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New leadership in technological innovation

Deshpande Center appoints Timothy M. Swager as faculty director
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Leon Sandler
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Executive Director, Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation
Timothy M. Swager
Timothy M. Swager

Timothy M. Swager, the John D. MacArthur Professor of Chemistry, has been named faculty director of the Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation. His appointment, announced at the center’s annual research showcase, IdeaStream, is effective May 1.

“Professor Swager's background in world class research and technology commercialization, and his leadership within MIT's Chemistry department will be great assets to the center,” says Deshpande Center founder Desh Deshpande. “Tim’s proven ability to impact the world with his ideas will allow him to play a key role in leading MIT's innovation agenda.”

Swager will replace Charles Cooney, the Deshpande Center’s faculty director since it was founded in 2002. Under Cooney’s direction, the center has awarded more than $13,000,000 in grants to more than 100 MIT research projects; these projects have lead to the formation of 28 spinout companies that have raised over $500 million in investment capital. “The Deshpande Center is grateful to Charlie for his unwavering commitment to innovation,” says the center’s executive director, Leon Sandler. “He has played an integral role in our success, and the center’s programs have thrived under his leadership.”

Swager has published more than 300 peer-reviewed papers, and has more than 50 issued or pending patents. He has served on a number of corporate and government boards, and he is the cofounder of four companies including C2Sense, a Deshpande Center-funded spinout company.

“As a two-time Deshpande grantee, I have benefitted from its transformative role in guiding the entrepreneurial activities of faculty and students,” Swager says. “The Center has had a tremendous impact on the transition of MIT inventions, and I am excited to steward this precious resource. I look forward to examining new models for directing, seeding, and fostering the commercialization of MIT’s research for the benefit of society.”

The Deshpande Center is part of the MIT School of Engineering and was established through an initial gift from Desh and Jaishree Deshpande. It is sustained by the generosity of alumni, friends, and corporations. 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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