Skip to Navigation
MIT
Industry Guide
Industry Guide

Research

Scientific Breakthroughs and Technological Advances

MIT's commitment to marrying education with the creation of knowledge provides a fertile setting for research that has spawned a host of scientific breakthroughs and technological advances. Past achievements include the creation of modern food preservation processes, the first chemical synthesis of penicillin and vitamin A, the development of inertial guidance systems, modern technologies for artificial limbs, high-speed photography, and the magnetic core memory that made possible the development of digital computers.

More recently, researchers at MIT have created a new type of matter—a gas of atoms that shows high-temperature fluidity; developed a semiconductor polymer that can detect the presence of TNT vapor even at the concentration of parts per billion; are developing a process that will eliminate all liquid from solid-state batteries, doubling or tripling their capacity; and have harnessed the construction talents of tiny viruses to build "nanowire" structures for use in very thin lithium-ion batteries, with a goal of building a battery the size of a grain of rice.

Besides breaking new ground in the convergence of engineering and the life sciences, MIT has launched the MIT Energy Initiative, a comprehensive Institute-wide effort that pairs MIT’s world-class research teams with key players across the innovation spectrum to help improve today’s energy systems and transform tomorrow’s global energy marketplace.

During the academic year, approximately 3,385 researchers work with MIT faculty and students on projects funded by government, foundations, and industry. Approximately 2,460 graduate students are appointed as research assistants and 570 are appointed as teaching assistants; 1,780 are supported on fellowships.