MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI) has launched the MIT Germany Seed Fund, made possible through generous support from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The new fund will offer research-initiation grants to MIT faculty and their counterparts in Germany, and will encourage students to be actively involved in the collaborations. A specific focus will be on topics related to complex global issues — including health, the environment, energy and technological innovation.
Seed funds are a vital part of the MIT strategy to internationalize MIT research and education. Associate Provost and Ford International Professor of History Philip S. Khoury delivered remarks in support of the new development:
"We are confident that the innovations the seed fund will produce will give faculty and students opportunities to expand their talents in new directions and consider new perspectives. We also hope the seed fund will consolidate the already strong ties between MIT and Germany, which we are committed to strengthening and expanding through the MIT-Germany Program," he said.
MIT's partnership with the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research began in 1997, when the MIT-Germany Program was launched with start-up funds from the ministry. The program quickly became a model of international education for engineering, science and business students. By offering internships, workshops and language preparation, the program provides students with an in-depth understanding of German language, culture, politics and business practices.
The program matches nearly 90 MIT students each year with opportunities in Germany, and pre-selects undergraduate and graduate candidates based on their academic performance, motivation, faculty recommendations and language preparation. Candidates come from all schools at MIT, with a particular emphasis on engineering and science.
MIT-Germany is the largest of 10 the country programs within MISTI. A pioneer in applied international studies, MISTI annually places 500 MIT students in professional internships and research positions within its network of companies, universities, research institutes and NGOs around the world. In addition to student opportunities, MISTI Global Seed Funds provide funding for MIT faculty to jump-start international projects and encourage involvement in faculty-led international research.