Personable robots, advanced prosthetics and entrepreneurship figure prominently in campus visit.
Gov. Mitt Romney delivered the keynote address at the Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation's first IdeaStream Symposium at the Museum of Science May 13-14.
The event, held in collaboration with MIT's $50K Entrepreneurship Competition., featured a preview of Deshpande Center fall 2002 grant recipients. Other speakers included Krisztina Holly, executive director of the center; President Charles M. Vest; and Desh Deshpande, co-founder and chair of Sycamore Networks.
Romney praised MIT's economic engine and underscored the importance of MIT and the Deshpande Center's mission: taking research from labs of MIT to commercialization and beyond.
"University-based technology and innovation is important not just for MIT, but for the state, the nation and the global economy," he said. "The only way an economy can provide new jobs for its citizens is through new business and new opportunities. This is what is being fueled by MIT ... We must copy this nationwide and statewide."
The Deshpande Center was established last year in the School of Engineering to serve as a catalyst for innovation and entrepreneurship by supporting the research of the MIT faculty and facilitating collaboration among entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and faculty members.
"All year long, we work with grant recipients and try to raise awareness of the importance of market opportunities around research," said Holly. "IdeaStream is a time when we bring together everyone who's been involved to exchange ideas between faculty, the business community, VCs and entrepreneurs. We need connections to move research toward commercialization, and IdeaStream is a great opportunity for everyone to connect, exchange and move ideas forward."
Information on the recipients and the grant program is at http://web.mit.edu/deshpandecenter.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on May 21, 2003.