Aerospace giant Lockheed Martin and MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI) announced on Sunday the creation of the MIT-Lockheed Martin Seed Fund, promoting collaborations between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and universities and public research institutions in Israel.
The fund, which will also operate in Germany during its pilot period, will be sponsored by Lockheed Martin to the value of $150,000, and will support two to four early-stage research projects in Israel.
During its inaugural year, the fund will focus on proposals which fit Bethesda-headquartered Lockheed Martin’s advanced manufacturing priorities to identify emerging innovative technologies.
These include the fields of manufacturing process control, modeling of materials and processes, novel materials for extreme environments, and automation of factories in the future.
Collaborations between MIT and Israeli research faculties will take place under a structured framework backed by Lockheed Martin, and may lead to additional sponsored research under separate agreements.
Collaborating faculties will also have the opportunity to benefit from Lockheed Martin facilities both in the US and Israel.
In addition to financing travel, meeting and workshop costs for collaborative research, the fund will also enable one MIT student internship in Israel under the MIT-Israel program, established in 2007 to connect MIT students & faculty with companies and research opportunities in Israel.
The establishment of the seed fund builds on Lockheed Martin’s existing educational operations in Israel, including a collaboration with the Education Ministry, Science and Technology Ministry, and the Rashi Foundation to promote STEM-related programs for Israeli children from kindergarten to high school.