Q: What are some of the most significant research impacts the MIT energy community has made over the past decade?
A: While the horizon for the majority of energy research we do here at MIT is generally at least several decades, some researchers have already been able to translate their research into technologies and start-up companies — many with early funding support from MITEI member companies and donors. A few examples include:
- energy storage companies including Professor Yet-Ming Chiang’s 24M and Baseload Renewables, Professor Donald Sadoway’s Ambri, and FastCAP Systems, co-founded by Riccardo Signorelli PhD ’09 and Professor Joel Schindall
We’re increasingly working to translate completed research into commercializable ideas and companies. For example, the Tata Center for Technology and Design has interesting work going on to help their teams of graduate students and faculty deploy their projects at a larger scale. And we work with and draw on the knowledge of entities like the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship; having these kinds of resources right here on campus makes a huge difference in our ability to launch new business enterprises. The Engine is another prime illustration of a uniquely MIT-developed resource that is already having a positive impact: raising and investing patient capital to support promising projects within and outside of MIT, including energy ventures like Professor Yet-Ming Chiang’s Baseload Renewables or Professor Jeff Grossman’s Via Separations.