Collaborative ResearchCollaborative Research

Masdar Institute & MIT Innovation Program


The Masdar Institute and MIT Innovation Program (MMIP) includes a series of competitively awarded joint innovation and ignition grants. These grants are administered by the Deshpande Center at MIT and serve as learning experiences aimed at commercializing university research.

Completed Projects

Electrochromatic Metal Organic Frameworks for Smart Windows
Principal Investigator at MIT: Professor Mircea Dinca
Principal Investigator at Masdar Institute: Professor Clara Dimas and Professor Farrukh Ahmad

Electrochromic windows that can change from transparent to dark reduce the amount of energy required to heat and cool buildings. This project focused on developing low-cost, durable electrochromic materials with tunable optical contrast, fast response at low switching power, and long optical memory. These materials could be used in smart windows to reduce energy consumption.


GaN High Efficiency Transmitters for Wireless Communication
Principal Investigator at MIT: Professor Tomas Palacios
Principal Investigator at Masdar Institute: Professor Mihai Sanduleanu

The project proposed to push the state-of-the-art in RF electronics through a novel highly integrated GaN digital transmitter solution with a record combination of efficiency and linearity for wireless communications. The transmitter technology demonstrates the flexibility of a digital solution by performing multi-standard operation with any type of modulation format. The chip will considerably reduce the footprint and power consumption in wireless radios.


Integrated Optical Sensors for Fault Detection in Smart Distribution Systems
Principal Investigator at MIT: Professor James Kirtley
Principal Investigator at Masdar Institute: Professor Mahmoud Rasras and Professor Hatem Zeineldin

Electrical systems need to rapidly detect current overloads to shut down and isolate transformers and other components. Existing sensing devices can easily become saturated and inaccurate. This project focused on developing an optical sensor that would rapidly detect any current overloads.


Low Cost Rapid Algal Bloom Sensing Device
Principal Investigator at MIT: Dr. Anuradha Agarwal
Principal Investigator at Masdar Institute: Professor Prashanth Reddy Marpu

Harmful algal blooms (HABs) occur when algae grow rapidly due to a combination of warm water temperatures, high nutrient levels such as phosphorus and nitrogen, and sunlight. HABs contain toxins that can foul coastlines, kill fish, and pose health risks to humans. Algal blooms also present a major problem for many desalination plants. This project focused on novel low-cost on-chip sensing devices for continuous water monitoring enabling early warning of algal blooms.


Novel Module Configurations for High Efficiency Membrane Distillation
Principal Investigator at MIT: Professor John Lienhard V
Principal Investigator at Masdar Institute: Professor Hassan Arafat

Focused on highly energy efficient water desalination, this project concentrated on the development of a novel approach to Membrane Distillation (MD) capable of handling different quantities of feed waters and high salinity levels. The novel MD configuration will be a scalable and renewable energy driven technology.


Step Cell for Multi-Junction Silicon Based Solar Cells
Principal Investigator at MIT: Professor Gene Fitzgerald
Principal Investigator at Masdar Institute: Professor Ammar Nayfeh

This project explored design methods that resulted in high performing silicon (Si) based dual junction solar cells, using a low-cost method of fabrication that recycles one of the most expensive parts of a III-V multi-junction technology. GaAsP/Si step cells were fabricated and tested. A cost model for the innovative cell and process was created, demonstrating the cost advantage of the process and cell.


Transparency-Switching Materials for Reactive Sun Tracking: CPV for the Roof-Top Market
Principal Investigator at MIT: Professor Alfredo Alexander-Katz
Principal Investigator at Masdar Institute: Professor Matteo Chiesa

As the sun, moves rooftop photovoltaic solar panels lose efficiency, if they do not track the sun. This project focused on the development of self-tracking solar concentrators that optimally concentrate the sunís rays as the sun moves. They are based on passive materials with no mechanical components and would increase the amount of energy generated from solar panels.


Wastewater Treatment: Integration of Electro-Technologies and Nanowire Filtration
Principal Investigator at MIT: Professor Jing Kong
Principal Investigator at Masdar Institute: Professor Shadi Wajih Hasan

This project focused on the development of a novel wastewater treatment system which combines nanowire filtration and bio-electrochemical treatment for the removal of heavy metals, organic contents, and microbes in water.

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