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Deshpande Center's latest funding cycle supports goal of 'idea to impact'

Since 2002, the Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation has funded more than 80 projects with over $9 M in grants. The center supports a wide range of emerging technologies including biotechnology, biomedical devices, information technology, new materials, tiny tech, and energy innovations. Eighteen projects have spun out of the center as independent startups, having collectively raised over $150 million in outside financing from investors.
In April 2009, the Deshpande Center issued its annual Institute-wide call for proposals for two levels of grant awards — Ignition and Innovation. The grants target projects focusing on novel, enabling and potentially useful ideas and innovations in all areas of technology. Funding for Ignition awards — up to $50,000 per grant — might enable only exploratory experiments and limited proof of concept, and an Ignition Grant can position projects to receive further funding to continue to develop an innovation.  Funding for Innovation awards — for as much as $250,000 per grant — is meant to benefit projects that have progressed beyond their earliest stages and are closer to commercialization. After a rigorous three-month process of collection, evaluation, presentation and selection, all under the guidance of the center's executive director, Leon Sandler, and its faculty director, Professor Charles Cooney, the final award decisions were made in August 2009 and announced publicly on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2009. The center is pleased to announce the following fall 2009 grantees:

MEMS for Large Area and Flexible Applications: Vladimir Bulovic
A flexible paper thin micro-electromechanical system (MEMS) array that can be used for sensing and actuation over large surfaces.

Device for Treatment of Cerebral Edema: Michael J. Cima
A drug delivery device to treat brain edema with reduced systemic side-effects typical of conventional treatments.

Stable Inorganic-Organic Hybrid Light Emitting Diodes: Karen Gleason

Long-lived LEDs on flexible substrates providing energy efficient portable displays. (Renewal from fall 2008 grant round.)

A Novel Device for Label-free Cell Rolling Separation: Rohit Karnik and Jeffrey Karp
A device for separating cells that could be used for the monitoring and diagnosis of a wide variety of diseases. (Renewal from fall 2008 grant round.)

A Wearable Sensor for Continuous Glucose Monitoring for Diabetics: Michael Strano
A carbon nanotube based, minimally invasive, tissue implantable, glucose sensor.  The sensor will allow continuous glucose monitoring for diabetes patients, resulting in improved glucose regulation and better health.

Chemical Production of Functionalized Graphene for Enhanced Composite Materials: Timothy Swager

The development of a chemical process to produce graphene at a very reasonable cost, leading to the industrial use of new composite materials.

Nano-engineered Surfaces for Ultra High Power Density Thermal Management: Kripa Varanasi
Heat needs to be removed rapidly from high power electronics or the semiconductors will fail.  This project will develop a system to very rapidly dissipate large amount of heat from such devices.

New Antibiotic Target: Graham Walker
A project to attempt to isolate lead compounds to develop a new antibiotic. (Renewal from fall 2008 grant round.)
For more details on the research projects, visit:
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 is supported by gifts from alumni, friends and sponsors. The center serves as a catalyst for innovation and entrepreneurship by supporting leading-edge research and bridging the gap between the laboratory and marketplace. Additional information on the Deshpande Center's grant program, research portfolio and other entrepreneurial resources can be found at

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