US aerospace company and airplane manufacturer Lockheed Martin, the maker of the F-35 stealth fighter jet, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) International Science and Technology Initiatives (MITSTI) announced on Sunday that they are creating an MIT-Lockheed Martin Seed Fund to promote early-stage collaborations between MIT faculty and researchers with universities and public research institutions in Israel.
There will also be a seed fund in Germany. Additional countries will be considered after the 2019 pilot year, Lockheed Martin and MIT said in a statement.
The fund will cover between two and four projects in Israel and Germany, respectively, and includes one MIT program student internship in Israel as part of the MIT-Israel program and one MIT student internship in Germany as part of the MIT-Germany program.
For the inaugural year, Lockheed Martin and MIT said, the fund will focus on proposals which fit within Lockheed Martin’s advanced manufacturing priorities to identify emerging innovative technologies in manufacturing
process control, novel materials for extreme environments, and factory automation.
Collaborating faculty will have the opportunity move forward their joint projects as well as engage with Lockheed Martin facilities in the US and Israel.
Lockheed Martin runs a network of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) schools called MadaKids (Mada in Hebrew means science), which runs educational programs for preschoolers in kindergarten and pre-kindergarten in the southern Israeli cities of Beersheba and Kiryat Malachi. Last year, it announced the opening a science- and tech-focused preschool in Jerusalem in collaboration with Israel’s Ministry of Education, Ministry of Science and Technology and the Rashi Foundation.