Accelerating MIT’s Innovation Ecosystem: The Engine Working Groups

MIT seeks to accelerate an ecosystem where the world’s brightest innovators find the comprehensive support needed to develop their biggest and most transformative ideas from the formative stage to the most effective implementation. MIT has launched an accelerator structure – The Engine – to advance innovation in a space underserved by current incubators and investors. With a focus on scientific and technological innovation The Engine will foster innovations that offer potential for transformative impact but require a longer developmental time line and patient capital. Our approach is also tailored to the needs of founders who seek access to a critical combination of resources and services. MIT Working Groups have been established to guide the development of policies and simplified procedures specifically as they relate to MIT’s launch of The Engine.

An Idea Bank was created to capture ideas from the MIT community and create an opportunity for collaborative engagement. A community forum took place on Wednesday, March 22, 2017 to discuss some of the key ideas and findings in advance of the Working Groups preliminary report submitted and shared with the community in June 2017. Here is a link to the preliminary report. Comments from the MIT community can be submitted via that website. A final report will be released in the fall of 2017.   

  • Facilities Access

    The Facilities Access Working Group is addressing issues surrounding access to specialized equipment and services at MIT. These may include equipment qualifications and training processes; prioritization of equipment usage; fee structures for outside usage; intellectual property; and creating an open access consortium.


  • New Models For Technology Licensing

    The Technology Licensing Working Group is proposing opportunities for MIT to facilitate the appropriate level of licensing and alternative options at targeted times in the development cycle, with the goal of expediting approvals and minimizing patent costs.


  • Conflict of Interest

    The Conflict of Interest Working Group is discussing the potential conflicts of interest that might arise for MIT’s faculty, students and staff participating in the launch of startups through The Engine, or in advisory committees or faculty review panels involved in this effort.


  • Visas for Entrepreneurs

    The Working Group on Visas for Entrepreneurs is examining opportunities to facilitate timely visas to allow international students and researchers to remain in the United States to pursue entrepreneurial activities after the completion of graduate study and/or postdoctoral work at MIT. The initial effort will be focused on facilitating opportunities for those accepted into The Engine program.


  • MIT's Innovation Ecosystem

    The Working Group on MIT’s Innovation Ecosystem is focusing on preparing our diverse community of MIT students and postdoctoral researchers to participate in The Engine and other accelerators. This will be a way to coordinate many existing programs, identify new opportunities, and ensure an inclusive approach to innovation and entrepreneurship.


  • Other

    You may also submit ideas on other MIT policy & procedure opportunities and challenges related to the launch of The Engine.