Seed Fund Program at MIT expands to the Netherlands

Seed Fund Program at MIT expands to the Netherlands
November 18, 2021

Advancing technology innovation

Since its inception in 2019, the MIT-Lockheed Martin Seed Fund has funded cutting-edge international collaborations between researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and in Germany and Israel.

Now, the program is expanding to the Netherlands!

“This is a great opportunity to expand our student-focused MIT programming to support new faculty collaborations with Dutch partners in fields like quantum computing, artificial intelligence and photonics,” said Justin Leahey, managing director of Germany, Switzerland and Netherlands programs and the new MIT-Central & Eastern European Seed Funds.

This Seed Fund, administered through MIT’s International Science and Technology Initiatives organization or MISTI, combines Lockheed Martin’s history of research and development with MIT’s global reputation and reach. It aligns the technology expertise of MIT and Dutch universities, creating a truly unparalleled opportunity for innovation in a specific technology space.

MISTI Seed Funds, which are open to all MIT faculty and principal investigators and their international collaborators, promote and support the exploration of early-stage collaborations. The program prioritizes projects that promote a sustained and balanced exchange between two complementary teams; are likely to make an important contribution to the field; are new or entering a new phase; and involve undergraduate or graduate students in a meaningful way.

Seed Fund applications are being accepted now through Dec. 13, 2021.

Strengthening a 60+ year partnership

Lockheed Martin and the Netherlands have a partnership that dates back more than 60 years with the arrival of the Royal Netherlands Air Force’s (RNLAF) Lockheed T-33 trainers. RNLAF crews have long operated F-16 Fighting Falcon multi-role jets and C-130 Hercules tactical airlifters. The Netherlands made history when it became the second international partner to receive the F-35 Lightning II advanced fighter.

The Netherlands was also the first international partner of Lockheed Martin’s PAC-3 for missile defense capabilities, acquiring the PAC-3 Cost Reduction Initiative (CRI) in 2004. This year, the country formalized an agreement with U.S. officials to purchase the evolution of that missile, the PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE), as well as related support equipment.

Given the vital role that academia plays in the development of new technology, expanding the Global Seed Fund to the Netherlands was a natural progression for Lockheed Martin.

More than 25 suppliers from across Dutch industry are participating in critical technology development and strategic structural design ventures integral to the F-35 program, along with high-volume production, which includes composites, bonded assemblies, and aircraft wiring. This high-technology work leverages the Netherlands’ past performance experience and expertise on the F-16 program to maintain high-quality program execution.

Every F-35 contains components manufactured by Dutch companies. With the introduction of advanced technologies, Dutch industries are strategically positioned to participate in the production of more than 3,000 F-35 aircraft over the life of the program.

“Lockheed Martin is a partner for not just European industry but also academia,” said Jonathan Hoyle, Lockheed Martin chief executive Europe. “Advancing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and research is a critical focus for us. We know first-hand the importance of educating young people in these areas. Europe’s future success and technological advantage depends on a pipeline of highly trained, highly capable technical talent.”