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Innovation and Entrepreneurship (I&E)

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Bloomberg

MIT spinoff Gradiant, a water treatment facility developer, is working on new technology aimed at limiting the amount of water needed to produce lithium, reports Annie Lee and Janet Wu for Bloomberg. Gradiant’s process “can vastly improve lithium recovery and allow almost all wastewater to be recycled, has been developed in connection with Schlumberger’s NeoLith Energy venture,” writes Lee and Wu.

The Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Scott Kirsner spotlights the work of Katie Rae, CEO of The Engine, on his roundup of some of the key figures in Boston’s tech network. The Engine is “for startups focused on ‘tough tech,’ technology that can often take years to perfect and build a business around,” writes Kirsner.

Forbes

Forbes reporter Marija Butkovic spotlights Alicia Chong Rodriguez MS ’18, Founder and CEO of Bloomer Tech, for her work in building a cardiovascular disease and stroke database that can generate non-invasive digital biomarkers. “We envision a world where the future of AI in healthcare performs the best it can in women,” says Chong Rodriguez. “We also have created a digital biomarker pipeline where our digital biomarkers can explain, influence, and even improve health outcomes for women.”

The Boston Globe

The new MIT Museum, a “purpose-built exhibition and gathering space in the heart of Kendall Square,” writes Boston Globe reporter Malcom Gay, “seeks to demystify some of the school’s opaque inner workings, makes itself broadly approachable with expanded gallery space, forum areas, learning labs, and a maker hub where visitors can work on museum-led projects.” MIT Museum Director John Durant explains: “We want people to feel that this is their museum.”

The Boston Globe

The Engine has moved into a new building situated between Kendall and Central Square in Cambridge, reports Jon Chesto for The Boston Globe. “Katie Rae, chief executive and managing partner of The Engine, said having a physical place for startups to work was a crucial part of the original ‘tough tech’ concept,” writes Chesto.

Bloomberg

Katie Rae, CEO of The Engine, an entity created by MIT to help support tough tech startups, speaks with Akshat Rathi of Bloomberg about the importance of investing in climate technology. “We have fundamental risks that, if we don’t tackle with real deep science and engineering, that will take us a full step forward, or two steps forward, we’re in trouble,” says Rae.

GBH

The new MIT Museum opens to the public this weekend in its new location in Kendall Square, which is “quite significant because this is the heart of innovation,” notes GBH’s Jared Bowen. Museum visitors will not only get a sense of MIT’s long history of innovation, but also get a sense of the scientific process, with exhibits featuring “part of the machinery that was used to help sequence the human genome, [and] the star shade petal that allowed NASA to photograph exoplanets,” Bowen explains.

Newsweek

Hasier Larrea MS ’15 - CEO of Ori, a company that creates expandable tiny apartments - writes for Newsweek about his journey and inspiration for developing expandable housing options. Larrea writes that Ori is focused on creating, “expandable urban apartments that are more flexible, functional, affordable and sustainable—in short, living spaces that can suit the amazing diversity of people who want to live in the world's most incredible cities.”

Reuters

VulcanForms, an MIT startup co-founded by Prof. John Hart, is a 3D printing company that aims to provide cutting edge, clean and futuristic manufacturing, reports Timothy Aeppel for Reuters. “VulcanForms builds metal parts by layering on and fusing together materials bit by bit – rather than cutting them out of blocks of metal or stamping them out in metal foundries,” writes Aeppel.

TechCrunch

TechCrunch reporter Kyle Wiggers spotlights DynamoFl, a company founded by Christian Lau PhD ’20 and Vaikkunth Mugunthan PhD ’22 that is developing a federated learning platform, a technique for preserving data privacy in AI systems. 

Fortune

Researchers from MIT’s Research Laboratory for Electronics have developed a portable desalinator that can turn seawater into safe drinking water, reports Ian Mount for Fortune. Research scientist Jongyoon Han and graduate student Bruce Crawford have created Nona Technologies to commercialize the product, writes Mount.

Bloomberg

Writing for Bloomberg News, Prof. Carlo Ratti and Robert Muggah of the Igarapé Institute make the case that cities should use venture capital strategies to manage risk and spur innovation. “To do so, local governments need to change their approach to procurement,” they write. “If administrators pay more close attention to what venture capital can teach them, then the city — one of the first, greatest ventures in human history — will be able to continue to invest in a shared, prosperous tomorrow.”

Forbes

Prof. Hari Balakrishnan speaks with Forbes contributor Stuart Anderson about his decision to leave India to pursue a PhD in computer science in the U.S., his love for teaching students as a professor at MIT and his work co-founding Cambridge Mobile Telematics, a software company that utilizes technology to make roads safer. “Immigration and immigrants make the United States stronger,” said Balakrishnan. “Immigration is the biggest strength that we have. We need to be able to attract and retain talent, no matter where people come from.”

Vox

MIT and Harvard startup GiveDirectly, “identifies poor people and villages, usually in developing countries in sub-Saharan Africa, and distributes cash to them directly, usually via cellphone payment, instead of donations like food and livestock,” reports Dylan Matthews for Vox.

The Boston Globe

Gradiant, an MIT startup founded by Anurag Bajpayee PhD ’12, S.M. ‘08 and Prakash Govindan PhD ’12, has developed an energy efficient system that purifies water by mimicking natural rainfall cycles, reports Aaron Pressman for The Boston Globe. “Nature has the advantage of having all the surface area of the oceans available freely and a free source of energy from the sun,” Govindan said. “We have to engineer this into a compact, highly efficient, and energy-efficient industrial device.”