MIT's Deshpande Center Announces Spring 2006 Research Grants

Center Bridges the Gap Between MIT Laboratories and Marketplace by Combining

Financial Support With Access to Entrepreneurship Ecosystem

Mar 27, 2006, 00:00 ET from MIT

    CAMBRIDGE, Mass., March 27 /PRNewswire/ -- The Deshpande Center for
 Technological Innovation at MIT today announced it is awarding $550,000 in
 grants to seven MIT research teams that are currently working on discoveries
 that could revolutionize drug development and delivery, surgical procedures
 and trauma care, safety products in sports and water purification processes,
 among others.
     Founded three years ago, The Deshpande Center serves as a catalyst for
 innovation and entrepreneurship by supporting leading-edge MIT research and
 increasing the impact of MIT technologies in the marketplace.  Since its
 inception, the Center has funded 51 projects with over $6M in grants. Nine
 projects have "rolled out" as independent startups, having collectively raised
 over $36M in outside financing from top tier VCs.
     The spring 2006 grant recipients are:
     Angela Belcher and David Clapham: Fast discovery of ion-channel targeting
     This nanotechnology-based approach to monitoring key proteins could open
 up new drug markets worth billions.
     Rutledge Ellis-Behnke: New compound stops bleeding instantly
     A new transparent compound that stops bleeding instantly, including during
 operations, providing the potential to revolutionize surgery and trauma care.
     Paula Hammond: Implant coatings for sequential drug delivery
     "Smart" drug coatings that can conform to medical devices of any shape
 (e.g. stents, bone implants, pills and micro particles) and that allow the
 release of multiple drugs at varied times could make multiple surgical
 procedures and drug-doing schedules a thing of the past.
     Michael Cima: Medicine delivery method for bladder disorders
     A new device to provide medicine over a period of time that treats bladder
 disorders from incontinence to interstitial cystitis to cancer.
     Laurence Young: Improved safety helmets
     The creation of a new safety helmet to help reduce the number of localized
 head injuries children and adults receive in sports and industrial-related
     Michael Stonebraker: Next-generation data transformation tool
     A data transformation technology that will allow for various formatted
 data to be converged into a centralized database.
     Amy Smith: New method for water purification
     The creation of a new incubator to test for bacterial contamination in
 water sources within developing communities.
     "The real-world implications of MIT research are critical to improving way
 of life worldwide.  The purpose of the Deshpande Center is to bring these
 innovations out of the lab by bringing the gap often created when discoveries
 are noted to have potential, but require additional resources to prove their
 viability," said Charles Cooney, faculty director of the Deshpande Center.
 "To date, our efforts have successfully begun supplying a badly needed missing
 ingredient in the innovation ecosystem -- one that must be nurtured and
 sustained to generate growth in employment and competition in a dynamic
 economy. We look forward to working with this list of grant recipients to
 bring their research to fruition."
     Each spring and fall, the Deshpande Center awards $50,000 Ignition Grants,
 which funds proof-of-concept explorations, and Innovation Grants ranging from
 $50,000 to $250,000 to help recipients assess and reduce the technical and
 market risks associated with their innovations.  In addition to financial
 support, the Deshpande Center's network of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists
 and academic and legal experts helps recipients assess the commercial
 potential of their innovations and make decisions that accelerate progress
 toward the development of a business plan or licensing strategy.  All projects
 are featured at the Center's annual IdeaStream Symposium at MIT which is
 sponsored by several leading firms including Accenture, Choate Hall & Stewart
 and Qualcomm, being held this April 13, 2006.
     About the MIT Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation
     The Deshpande Center is part of the MIT School of Engineering and was
 established through an initial $20 millions gift from Jaishree Deshpande and
 Desh Deshpande, the co-founder and chairman of Sycamore Networks.  It serves
 as a catalyst for innovation and entrepreneurship by supporting leading-edge
 research and bridging the gap between the laboratory and marketplace.  The
 Deshpande Center supports a wide range of emerging technologies including
 biotechnology, medical devices, information technology, new materials, "tiny
 technologies" and environmental innovation.  Additional information on the
 Deshpande Center's grant program, research portfolio and other entrepreneurial
 resources can be found at