DUSP, CRE, and STL Lab award $1.5 million in research funding

The Samuel Tak Lee MIT Real Estate Entrepreneurship Lab (STL Lab), in conjunction with the Center for Real Estate (CRE) and the Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP), has announced its first round of faculty research grants, awarding $1.5 million to 13 MIT researchers and their teams.

The STL Lab is named after Samuel Tak Lee ’62, SM ’64, an alumnus and global real estate developer whose historic gift to MIT in January established the STL Lab to promote social responsibility among entrepreneurs and thought leaders in the real estate profession worldwide, with a particular focus on China.

The STL Lab’s faculty research grants support inventive projects that advance the understanding of opportunities and challenges in real estate development and entrepreneurship. For this round of funding, the STL Lab focused on supporting research projects at two levels: seed grants between $20,000 and $50,000, and larger projects up to $150,000. Thirty-one proposals were submitted, featuring cutting-edge research in:

  • global real estate and sustainable urbanization through private action and entrepreneurship; 

  • urban resilience and adaptation; 

  • land use reform regulations, standards, and codes; 

  • technologies and the built environment: innovative design, new construction materials, 
and real estate and big data; 

  • affordable housing; 

  • environmental aspects of urban growth and development best practices; and 

  • land and real property rights. 

“The quality and number of the proposals that we received was remarkable, given that the STL Lab is only seven months old,” said Yu-Hung Hong, director of the STL Lab. “The cross-disciplinary creativity and ingenuity of the proposals was astounding.”

Funding was granted to projects undertaken by junior and senior MIT faculty and research scientists. 

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