The Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has announced a $20 million gift from Desh Deshpande, the co-founder and chairman of networking-equipment maker Sycamore Networks, Inc., and his wife Jaishree to build a new center for technological innovation.
As a program of MIT's School of Engineering, the Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation will support research on new technologies and enhance undergraduate engineering education. In addition to serving MIT students, alumni, and faculty, the Center will enable entrepreneurs and young companies in New England with limited funds for research and development to collaborate with a major university. In its first year, the Center plans to award five seed grants of $50,000 and three research grants of $250,000 to support research on new technologies that have the potential to fuel groundbreaking businesses or products.
"Our hope in creating this resource is to give creative new entrepreneurs and companies the ability to translate their ideas into innovative companies and products," said Dr. Deshpande. "MIT has always provided a fertile ground where its students and faculty can break through technology barriers, fuel new areas of research and development, and fundamentally transform whole industries. We can think of no better place to begin this work."