MIT Seed Fund links top U.S. researchers with Chilean counterparts

The latest MISTI project builds on the foundations of academic
collaboration established by the recent Chile-Massachusetts agreement.

An initiative by one of the United States’ leading universities – the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or MIT – has landed in Chile, extending seed money to collaborative research projects with Chilean universities and research laboratories.

The MIT-Chile Seed Fund awards up to $30,000 to projects that propose “a balanced exchange between MIT and Chile, and demonstrate complementarity between the two teams”.

The program website lists some of Chile’s most exciting internship and research opportunities, in fields like aeronautics, biological engineering, sustainable energy initiatives, architecture, electrical engineering and finance.

Separate branches of the MIT-Chile Seed Fund also established close ties with two of Chile’s leading universities, the Universidad Católica and the Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez. At the Universidad Católica, 60 percent of funds will be directed towards engineering projects, while the Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez will prioritize projects in design, innovation and technology.

Already, one local organization has earned two seed-fund awards for diverse projects: Bus Rapid Transit won a grant for its work on Urban Public Transport Operations Control as well as a project analyzing the institutional dimension for implementing Bus Rapid Transit.

“The requested MISTI seed funds will be used to fund trips by both faculty and graduate students for working meetings among the team members and with transit agencies interested in applying the results of this collaboration in Boston, Santiago and London,” writes Bus Rapid Transit on their website.

The MIT-Chile Seed Fund is the newest development of the MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI), which “connects MIT students and faculty with research and innovation around the world.”

The 2011-2012 cycle marked the first year that the lauded MIT program came to Chile, soliciting applications from MIT students and recent graduates to intern or conduct research in Chile.

MISTI currently operates similar seed fund initiatives in Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico and Spain.