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MIT Energy Initiative issues call for energy research Seed Fund grant proposals

Open through Dec. 9, Seed Fund supports innovative research across the energy spectrum.
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Professor James Wescoat of the Department of Architecture and research scientist Afreen Siddiqi of the Engineering Systems Division won a 2011 seed fund grant to produce a scalable analytical framework to take into account uncertainties associated with the effects of climate change, fluctuating demand, and rates of technology adoption.
Caption:
Professor James Wescoat of the Department of Architecture and research scientist Afreen Siddiqi of the Engineering Systems Division won a 2011 seed fund grant to produce a scalable analytical framework to take into account uncertainties associated with the effects of climate change, fluctuating demand, and rates of technology adoption.
Credits:
Photo: Stuart Darsch
A laboratory-scale bioreactor used by Gregory Stephanopoulos of the Department of Chemical Engineering (ChemE), Gerald Fink of the Department of Biology and the Whitehead Institute, and Felix Lam of ChemE in their Seed Fund-supported research. Their team is working to dramatically increase the amount of ethanol, butanol, and other biofuels that yeast can produce from raw materials such as corn and...
Caption:
A laboratory-scale bioreactor used by Gregory Stephanopoulos of the Department of Chemical Engineering (ChemE), Gerald Fink of the Department of Biology and the Whitehead Institute, and Felix Lam of ChemE in their Seed Fund-supported research. Their team is working to dramatically increase the amount of ethanol, butanol, and other biofuels that yeast can produce from raw materials such as corn and sugar cane.
Credits:
Photo: Stuart Darsch

The MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI) has issued the 2015-2016 Research Seed Fund Program supporting innovative early-stage research. This year’s Seed Fund Program is calling for proposals from MIT faculty and researchers with principal investigator status. Interested researchers can submit proposals on any energy topic across the full spectrum of energy and environmental-related research areas. MITEI strongly encourages interdisciplinary research submissions from all five schools at MIT. Energy areas to consider include:

  • carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) including CO2 utilization/technologies for a low-carbon future;
  • data analytics and machine learning;
  • electrical grid;
  • energy bioscience;
  • energy efficiency;
  • energy security;
  • energy storage;
  • infrastructure;
  • nuclear fusion;
  • process safety;
  • robust materials and surfaces/materials for harsh environments;
  • solar energy;
  • waste-to-energy; and
  • water and energy, including water treatment.

Last year, grantees included longtime MIT faculty members as well as newer professors. Associate professor of mechanical engineering A. John Hart is one such new professor, whose Seed Fund-awarded team is developing a battery that could potentially revolutionize high-performance energy storage for uses ranging from portable electronics to electric cars.

MITEI’s Seed Fund Program has also contributed to launching energy startup companies. Dropwise was created in collaboration between Seed Fund grant awardees Professor Karen Gleason of the Department of Chemical Engineering, and Kripa Varanasi, associate professor of mechanical engineering. Dropwise specializes in commercializing durable coating materials that dramatically improve efficiency in both electricity generation and desalination, thus reducing fuel costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

MITEI is looking for innovative research ideas that can help sustain a low-carbon energy future. Ten to 12 MITEI Seed Fund grants are awarded a year in amounts of up to $150,000. Grant periods can last up to two years. Funding is provided through the MITEI Founding and Sustaining Members Program.

The deadline to submit proposals is Dec. 9, at 8:00 p.m. EST. To learn more and apply online, please visit mitei.mit.edu/seedfund.

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