Innovation Centre
Inspired by the successful Deshpande Center at MIT


Innovation Grant
Explorer Grant
Short Courses
Catalyst Registration Form
Innovation Grant Application Forms
Innovation Grant Report Format
Explorer Grant Form
Explorer Grant Report Format

Innovation Grant - Grant Administration

Once a Project is selected, the Centre Director will facilitate the formation of an Oversight Board for each Project, which includes the faculty PI, assigned Catalyst (i.e. volunteer business expert) and in some instances a Project Manager hired by the Centre Director.  The Project will be managed to meet milestones established in the Grant approval process to de-risk the technology, produce prototypes, conduct proof-of-concept experiments and devise a go-to-market strategy.  The Centre creates a “safe” environment for faculty entrepreneurs and their postdocs/graduate students to accelerate the product development, with business assistance from the Catalyst and Centre Director.  Much of the research will occur at the faculty PI’s laboratory but where appropriate, prototyping and other aspects of product development may be contracted to third parties.  Funds may be used to support expert consultants or to perform market studies.  The Centre may utilize the resources and capability of the Polytechnics to produce prototype devices.

Figure 2 is a functional diagram showing the flow of project development within the Centre.  First (item 1), the Project and PI (with his/her technical team) are selected (Section 2 describes the selection process for Innovation Grants).

Figure2: Accelerator Of Innovation


The Project is then operated as a business unit within the Centre with the PI, Catalyst and in some instances the Centre Director forming the Oversight Board (item 2).  The Catalyst is selected from a pool of volunteers established by the Centre who has expert business knowledge in the particular technological area.  (Specific guidelines will be followed by the Catalyst to avoid conflicts of interest. The Catalyst works with the PI and his research team to define the go-to-market strategy.  For some Projects, an i-Team of students assists in defining the go-to-market strategy.  The PI and his/her technical team utilize the Grant funds to meet technical milestones to de-risk the technology.  The Centre Director, aided in some instances by a Project Manager, will oversee this process.   The Oversight Board for each Project will meet monthly and review the Projects progress; progress will be reported to the Centre Director.  When appropriate, other networking will be promoted with the MIT Entrepreneurial Cluster (possible presentation at the Deshpande "IdeaStream" event, or participate in discussion at the MIT Enterprise Forum, or be mentored by the MIT Venture Mentoring Service).  The local VC community will also be introduced to the Project and semi-annual reports will be provided to the Centre’s Advisory/Selection Committee.

The plan is to accelerate the Project to the stage of maturity where a company can be formed or a licensee identified (item 3).  With ample networking opportunities fostered by the Centre in both Boston and Singapore, it is hoped that a lead VC and a candidate CEO can be identified.  The lead VC and CEO will work together to form and finance the company under mentorship from the Centre.  (The candidate CEO may be resident for a short time in the Centre waiting for the Company to be formed).