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Welcome to the 2018 grant cycle of the J-WAFS Solutions program!

J-WAFS Solutions is a program of the MIT Abdul Latif Jameel World Water and Food Security Lab. We're excited to launch our fourth year of this  grant program for translational research and are looking forward to your submissions!


The Abdul Latif Jameel World Water and Food Security Lab (J-WAFS) was established in September 2014 to spearhead research that will help humankind adapt to a rapidly changing planet and combat world-wide water and food-supply scarcity. The Lab aims to address the collective pressure of population growth, development, urbanization, and climate variability — factors that endanger food and water systems in developing and developed countries alike. 

In collaboration with J-WAFS, the MIT Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation will manage the J-WAFS Solutions program and help MIT faculty and students commercialize breakthrough technologies and inventions by transforming promising ideas at MIT into innovative products and cutting-edge spinout companies. 

The J-WAFS Solutions program is sponsored by Community Jameel, which is represented on the governing committee of the program.

The 2018 J-WAFS Solutions Program (J-WAFS Solutions):

J-WAFS Solutions has the mission of moving water and food technologies from labs at MIT into the commercial world, where they will improve the productivity, accessibility, and sustainability of the world’s water and food systems.

Projects are required to align with J-WAFS’ strategic research focus around water and food supply and safety; research should be aimed at conceptualizing and developing products and services that will have a significant impact on water and food security, with related economic and societal benefits.

J-WAFS Solutions grants:  One-year grants of up to $150,000 will be awarded to up to three (3) research projects that support the J-WAFS mission and aim to transition food and water technologies from MIT labs to market.  The goal of the funding is to advance a technology or idea to where it can attract investment to commercialize a product and launch a spinout company and/or to license the technology to an existing company.  Funds will support work to refine and enhance the innovation, systematically explore potential markets, and assess commercial viability. The goal is to reduce technology and market risk sufficiently to the project for commercialization and attract sufficient investment to commercialize a product and launch a spinout company.  

Successful grantees are eligible to apply for a one-year renewal grant of up to $150,000 for the follow-on year; total project funding will not exceed $300,000.  

J-WAFS Solutions grants are open only to MIT faculty, research staff, postdocs, and students; proposed projects must be submitted and led by MIT employees with Principal Investigator (PI) status.  These are commercialization grants, not research grants. We are looking for teams that are eager and committed to a path that involves product design and/or spinning out companies. 

As with standard research at MIT, the research proposed should be conducted as fundamental research as defined by export regulations. In the rare case that the research involved is considered to be subject to any export licensing requirement, the project team must work with OSP prior to disclosing information to the project Sponsor.


  • January 18, 2018 - Pre-proposal call issued
  • February 22, 2018 - Pre-proposals due (submit by 5PM EST) 
  • April 2, 2018 - Full proposal invitation notification
  • May 1, 2018 - Full and renewal proposals due (submit by 5PM EST) - by invitation only
  • TBD - Renewal and full proposals presentations - by invitation only 
  • Summer 2018 - Grant awards notification
  • September 1, 2018 - Grant award start date
  • October 2018 - Grant awards announced to the public

Eligibility and How to Apply: 

Grants are open only to MIT faculty, research staff, postdocs and students; grant applications must be led and submitted by MIT employees with Principal Investigator (PI) status.

All applicants must submit a pre-proposal through this online grant submission system; see instructions below.

Pre-proposals will be reviewed by the 
governing committee along with Deshpande Center Catalysts, MIT TLO representatives, and MIT faculty.   The most compelling projects will be invited to submit a full grant proposal.  Written feedback will be provided on all pre-proposals, including those that are not selected. Additionally, all reviewers abide by the Center's confidentiality agreement and conflict of interest requirements. Proposals are not considered public disclosure.

Upon invitation, project teams continue to the full proposal stage.  The submission package must include a full grant proposal and a budget. Applicants are also required to make a brief presentation to the Review Committee.  Applicants will be notified of grant awards in late June, early July 2017.

Proposals should not be entered into KC before grantees are notified of awards. Once grants are awarded, information will need to be routed to OSP (Office of Sponsored Programs) through KC before final approval. The Deshpande Center will contact grant recipients when this process should be initiated.

Online Submittal Instructions:

Step 1: Please click on the signup button at the top of the page in order to create your account; we ask that you use your email address.
Step 2: Once you complete the signup process, you'll get an email to confirm your registration. Make sure to check your spam box, just in case! Please add us to your safe sender list so that you can continue to receive messages from us.
Step 3: Upload all required application material using the J-WAFS Solutions templates on the site, as per the instructions you'll see when you log in.

For Proposal Templates, follow the Resource Link at the top of this page. 


If you have any questions about the application process, please contact Karen Golmer:

The MIT Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation
Email:  or Phone: 617-324-2764

Phone: 617-253-0943
Fax: 617-253-8442
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Room 1-229
Cambridge, MA 02139
Phone: 617-253-0943
Fax: 617-253-8442
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Room 1-229
Cambridge, MA 02139