Since 2015, the J-WAFS Solutions Grant program has provided funding and facilitated mentor relationships with industry leaders in order to help MIT researchers commercialize breakthrough technologies and inventions. The mission of J-WAFS Solutions is to transform promising ideas from the labs at MIT into innovative products and cutting-edge spinout companies. The hope is that novel technologies can enter into the commercial world where they will improve the productivity, accessibility, and sustainability of the world's water and food systems, creating related economic and societal benefits.
The J-WAFS Solutions program is part of a research partnership with Community Jameel, a social enterprise organization led by Mohammed Abdul Latif Jameel. One-year grants of up to $150,000 are awarded to up to three MIT research projects per year.
Eligibility: J-WAFS Solutions Grants are awarded to MIT principal investigators with projects that are aligned with the J-WAFS mission of securing water and food systems for human need. Adjacent themes in energy, AI, plant health (food crops) and animal health (livestock) will also be considered. Research should be aimed at conceptualizing and developing products and services that will have a significant impact on water, food, or energy sustainability and security, with related economic and societal benefits. Special consideration will be given to projects that also incorporate artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Project examples are:
- AI / machine learning (ML) in agritech
- Energy-efficient irrigation
- Battery/energy storage for solar-powered desalination
- AI / ML detection of food- and water-borne pathogens
- AI / ML discovery of veterinary medicines (particularly where relevant to securing food systems)
Projects on topics other than those listed that align with the J-WAFS mission and are aimed at solving other water and food systems challenges are also welcome.
Concepts proposed for J-WAFS Solutions grants should already have completed basic research. Applicants should be interested in commercializing the technology and the technology should be 1-3 years from commercialization.
J-WAFS Solutions-funded projects have resulted in a variety of spinout companies and open-sourced technologies. Click below for more information on J-WAFS spinouts.
"Community Jameel is proud to be a key partner of MIT in tackling some of the most pressing issues related to food and water safety and security in the Middle East and around the world.”
—Fady Jameel, Vice Chairman, Community Jameel, on sponsorship of the J-WAFS Solutions program