In 2008 INL and MIT launched an assessment of potential collaboration between the two institutions. Using the experience of the MIT-Portugal Program and other on-going international partnerships at MIT, in Portugal and in Spain the assessment resulted in the recommendation of four major goals:
- A joint research agenda based on challenges identified from common interests and complementarities at MIT and INL
- Recruitment of top researchers and highly promising post-doctoral candidates
- The collaboration of MIT senior researchers in building up and training research groups at INL based on the capacities of corresponding groups at MIT
- A student program for MIT students, including undergraduates, to have summer research experiences at INL
The result was a new agreement, formalized May 2009, that allows researchers at both locations to collaborate on a range of projects and makes provisions for MIT students to do short-term research programs in Braga, Portugal, where INL is located.
The first three major research groups at MIT to collaborate with INL will be the Microsystems Technology Laboratory (MTL), the Materials Processing Center (MPC), and the Center for Computational Engineering (CCE), with other units to follow from within the School of Engineering and beyond.
The collaborations between MIT and INL will focus on core nano-materials and device technologies, as well as techniques that address component and system aspects. Research projects will be performed by the newly-hired MIT-INL scientists, MIT researchers, and INL researchers, with supporting infrastructure and expertise development in INL in selected core areas.