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Yale Announces $5M Roberts Innovation Fund to Commercialize Engineering Faculty Discoveries


Yale Announces $5M Roberts Innovation Fund to Commercialize Engineering Faculty Discoveries


In recent years, innovations from Yale’s School of Engineering & Applied Science (SEAS) faculty have aided in cancer treatment, provided clean water to developing countries and advanced the understanding of quantum computing. A new initiative is underway to accelerate the SEAS engine of innovation, bolstering the process that gets impactful faculty discoveries to market. 

Thanks to a generous gift from Yale alumnus Will Roberts ’90, the Roberts Innovation Fund will provide grant funding, mentoring and business training to assist in the commercialization of breakthrough inventions that solve real-world problems. The fund will be focused on technologies that show promise towards having an impact within the domains of artificial intelligence, blockchain, trustworthy computing, computational modeling and more.

“This fund will serve as a catalyst for bringing even more of our faculty’s impactful technologies into real world use,” said Jeffrey Brock, dean of the Yale School of Engineering & Applied Science. “With it, researchers will have enhanced resources to build on their ideas and accelerate them from the lab to market.”

An advisory board, whose primary responsibility will be to select the ideas that will receive support, has been formed and searches are underway for both Yale Ventures and SEAS personnel to manage the fund. Notably, Yale leadership is looking for an inaugural program director.

The launch of the Roberts Innovation Fund aligns with Yale’s very recent announcements regarding a landmark investment in engineering and applied science and the launch of Yale Ventures to expand the impact of Yale innovation on major societal challenges.