Support and engage with J-WAFS

Your support matters

With our water and food systems at risk in developing and developed countries alike, the world needs the bold, creative problem-solving for which MIT is known. J-WAFS offers opportunities to sponsors, funders, and partners to help us as we develop the science, technology, and expertise needed to meet local and global needs for safe, accessible, and sustainable supplies of water and food. Find out more ways to engage with us or download a digital version of our informational packet for prospective supporters and partners.

The J-WAFS Research Affiliate Program is an opportunity for corporate, government, or non-profit partners to directly support and engage with professors from across the Institute pursuing research of mutual interest, creating synergies out of their respective strengths and needs. As a J-WAFS Research Affiliate, your organization will have the closest connection to MIT’s research, education, and student communities devoted to food and water, benefitting from valuable opportunities for learning and technical exchange, recruitment, interactions with the MIT community, and introductions to MIT spinouts.

MIT researchers seek to solve real-world problems. Through informed, coordinated, and executive-level engagement, J-WAFS can help develop a strategic framework built around your organization’s water or food system challenges. J-WAFS works closely with you as a Research Affiliate to develop an MIT research portfolio, and expose you to a cross-section of additional J-WAFS activities.

J-WAFS seeks to engage comprehensively with a select set of Research Affiliates representing different parts of the world’s water and food systems. In contrast to one-off projects that companies may develop directly with individual faculty members, J-WAFS offers sustained support and relationship management from senior administrators, including:

  • Identifying opportunities for new research and potential research partners
  • Prioritizing and managing faculty interactions
  • Supporting the preparation of proposals that respond to your interests
  • Start-to-finish project oversight

J-WAFS assists in the management and development of project budgets and statements of work, including timelines and expected outcomes. Research Affiliates benefit from a master research agreement that J-WAFS stewards, greatly facilitating the contracting process with MIT’s Research Administrative Services. Technologies invented through these partnerships can be licensed by the sponsor.

Our Research Affiliates also contribute to the culture of food and water innovation at MIT. In addition to direct sponsored research, J-WAFS Research Affiliates support general seed funding for research and technology development; graduate students working on water and food system topics; and broader integrative J-WAFS activities such as workshops, conferences, and expert studies.

Or, to explore becoming a Research Affiliate, contact J-WAFS

Individuals, foundations, and governments at all levels are increasingly concerned with the rising challenge of feeding a growing population and securing safe, accessible, and adequate water supplies. Research at MIT focuses on many of the issues that are of primary concern, for example sensors for water contaminants and food safety, water purification technologies, modeling to assess climate change resilience, supply chain improvements for food and agriculture sectors, and new business models and scale-up strategies for both advanced technologies and low-tech affordable solutions for rural areas in developing countries. With its exceptional convening power, MIT also excels as a conference and expert workshop organizer.

Financial support from foundations, alumni, and friends provides valuable resources to develop, sustain, and enhance the impact of J-WAFS activities. When you make a gift, you are making an investment in both the future of J-WAFS and our Institute-wide work to improve the productivity, accessibility, and sustainability of the world’s water and food systems.

Gifts to the J-WAFS Catalyst Fund support various J-WAFS initiatives by:

  • Expanding our Seed Grant program and other funds available for new research in water and food
  • Supporting future water and food sector leaders through J-WAFS graduate student fellowships
  • Funding international conferences, expert workshops, and other J-WAFS events focused on technology, policy, or other solutions to water and food sector challenges
  • Promoting student engagement in water and food across fields and topics through the support of student professional clubs, innovation prizes, and other activities
  • Providing resources for curriculum development, outreach and communications initiatives, and more…

To explore ways to donate to J-WAFS, contact J-WAFS

The J-WAFS Solutions program supports translational projects aiming to move technology from the laboratory to the market place. Solutions grants help commercialize breakthrough MIT technologies and inventions by providing funding as well as mentoring and other assistance to MIT faculty and students who are developing innovative products and spinning out new companies. The program helps move MIT water and food technologies to the commercial world, where they will improve the productivity, accessibility, and sustainability of the world’s water and food systems. MIT’s Technology Licensing Office is available to discuss opportunities to license IP related to J-WAFs research, and how J-WAFS Solutions program sponsors can invest in water and food startups that come out of the program.

To explore supporting the J-WAFS Solutions program, contact J-WAFS

Reflecting on sponsorship of the J-WAFS Solutions program, Fady Jameel, president of Community Jameel International, says: 

“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.”

Join a topic-based research consortium

J-WAFS is initiating a series of topic-specific research consortia oriented around particular science, technology, and policy issues that are central to future water and food supply and sustainability around the globe. The aim of these consortia is to pool resources from key stakeholders to support multidisciplinary, authoritative analyses addressing specific water and food sectors or challenges, focusing on research priorities, critical policy issues, and technology development needs.

The research is considered pre-competitive, and we welcome the broad participation of companies, foundations, NGOs, and individuals across particular sectors. Consortium fees are more modest than the costs of sponsored research, yet still offer members the opportunity to engage with MIT researchers, participate in expert workshops, contribute to the development of best practices and the identification of research needs, and have pre-publication access to research results.

To explore joining a research consortium, contact J-WAFS

Initiate or support an international partnership

J-WAFS is interested in partnering with other institutions, foundations, industry, and governments to develop regionally appropriate solutions for water and food security, whether for fast-growing megacities or for the rural developing world. Regional partners help develop and implement new water and food approaches and technologies in the context of their own needs and challenges. For each regional partnership, J-WAFS will develop a range of collaborative research and education activities tailored to the particular challenges, interests, and resources of the sponsor and the partner institutions. The design of our regional partnerships is flexible, and J-WAFS can augment research by mobilizing a range of MIT resources dedicated to executive education, mentoring of entrepreneurs, student exchange and internships, technology evaluation, and more, based on partner interests.

To explore initiating a regional partnership, contact J-WAFS.  

Find out more about a current institutional partnership with a university in India.

J-WAFS seeks to expand support for students who are pursuing high-impact research around water and food. Fellowship funding has direct and dramatic impact on the number of graduate students that MIT is able to admit and train and who will go on to address pressing global water and food challenges. Fellowships cover a graduate student’s tuition and health insurance, and include a stipend for living expenses. In addition, J-WAFS facilitates mentoring, networking opportunities, policy discussions, and exposure to a wide variety of research areas. Our goal is to support outstanding graduate students and cultivate a multidisciplinary alumni community working around the world in academic, non-profit, and corporate sectors to address critical water and food needs. Fellowships may be general or targeted specifically to the water or food sector. Please ask us about endowed giving and fellowship naming opportunities.

To explore funding a graduate student fellowship, contact J-WAFS

“If it weren’t for the J-WAFS fellowship, I would have had to seek funding [through grants] for work on completely different topics. Thanks to J-WAFS, I had the funding to focus on my work in my last year and finish my dissertation.”
Sarah Fletcher PhD ‘18
2017-2018 Rasikbhai L. Meswani Fellow for Water Solutions