AIChE Announces Langer Prizes for Innovators and Entrepreneurs

The American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the AIChE Foundation have established a new fellowship program that will assist researchers in pursuing innovative technical work that holds the potential to make valuable contributions to society.

The Langer Prizes award and endowment

The Langer Prizes for Innovation and Entrepreneurial Excellence will award unrestricted grants of up to $100,000 to assist researchers — particularly those working in chemical and biological engineering — in pursing “blue-sky” ideas that may lead to important technical and commercial innovations.

The annual fellowships are being endowed in the name of Robert 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 inaugural prize

The inaugural prize will be awarded at the 2019 AIChE Annual Meeting in Orlando, FL, in November. Recipients will become part of a network 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 2019 Langer Prize are due August 1.

Langer's message to future applicants

In a video statement (shown online at, Langer thanked AIChE and his colleagues for endowing the prizes in his name. Speaking to future applicants for the prize, Langer said, “These prizes represent an investment in your potential — as innovator, inventor, and entrepreneur.”

He added that the fellowships would help young researchers to pursue big ideas that may open doors to new frontiers in areas such as biotechnology and new materials. “It is my wish that these fellowships will help future innovators to achieve the big dreams — dreams that can make the world a better place,” Langer concluded.

More on Robert Langer

Langer established early in his career that proteins could be encapsulated in polymeric matrices and released in a sustained manner. He went on to pioneer tissue engineering techniques for regenerative medicine, and invented many new biomedical technologies for drug delivery.

His patents have been licensed to more than 350 pharmaceutical, chemical, biotechnology, and medical device companies. Langer’s honors include the U.S. National Medal of Science; the National Medal of Technology and Innovation; the Charles Stark Draper Prize, considered the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for engineers; and the Millennium Prize, the world’s largest technology prize.

Details about the Langer Prizes — including application instructions and information on how to contribute to the endowment fund — are available at, or by email at