2019 Deshpande Center Grant Program
Ideas to Impact: The Deshpande Center grants and support services help MIT researchers move their technology to commercialization.
Our Ignition Grants and Innovation Grants are open only to MIT faculty and students; grant applications must be submitted by MIT employees with Principal Investigator (PI) status. The Deshpande Center grants help bridge a funding gap between government support for basic science and the availability of private-sector funding for emerging innovations. The cumulative value of an initial grant plus subsequent renewals cannot exceed $200,000. Awards will be distributed as fund accounts with a 10% fund transaction fee on most direct costs (including student stipends and tuition) and full MIT F&A applied to non-academic salaries. For more information link to fund fee overhead.
Ignition Grants: The Center awards one-year Ignition Grants of up to $50,000 to MIT researchers who are doing promising yet still-unproven work on inventions with potential societal and/or economic impact. By funding positions for graduate students/post-doctoral researchers, a grant allows the team to conduct exploratory experiments, validate a concept, and/or develop a working prototype. Grantees who make significant progress toward validating the technical and commercial viability of their invention are encouraged to apply to renew their funding via an Innovation Grant.
Innovation Grants: Successful ignition grantees may be invited to apply for a renewal grant for an amount up to $150,000. Please note that though the funding requested on the application might be for more than $50,000, depending on availability of funds, grants may be capped at $50,000. This grant supports the refinement and enhancement of the technology, systematically explores potential markets, and assesses the commercial viability. The goal at the end of the innovation grant is to attract sufficient investment to commercialize a product and launch a spinout company and/or to license the technology to an existing company.
- January 17, 2019 - Pre-proposal call
- February 21, 2019 - Pre-proposals due (5PM EDT)
- April 1, 2019 - Full proposal notification
- May 1, 2019 - Full proposal applications due (5PM EDT) - by invitation only
- May 20 &21, 2019 - Full proposals presentations - by invitation only
- TBD - Renewal proposals - by invitation only
- July- August 2019 - Grant awards notification
- September 1, 2019 - Grant award start date
- October 2019 - Grant awards announced to the public
Eligibility and How to Apply:
Grants are open only to MIT faculty and students; applications must be submitted by MIT employees with Principal Investigator (PI) status.
Applications start with a pre-proposal to the online grant submission system. All pre-proposals will be reviewed by the Selection Committee comprised of volunteer mentors, members from the TLO and faculty. The most compelling projects will lead to a full grant proposal. Written feedback will be provided on all proposals, including those that are not selected. All proposals are not considered public disclosure and all committee members abide by the Center's confidentiality agreement and conflict of interest requirements.
Applicants invited to submit a full proposal are also required to make a brief presentation to the Selection Committee.
Grants will be awarded in July-August 2019 and the program begins September 1, 2019.
Online Submittal Instructions:
Step 1: Make sure to use your @mit.edu email address.
Step 2: Once you complete the signup process, you will get an email to confirm your registration. Make sure to check your spam box, just in case! Please add us to your good sender list so that you can continue to receive messages from us.
Step 3: Upload all required application material using the MIT Deshpande Center templates on the site, as per the specific stage instructions.
Proposal Templates can also be downloaded from the Deshpande Center Website.
Contact: Karen Golmer, Innovation Manager
The MIT Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation