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Innovation and Entrepreneurship (I&E)

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CNBC

Bridgit Mendler SM '20, PhD '24 has co-founded Northwood Space, a startup working to mass produce ground stations that connect to satellites in space, reports Michael Sheetz for CNBC. “The vision is a data highway between Earth and space,” says Mendler. “Space is getting easier along so many different dimensions but still the actual exercise of sending data to and from space is difficult. You have difficulty finding an access point for contacting your satellite.”

New India Abroad

Prof. Anantha Chandrakasan, dean of the School of Engineering, has been named MIT’s first chief innovation and strategy officer, reports Supriya Singh for New India Abroad. “In his new role, Chandrakasan will work closely with MIT president Sally Kornbluth, key stakeholders across MIT, as well as external partners, to launch initiatives and new collaborations in support of strategic priorities,” explains Singh.

Fast Company

Sublime Systems, an MIT startup, is developing new technology to fully decarbonize the cement manufacturing process, reports Adele Peters for Fast Company. “Instead of using heat to break down rocks for cement, the startup uses chemistry to dissolve them, and then blends the components back together into what it calls ‘Sublime Cement,’” explains Peters. “The process can replace limestone with other minerals, including rocks found at high volumes in industrial waste, so it’s also possible to eliminate the emissions from limestone.”

The Boston Globe

A more than $40 million investment to add advanced nano-fabrication equipment and capabilities to MIT.nano will significantly expand the center’s nanofabrication capabilities, reports Jon Chesto for The Boston Globe. The new equipment, which will also be available to scientists outside MIT, will allow “startups and students access to wafer-making equipment used by larger companies. These tools will allow its researchers to make prototypes of an array of microelectronic devices.”

The Boston Globe

 The Engine Accelerator, a spinoff from The Engine, is a new unit designed to help early startups “get off the ground with a deeper level of support, including office and lab space,” reports Aaron Pressman for The Boston Globe. “Real estate is actually a big need of a company that is doing tough tech, but they need different types of real estate,” says Emily Knight, president of the Engine Accelerator.

Fast Company

Fast Company reporter Adele Peters spotlights Boston Metal – an MIT startup that uses electrolysis to heat iron ore and create liquid steel without releasing carbon emissions. “If the process runs on renewable energy, the steel is zero-emissions,” explains Peters. “The same technique can be used to extract other valuable metals from mining waste.”

Wired

Prof. Ron Weiss co-founded Strand Therapeutics, a biotech company developing mRNA therapies, reports Emily Mullin for Wired. “The notion is that genetic circuits can really have significant impact on safety and efficacy,” says Weiss. “This begins to really open up the door for creating therapies whose sophistication can match the underlying complexity of biology.”

Undark

Undark reporter Sarah Scoles spotlights Matt Jacobs '02 for his work with many California SAR (search and rescue) teams. “In 2015, Jacobs published a paper that took another look at the incident information in the large ISRID database (International Search & Rescue Incident Database),” writes Scoles. “Taking the largest ISRID categories – hikers, hunters, and gatherers – he tried to see how the terrain affected their choices.”

TechCrunch

Priyadarshi Panda PhD '11 – founder of International Battery Company, a startup developing lithium-ion battery cells for electric vehicles – is working to “bridge the demand-supply gap in the growing EV market in India,” reports Jagmeet Singh for TechCrunch. “There is a lot of demand in the Indian market, which is satisfied through imports right now,” says Panda. “No cells are being manufactured in India. So, we want to participate in that journey in India.”

The Washington Post

Alicia Chong Rodriguez SM ’17, SM ’18 founded Bloomer Tech, a health tech startup that aims to improve health care diagnostics for women using medical-grade data to develop new therapies and care models, reports Carol Eisenberg for The Washington Post. Rodriguez and her colleagues "developed, patented and tested flexible washable circuits to turn articles of clothing into devices that can relay reams of information to the wearer’s smartphone,” writes Eisenberg.

Bloomberg

Prof. Fiona Murray, associate dean for innovation and inclusion at MIT Sloan, speaks with Bloomberg Law reporter Lauren Castle about her recent study that found female PhD students are 17% less likely to become new inventors compared with their male counterparts. “What we can show is relative to the supply into Ph.D. programs, there’s still just this huge difference in the percentage of women on patents coming out of the labs than there are in the university,” says Murray.

TechCrunch

Philip Adama Abel '15 co-founded Cleva, “a banking platform for African individuals and businesses to receive international payments by opening USD accounts,” reports Tage Kene-Okafor TechCrunch. “Long term, we are open to Cleva evolving from just being a product-only service to being a platform issuing APIs to do a bunch of other things that help us distribute services across other African countries or around the world,” says Abel.

Technology Review

Cement production is a climate catastrophe, writes MIT Technology Review’s Casey Crownhart, pumping billions of metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Sublime Systems, a startup founded by MIT Prof. Yet-Ming Chiang and former postdoc Leah Ellis, uses electricity to trigger the chemical reactions that form the building material. Over the past few years, it’s gone from making palm-sized batches to producing 100 tons a year. The next stage is a commercial facility producing tens of thousands of tons of material a year. 

The Boston Globe

Tristan Swedish SM '17, PhD '22 co-founded Ubicept – a company that “uses a radically different kind of digital camera that can shoot razor-sharp images under the most challenging conditions, and can even see around corners,” reports Hiawatha Bray for The Boston Globe. “Ubicept abandons the chip technology called CMOS, or complementary metal-oxide semiconductors, that’s used in nearly all digital cameras, in favor of a newer kind of sensor,” explains Bray.

Fortune

Fortune reporter Trey Williams spotlights alumnus Alexandr Wang, co-founder of Scale AI, a “software company that tags text, images, and videos to help companies improve the data used to train AI algorithms.”