technology to Improve Ability (TTIA) program

MIT TTIA program

Disabled student looking in microscope with teacher

In collaboration with the MIT Alana program, the Deshpande Center introduces a new grant program: Technology to Improve Ability (TTIA) 

The mission of the TTIA program is to commercialize technology that will improve the quality of life for people with Down Syndrome and other disabilities. The Deshpande Center will assist MIT faculty and students in commercializing their technologies, taking promising ideas and innovations and turning them into products and services.  While the focus is to help people with Down Syndrome, the innovations are also likely to aid a much broader population.   For a description of the areas in need of solutions, download the Overview document on the right.
Grants will typically be for $50,000 for one year, and may be renewed.  Grants for more than $50,000 will require additional justification.  Proposals can be submitted at any time, and funding decisions will be made within one month of submission.  There are no submission deadlines, or pre-determined project start dates.
For more information, or to discuss an idea, please contact us at While you can directly submit a full proposal, we suggest that you first submit a short pre-proposal for feedback. We also recommend that you talk with people who understand the needs of the Down Syndrome community before submitting your pre-proposal or proposal. The staff at the Deshpande Center and the MIT Alana program can help you connect to the Down Syndrome community. Go to the right side of this page to get started. If you do not receive an acknowledgment of receipt of a pre-proposal or proposal within 24 hours, please call our office at 617-253-0943.
This program is made possible by the generous support of the Alana Foundation.