MIT and Imperial College London share a commitment to working together to address key global challenges.

MIT-Imperial College London Seed Fund

MIT and Imperial College London share a commitment to working together to address key global challenges. The MIT - Imperial College London Seed Fund promotes early-stage collaboration between faculty and researchers at MIT and Imperial College London focused on the themes of “climate solutions” and/or “transitioning to zero pollution”. MIT and Imperial encourage applications from both institutions that address one or both of these themes. 

The world lacks the climate solutions that will be required to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in the coming decades affordably, and to adapt equitably and efficiently to the impacts -- environmental, economic, social and political -- that will occur even if that goal is met.  Finding these solutions will require coordinated global efforts to develop the science and build and deploy the technologies and policies that are needed.  We aim to harness the research community to deliver a stream of innovations to help prevent the worst consequences of climate change and to adapt effectively and equitably to the changes that will inevitably occur. 

‘Transitioning to zero pollution’ addresses the whole lifecycle of pollution, from its source to the impact on the entire system. The aim is to build a future that is free from human-made pollution, and this will require a complete change in manufacturing, business models, public policy and scientific collaboration. Research covered in this theme includes but is not limited to fundamental engineering and physical sciences research, water-food-energy-production nexus, environmental and human health, and innovative economic and business models.

The Fund aims to help kick-start early-stage, ambitious ‘blue skies’ research ideas that might not otherwise be pursued. The funding may be used to support travel costs for exchange between the two teams: one at MIT one at Imperial College London. Given the carbon footprint of travel, researchers are asked to consider which components of the proposed collaboration might be accomplished effectively via video, phone or other creative technology solutions. 

Grants will range between $30,000 and $50,000 for an eighteen-month project period. Teams from both institutions have access to the online application portal, and any of the teams may take the lead in completing the application.

Grant awards will be evenly divided between and managed by the teams at MIT and Imperial College London to enable travel between the three locations. For instance, a $40,000 proposed budget should include:

1. Approximately $20,000 to be managed by the MIT team for:

  • the MIT team to travel to London and/or
  • workshops and meetings conducted at MIT

2. Approximately $20,000 to be managed by the Imperial College London team for

  • the ICL team to travel to Cambridge, MA and/or
  • workshops and meetings conducted at ICL

Priority will be given to projects that:

  • present a balanced exchange between the participants
  • demonstrate complementarity between the teams
  • involve undergraduate and graduate students

The MIT-Imperial College London Seed Fund is administered by MISTI Global Seed Funds. All general MISTI Global Seed Funds criteria, application and evaluation procedures apply.