Applications Open for Langer Prize Research Grant for Innovators and Entrepreneurs | AIChE

Applications Open for Langer Prize Research Grant for Innovators and Entrepreneurs

March 25, 2020

The American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) is requesting applications for a recently endowed fellowship program that assists early-career, independent researchers in pursuing innovative technical work with the potential of making important contributions to society. 

The Langer Prize for Innovation and Entrepreneurial Excellence awards unrestricted grants of up to $100,000 to assist researchers — particularly those working in chemical and biological engineering— in pursuing high risk entrepreneurial ideas that may lead to game-changing technical and commercial innovations. The annual fellowships are endowed by the AIChE Foundation in the name of Robert S. Langer, the David H. Koch Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a pioneer in drug delivery and biomaterials for medical applications.

The Langer Prize is administered by AIChE’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneuring Excellence. Recipients will become part of a distinguished cadre of Langer Prize Fellows, skilled in tackling high-risk, high-impact challenges across a range of industries and commercial pursuits, and will have opportunities to collaborate with other innovators and entrepreneurs. Applications for the 2020 prize are due May 1.

In encouraging applications for the prize, Pablo Debenedetti, Chair of the AIChE Foundation, said “The Langer Prizes represent an extraordinary and visionary initiative that seeks to empower the next generation of inventors and innovators across the broad spectrum of modern chemical and biological engineering.” He added that the Langer Fellows “will be able to pursue their boldest and most creative ideas, seeking to transform them into technical and commercial innovations with broad societal impact.”

The inaugural Langer Prize fellowship was awarded in 2019 to César de la Fuente, Presidential Assistant Professor in the departments of bioengineering, microbiology and psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania. An innovator in the computerization of biological systems, de la Fuente leads the university’s machine biology group, where he draws upon protein design, synthetic biology, bioengineering, microbiology, and computational biology to devise new therapies for biomedical problems such as antibiotic resistance, infectious diseases, cancer, and microbiome engineering. De la Fuente will be honored at a future event hosted by the AIChE Foundation.

Details about the Langer Prize for Innovation and Entrepreneurial Excellence — including application instructions and information on how to contribute to the endowment — are available at, or by email at

Applications are due May 1, 2020, and the 2020 prize recipient will be announced in the fall.

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About AIChE: AIChE is a professional society of more than 60,000 members in more than 110 countries. Its members work in corporations, universities and government using their knowledge of chemical processes to develop safe and useful products for the benefit of society. Through its varied programs, AIChE continues to be a focal point for information exchange on the frontier of chemical engineering research in such areas as nanotechnology, sustainability, hydrogen fuels, biological and environmental engineering, and chemical plant safety and security. More information about AIChE is available at