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Conference Details - Agenda

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2020 MIT Japan Conference

January 24, 2020
Day 01 All

8:40 AM


9:20 AM

Opening Remarks

9:30 AM

At the Dawn of the Nano Age - MIT.nano and the Future of Discovery
The Nano Age is upon us! With nano-scale advancements, we are reimagining Health and Life Sciences, Energy, Computing, Information Technology, Manufacturing, Quantum Science…and that is because nano is not a specific technology. It does not belong to a particular industry or discipline. It is, rather, a revolutionary way of understanding and working with matter, and it is the key to launching the next Innovation Age, the Nano Age.

Tools to build the Nano Age can be found at the heart of MIT campus, inside a comprehensive, 20,000-square-meter shared facility for nano-scale. MIT.nano designed to give researchers and innovators access to a broad and versatile toolsets that can do more – from imaging to synthesis, fabbing, and prototyping – entirely within the facility’s protective envelope. Opening of MIT.nano in October 2018 also marked the beginning of a new era of nano-education at MIT, with handson learning spaces and advanced teaching tools integrated throughout the facility. On the top floor of MIT.nano, a versatile suite of prototyping labs is further designed to support incubation and initial growth of start-up-companies. There, inventors can translate nano-scale advancements into hand-held systems, transitioning academic pursuits into prototypes for a better World. Quantifying and analyzing technology translations from MIT.nano will give insights into the steps comprising the innovation process, which we expect will enable us to transform the mere art of innovation into a systematic science. Knowledge and insights gained, MIT.nano is committed to share broadly so we can accelerate the advancements of the Nano Age through both act and deed.

In his talk, Bulovic will describe the latest works of MIT’s campus discoveries. He will share his vision for the innovation journeys in the labs and galleries of MIT.nano, shaped to deliver breakthrough solutions and spur public narratives that can define our time.

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10:10 AM

Printing Optical Materials
Will future of smart lighting and window coatings enable energy-efficient cooling in smart buildings? Can printed color converters lead to next generation micro displays with high brightness, sharp image resolution, and ultra low-power consumption? Recently, exciting new physics of nanoscale optical materials has inspired a series of key explorations to manipulate, store and control the flow of information and energy at unprecedented dimensions. In this talk I will report our recent efforts on controlling light harvesting and conversion process using scalable micro/nanofabrication. These emerging optical materials show promise to a range of important applications, from optical networks and chip-scale photonic sensors to lasers, LEDs, and solar technology.

For example, pixelated color converters are envisioned to achieve full-color high-resolution display through down conversion of blue micro-LEDs. Quantum dots (QDs) are promising narrow-band converters of high quantum efficiency and brightness enabling saturated colors. However, challenges still remain to produce high resolution color-selective patterns compatible with the advanced blue micro-LEDs with pitch and pixel size approaching 1 µm. Here we demonstrate our preliminary study on scalable printing of high-resolution pixelated red and green color converters patterned through projection lithography. I will also discuss potential applications such as high-resolution wide-gamut microdisplay for mixed reality and high speed visible light communication.

In this talk, I will also introduce versatile 3D shape transformations of nanoscale structures by deliberate engineering of the topography-guided stress of gold nanostructures. By using the topography-guided stress equilibrium, rich 3D shape transformation such as buckling, rotation, and twisting of nanostructures is precisely achieved, which can be predicted by our mechanical modeling. Benefiting from the nanoscale 3D twisting features, giant optical chirality is achieved in an intuitively designed 3D pinwheel-like structure, in strong contrast to the achiral 2D precursor without nano-kirigami. The demonstrated nano-kirigami, as well as the exotic 3D nanostructures, could be adopted in broad nanofabrication platforms and could open up new possibilities for the exploration of functional micro-/nanophotonic and mechanical devices.
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10:50 AM

Networking Break

11:05 AM

Not too big to fail: Resilience of Critical Infrastructure Systems
Resilience of critical infrastructure systems is a key requirement in the vision of smart cities. These systems work continuously to enable the essential services such as water, gas, and electricity. They utilize diverse components organized as physical networks, and operated through heterogeneous and connected cyber elements. Many service utilities routinely face reliability concerns due to aging infrastructure, and lack the operational readiness that is needed to respond failures caused by natural disasters. Moreover, recent incidents have demonstrated that malicious entities can disrupt or gain control of these systems by exploiting cyber insecurities and/or physical faults. Indeed, sophisticated cyber intrusions and a number of successful physical attacks all confirm the insufficiency of the existing protection solutions. Such incidents can result in huge economic losses, and also pose threat to human lives. Since resiliency was not considered at the design stage of existing infrastructure systems, they continue to face significant risks from natural disasters and security attacks.

This talk is motivated by the need for a foundational approach for strategic security planning and operational response design, so that our infrastructure systems can better withstand, recover from, and adapt to both random and adversarial disruptions. The main agenda is to discuss how recently developed secure and distributed algorithms for network sensing and control can be implemented in practice to improve the resilience of large-scale infrastructure systems. These algorithms use ideas from control theory and large-scale optimization, along with game-theoretic analysis of strategic interaction between network operators and attackers. Through real-world case studies, we demonstrate that our algorithms can provide substantial improvements in strategic inspection and operational response capabilities of electricity and natural gas utilities facing risks of correlated disruptions.
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11:45 AM

MIT Startup Exchange: Introduction with Lightning Talks

MIT Startup Exchange actively promotes collaboration and partnerships between MIT-connected startups and industry. Qualified startups are those founded and/or led by MIT faculty, staff, or alumni, or are based on MIT-licensed technology. Industry participants are principally members of MIT’s Industrial Liaison Program (ILP).

MIT Startup Exchange is a community of over 1,800 MIT-connected startups with roots across MIT departments, labs and centers; it hosts a robust schedule of startup workshops and showcases, and facilitates networking and introductions between startups and corporate executives.

STEX25 is a startup accelerator within MIT Startup Exchange, featuring 25 “industry ready” startups that have proven to be exceptional with early use cases, clients, demos, or partnerships, and are poised for significant growth. STEX25 startups receive promotion, travel, and advisory support, and are prioritized for meetings with ILP’s 260 member companies.

MIT Startup Exchange and ILP are integrated programs of MIT Corporate Relations.
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Lightning Talks Part I
- OSARO: Machine learning software for industrial automation
- Cellino Biotech: Image-guided, laser-driven manufacturing of human tissues
- Wise Systems: Autonomous dispatch & routing for fleet-wide efficiency
- DUST Identity: Securely binds digital identities to physical objects
- Lightelligence: Photonic AI accelerator chip

Lightning Talks Part II
- PathMaker Neurosystems: Non-invasive systems for treatment of neurological disorders
- Realtime Robotics: Robot autonomy in dynamic workcells
- Zapata Computing: Algorithms for quantum computing
- Kebotix: Discovering materials & chemicals from data, AI, & robotics

12:45 PM

Lunch with Startup Exchange Exhibits
Additional exhibition:
- twoXAR: Pharmaceuticals discovered with AI

2:00 PM

New Technology for CO2 Capture
Significant changes in global climate patterns and increasing ocean acidities with their negative impacts on the health of our planet have been ascribed to the ever-increasing rise in atmospheric CO2 levels, primarily attributed to anthropogenic sources such as the combustion of fossil fuels. The mitigation of these acid gas emissions is a daunting task, both because of the scale of the problem and because of the economic ramifications associated with the capture of the greenhouse gases and their subsequent utilization or subsurface storage. Effective means for the direct treatment of emissions with CO2 concentrations of 5 to 15% (or higher), from a wide range of sources, such as in the power industries, at industrial facilities and from on-board vehicle exhausts, are sorely needed. Of late, there has also been some interest in the capture of CO2 directly from the atmosphere, at concentrations close to 0.04%, which offers its own challenges for implementation.

The traditional means for CO2 capture and release generally rely on either chemical or physical absorption in solvents at temperatures well below those at which the acid gas is generated, with subsequent heating to release the captured CO2 and regenerate the sorbent. The captured CO2 can then be compressed for injection and sequestration in subsurface geological formations, or used as a feedstock for the synthesis of fuels and chemical products. These capture processes require significant energy integration with the process plant which adds complexity and cost to the overall capture operation.

We will describe a number of approaches for the treatment of gas streams under ambient conditions (isothermal electrochemically mediated capture and release) and at very high temperatures (temperature and pressure swing with solid and molten metal oxides) that cover the spectrum of CO2 capture needs including direct air capture, power generation, and a range of industrial processes. The general principles underlying these acid gas separation processes will be outlined, with an emphasis on the thermodynamic and transport considerations required for their effective implementation in carbon capture.
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2:40 PM

Electric Field Assisted Microfluidics for Healthcare and Biotechnology
Electric fields can be a useful tool in the interrogation and genetic manipulation of cells. With respect to bacteria, the cell envelope is critical for understanding important physiological behaviors, such as extracellular electron transfer (EET) and antibiotic uptake. Through EET, microbes can transport electrons from their interior to external insoluble electron acceptors (e.g. metal oxides or electrodes in an electrochemical cell), which has attracted tremendous attention due to potential applications in environmental remediation and energy conversion. In this talk, we will present how bacterial envelope phenotypes such as EET can be quantified by cell surface polarizability, a dielectric property that can be measured using microfluidic dielectrophoresis. Next, we will discuss work in our laboratory to use very high electric fields (~10 kV/cm) in microfluidic devices to enable high throughput delivery of nucleic acids to bacterial populations. Results of this work hold exciting promise for rapid screening of bacterial envelope phenotypes and for accelerating genetic engineering of bacteria for industrial applications. Lastly, we will present recent efforts by a company spun out of the Buie Laboratory, Kytopen, which is leveraging the electroporation work to enable scalable non-viral transfection of mammalian cells. Applications of this work include adoptive cell therapies such as CAR-T, which are currently plagued by high costs and manufacturing issues.
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3:20 PM

Networking Break

3:45 PM

Self-assembled small molecule nanofibers in water: Tailoring surface chemistry and mechanical properties to applications
Molecular self-assembly provides promising nanomaterials because they are water-processable, the constituent molecules are modular and scalable, and their surfaces can be easily functionalized. However, supramolecular nanomaterials generally exhibit high molecular exchange rates, hydrolytic degradation, and other instabilities that preclude their use in the demanding environments or the solid state. Here I introduce a new self-assembled nanofiber platform, recently developed in our lab, that exhibits unprecedented mechanical strength and dramatically reduced dynamic instabilities. The nanofibers have widths less than 6 nm, length of many microns, and pristine internal molecular order. In this talk, I will discuss the design and characterization of this platform and the possible new application space that is enabled by such enhanced stability.
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4:25 PM

Swarm Leadership and Building the Collective Mind
The future of business is swarm business – whether it’s at Uber, Airbnb, Tesla, or Apple, it’s not about being a fearless leader, but about creating a swarm that works together in collective consciousness to create great things that change the world. In Collaborative Innovation Networks (COINs), small teams of intrinsically motivated people enabled by the Internet work together to invent something radically new. A successful swarm channels the competitive energies of all stakeholders towards collaboration. I also propose a collaboration scorecard made up of seven key variables – “honest signals” – indicative of creative swarms, drawn from hundreds of industry projects. The “seven honest signals of collaboration” are “strong leadership”, “balanced contribution”, “rotating leadership”, “responsiveness”, “honest sentiment”, “shared context”, and “social capital”. I will illustrate these “honest signals of collaboration” using numerous industry examples ranging from startups to innovation teams at the R&D departments of Fortune 500 firms to teams of Healthcare researchers and patients.
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5:05 PM

Closing Remarks

5:10 PM

Reception and Networking