Physical Sciences & Engineering Accelerator


Successful PSE-funded Technologies

In July 2013, OTD launched the Physical Sciences & Engineering (PSE) Accelerator to expedite the commercialization of technologies from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) and the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS)—with remarkable results.

As of July 2017, $1.7 million in grants have been awarded to 19 projects. These projects have so far resulted in 8 Harvard-launched startups that have collectively raised more than $32 million in follow-on financing.

A few recent successes are described below.



Jennifer A. Lewis, SEAS

New functional materials and a novel 3D printing platform enable the simultaneous 3D printing of plastic product casings with the embedding of existing (or 3D printing of) electronic component parts during the manufacturing process.

Accelerator funding led to the launch of a startup, Voxel8, which licensed the core technology developed under this program. The company has raised $12M in Series A funding; has been named a Gold Winner of the 2014 MassChallenge; was a 2015 Edison Gold Award Winner; and was named "one of the 9 best ideas from CES 2015" by Fast Company.

Robert D. Howe, SEAS

Robots that grasp a wide variety of items automatically, without calibration or parameter-tuning, have the potential to dramatically improve product handling by reducing costs and increasing speed in e-commerce warehouses.

Accelerator funding has led to the launch of a startup, RightHand Robotics, which licensed the core technology developed under this program and has secured a seed round of financing. The team was also awarded an NSF I-Corps grant and was accepted into the Harvard i-Lab's Venture Incubation Program.

Alan Aspuru-Guzik, FAS

This materials discovery platform leverages advances in quantum chemistry and machine learning to identify advanced materials for a range of high-value markets.

Harvard has licensed the software platform to Kyulux, Inc., a Japan- and Boston-based developer of OLED technologies, for the discovery of materials for display and lighting applications. Three members of Aspuru-Guzik’s lab are joining Kyulux as full-time employees, and Aspuru-Guzik is serving as a part-time scientific advisor.

Chad D. Vecitis, SEAS

This electrochemical filtration technology, aimed at wastewater treatment, achieves rapid electrochemical oxidation of organic and inorganic species and simultaneous hydrogen production in a single cell.

A leading life sciences company has funded further development of the technology for a specific set of biomedical filtration applications and is now considering a license.

Michael Aziz and Roy Gordon, SEAS/FAS

This quinone-based aqueous flow battery could dramatically reduce the cost of large-scale, stationary electrical energy storage.

The technology has been licensed to Green Energy Storage, a company based in Italy.