M2I2 Grant Recipients at Northeastern and MIT Test New Ideas

Tuesday, September 3, 2019
Massachusetts Technology Collaborative


BOSTON - Two university programs that are recipients of Massachusetts Manufacturing Innovation Initiative grants, Northeastern University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), were highlighted by their respective institutions.

While both of these grantees are part of the Commonwealth’s program to invest in innovative advanced manufacturing they could not be more different, reflecting the broad diversity of the state’s advanced manufacturing sector.

Northeastern University

Picture of a fish from Northeastern University

One of the major challenges facing the seafood industry in the United States happens after a fish if a caught and brought to shore for processing. Cleaning, preparing, and packaging seafood for transportation to its next destination is extremely unattractive to workers because it is challenging and unpleasant. This has created a less than desirable system where seafood caught in US waters is shipped internationally for processing and then shipped back to the US for distribution. In January, a team at Northeastern received a $500,000 grant from M2I2 to address this problematic system.

Laura Castanon of News@Northeastern recently interviewed that Northeastern team on how they see multi-use collaborative robotics as a solution to this problem. “If we can augment every human worker we have right now with a robotic coworker, we should be able to double the production. We should be able to process the seafood that we cannot currently process in the United States,” said Taskin Padir, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at Northeastern tasked with designing and building the robots.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology  (MIT)

Group from MIT and M2I2 at MIT LEAP facilityMIT.nano reported on a recent visit by M2I2 officials to their Lab for Education and Application Prototypes (LEAP) at MIT. Opened in 2017 after receiving a grant from M2I2, the LEAP is part of the AIM Photonics Academy which houses its administrative offices at MIT. The visit was part of an annual review of M2I2’s commitment to the LEAP.

“The LEAP is becoming a hub on campus for the packaging and testing of both electronic and photonic chips,” said Anuradha Agarwal, the leader of the LEAP and a principal research scientist at the MIT Materials Research Laboratory.

In 2018, M2I2 announced a $4 million grant for an AIM Photonics R&D facility at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute.