Innovation in the making

Tata Fellows shine in MIT Innovation showcase.

kevin and brian

Story via MIT News

On Monday, the MIT community convened for a showcase of projects under the banner of the MIT Innovation Initiative. The MITii is “an Institute-wide effort, launched in 2013 by President L. Rafael Reif, intended to accelerate the moving of research from the lab the marketplace by strengthening MIT’s capacity for innovation.”

Tata Fellows Kevin Simon and Brian Spatocco were among the key speakers, presenting their work in solar irrigation technology and rural microgrid planning, respectively, as flagship examples of MIT research making an impact in the marketplace.

From the MIT News report:

‘Engineering Systems Division graduate student Kevin Simon presented work he’s doing as part of the Tata Center for Technology and Design, which aims to develop solutions for challenges in developing countries, with a focus on India. Founded in 2012, the center now has 59 fellows and 45 professors working on 40 projects at 20 sites in India.

‘Simon co-invented low-cost, solar-powered pumps that will give some 20 million farmers access to shallow water for irrigation, instead of using expensive diesel generators. Currently, there are no mass-produced commercial pumps intended for use by Indian farmers, said Simon, who just traveled to Mumbai to trial the pump. “People with the know-how aren’t working on this,” he said. “That’s one of the best things about the Tata Center: It always challenges and encourages us to reframe the problem.”’

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Photo by Dominick Reuter.