Here’s where Harvard’s engineering dean sees medtech research going

Surgical robots, artificial intelligence, and climate change mitigation are just a few of the priorities that the dean of Harvard’s engineering school is enthusiastic about.

In Boston’s Allston area, the university built a 500,000-square-foot Science and Engineering Complex (SEC) for SEAS in 2020. A $500 million grant from Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg to establish the Kempner Institute for the Study of Natural and Artificial Intelligence, which is anticipated to open at SEC by the end of the year, is another exciting development.

The neighboring Harvard Enterprise Research Campus project, which will add about 1 million square feet of leasable tech space, residences, and a conference center, is expected to open in late 2024.

Grid will increase or possibly quadruple its size because the university’s accelerator fund “isn’t big enough,” according to Doyle.

The Grid initiative will also foster connectivity by establishing an executive director and offices in the engineering building for its entrepreneurs-in-residence (EIR) program.

The third focus of Grid will be on education, Doyle said. “We need a better roadmap for the students who come in — let’s say, sophomore year, a history major, or an electrical engineer, and say, ‘I want to be an entrepreneur, be a startup when I get out. What are the additional classes I can take to complement my major, my concentration at Harvard?’”


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