CSAIL houses research initiatives on timely topics where the work we are doing can advance the state of the art.
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Initiatives are uniquely structured to provide close interactions among member companies, researchers and students. All the Initiatives follow a similar structure:

  • Small group of 8-12 companies
  • All members commit to a 3-year term
  • All members contribute the same amount of funding and it is pooled
  • Each member has 1 seat on the Executive Board
  • The board meets with researchers and discusses challenges and opportunities in the space and identifies ‘problem statements’
  • The problem statements are then sent to the whole lab (120+ researchers) in a request for proposals (RFP)
  • The researchers respond with project proposals on new approaches and technologies to address the ‘problem statements’
  • Members vote and select which projects to fund
  • Typically, 3-5 projects are funded each year
  • Typically, projects and tools of the Initiative are made available to members through MIT’s Open Source license
  • Each Initiative has a lecture series associated with thought leaders in the space
  • Each initiative hosts workshops to review tools created and help members learn how to utilize them
  • Initiative members receive all the benefits of the CSAIL Alliances Program - Affiliate level
  • Initiative members can attend the meetings, lectures, workshops etc. of the other Initiatives but only have a seat on the Executive Board of the Initiative in which they are a members
  • Initiative Principals are companies who are members of all present CSAIL initiatives, participate in funding projects across the initiative level and hold seats on all Initiative Executive Boards. Initiative Principals are a distinct group of companies which may add to the overall membership of any one initiative. For example, FinTech@CSAIL has the maximum number of 12 members but an Initiative Principal may participate as the 13th member of the initiative and hold a seat on the board.