Past Research Projects & Programs

Below you will find a selection of past research projects and programs!


Xylem Water Filter

Women in India sketch model form factor for xylem water filter

This project aimed at addressing the largely unmet need to provide safe and affordable drinking water to low-income groups by developing low-cost water filters that exploit the natural filtration capabilities of xylem tissue in wood. Read more.

Local Innovation Research

A field and truck that are part of a locally-viable method of avocado oil production in Tanzania

The Local Innovation group grew out of the research program of the International Development Innovation Network (IDIN), a multi-university consortium headquartered at MIT D-Lab from 2013 to 2017. The group was subsequently developed at D-Lab by research scientist Elizabeth Hoffecker between 2017 and 2021 and is currently based at MIT’s Sociotechnical Systems Research Center (SSRC). Read more.

Solar Power

Two women and a man looking at a small solar light held by one of the women.

Solar power has the potential to provide essential services to people without reliable electricity access. D-Lab has worked with organizations based in off-grid regions to identify appropriate technologies and business models that can meet the needs of specific communities. We have also developed and curate resources to increase access to information related to off-grid solar technologies. Read more.

Energy Assessment Toolkit

Man leaning out of a ground-floor window talking to a younger man standing outside with a notebook.

Understanding the energy needs and market opportunities in the specific off-grid community or region is the first step for effectively selecting and implementing the solutions to meet a community's energy needs. MIT D-Lab developed the Energy Assessment Toolkit to guide organizations through the process of gathering the information. Read more.