Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation

The Deshpande Center was established at the MIT School of Engineering to increase the impact of MIT technologies in the marketplace. Its focus is on the commercialization of MIT research.  Founded with an initial donation from Jaishree and Desh Deshpande, the Deshpande Center supports a wide range of emerging technologies including biotechnology, biomedical devices, information technology, new materials, tiny tech, and energy innovations.

The center awards grants (ranging from $50,000 to $250,000 per project) to MIT faculty and provides mentoring and guidance. Since 2002, the Deshpande Center has awarded over $20 million in grants to support more than 170 MIT faculty-led projects. The objective of the funding is to nurture ideas with market potential and reduce the uncertainty around them so that an external party would invest in the technology. In addition to the funding, the grants bring with them publicity, mentoring, and connections with the business community.

This support enables MIT faculty and their students to pursue exciting new avenues of research on novel technologies. As a result, 48 projects have spun out of the center as independent startups, collectively raising more than $1.3 billion in outside financing.

Students may participate in projects funded by the Deshpande Center through a thesis or research assistantship in the laboratory of a faculty member. A portfolio of Deshpande Center Grant Program–funded projects can be found on the website.

The center is led by executive director Leon Sandler and faculty director Devavrat Shah. For more information, email the Deshpande Center or call 617-253-0943.