MIT Innovates tech for oil spill cleanups, biofuels and treatments for autism

“MIT’s Building 10 and the Great Dome overlooking Killian Court” by John Phelan is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

“MIT’s Building 10 and the Great Dome overlooking Killian Court” by John Phelan is licensed under CC BY 2.0. – In advance of the Association of University Technology Managers meeting next week in New Orleans, we continue to profile innovations from some of the most renowned research institutions in the United States.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology of Cambridge, MA, is a private research university with a strong focus in engineering and the physical sciences. The institution has supported a wide range of innovation in various sciences since its founding in 1861.

MIT supports a wide array of programs for pursuing innovation in medical technologies, alternative energies, robotics and much more. The university hosts an annual research and development conference, the most recent of which involved presentations in carbon-based nanotechnology, energy storage and environmental compliance technology. The MIT Innovation Initiative is another program designed to drive research and development across the institution and strengthen MIT’s innovation capabilities. Currently, the university boasts a staff of 3,750 researchers who are supplemented by nearly 600 scientists and visiting faculty.

Inventions developed in the research facilities of MIT have a way of capturing the imagination of the media. One research team from the institution recently unveiled a new power cord which allows a user to dim a light or turn off a device by bending or stepping on the cord. Another team, the MIT Personal Robot Group, has developed a zipper with a self-zipping mechanism for clothing. These innovations often support successful start-up businesses which are created to market MIT’s technologies. For example, one company founded by MIT nuclear science graduates developing methods of generating energy from nuclear waste recently received $2.5 million from outside investors.

With 281 patents granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 2013, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology placed 121st among all entities receiving U.S. patent grants in that year. With the help of Innography’s analytical research tools, we learned that MIT was assigned a total of 287 U.S. patents during 2014.

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