Global Seed Funds

While working to establish its own Ukraine-focused Seed Fund, MIT-Ukraine collaborates with programs in other European countries to help develop resilient international research networks and provide templates for future bi-lateral MIT-Ukraine collaborations.

If you are interested in supporting our Seed Fund program, or have ideas or resources for multilateral research projects between Ukrainian and MIT scientists, please contact us to explore opportunities.

In 2023, we have launched two pilot projects to support collaboration between the Multifunctional Metamaterials (META) research lab led by Dr. Svetlana Boriskina in the Mechanical Engineering Department at MIT and three research groups in Ukraine, Poland, and Czechia.

Straintronic engineering of self-powered flexoelectric photodetectors

The first project, entitled “Straintronic engineering of self-powered flexoelectric photodetectors,” supported by the MIT-Poland Lockheed Martin Seed Fund, seeks to engineer materials for the next-generation uncooled, external-bias-free semiconductor photodetectors capable of exceeding performance limits of conventional p-n junction detectors. The project team includes MIT, Kharkiv Institute of Physics and Technology (KIPT) in Ukraine, and the Institute of Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IP-PAS) in Poland.

Abhishek Mukherjee, an MIT graduate student from Dr. Boriskina’s Lab, spent a month in Warsaw during summer 2023 doing research at the IP-PAS. His work included material engineering and spectroscopic characterization under high pressure and extreme temperature variations. The results he obtained in Poland in collaboration with Prof. Andrzej Suchocki lab have been presented at the Fall Meeting of the Materials Research Society in Boston in November 2023 and form the basis of two manuscripts under preparation.

“During my visit to Warsaw, Poland, I had the opportunity to explore both its historical aspects and modern advancements. It was impressive to see the state-of-the-art facilities at the Institute of Physics at the Polish Academy of Sciences and to learn about the various innovative materials research projects being undertaken there. Along with my time at the institute, I explored other parts of Warsaw. It was a pleasure to witness the beautifully reconstructed Old Town, a testament to Warsaw's resilience and dedication to preserving its heritage. The city offers a unique blend of educational opportunities, historical sites, and modern urban life, making it a worthwhile destination for both academic and leisure travelers.” -Abhishek Mukherjee

Interaction of ionizing radiation with strain-engineered materials

The second project, “Interaction of ionizing radiation with strain-engineered materials,” supported by the MIT-Czech Republic Seed Fund, aims to develop fundamental understanding of the role of meso-scale strain engineering of materials on their interaction with ionizing radiation, formulate recipes to reduce radiation-induced corrosion and cracking, and to develop new materials with strain-engineered phonon spectra that increase scattering of elementary particles, e.g., neutrons, for radiation shielding applications. The project team includes MIT, Kharkiv Institute of Physics and Technology (KIPT) in Ukraine, and the Nuclear Physics Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences (NPI-CAS) in Czechia.

“Nuclear technology plays a key role in the global clean energy transition and will help to secure a new energy future of post-war Ukraine. Evaluation of corrosion in cladding materials considered for use in the next-generation nuclear reactors is the key step to prevent their malfunction. On the other hand, strain and crystallinity engineering in polymer-based radiation shields can help to not only advance terrestrial energy sector but also enable space exploration, including manned missions to Moon and Mars. We are excited to work with our colleagues in Ukraine and Czech Republic on these important technologies that might shape the future of humankind by enabling energy security and space travel.” -Svetlana Boriskina