Institute of Science and Technology for Development

WPI’s Institute of Science and Technology for Development consists of faculty, affiliated scholars, students, and volunteers who are committed to bringing different forms of knowledge together to solve some of the world’s grand challenges community by community.

Building on our core values, the Institute of Science and Technology for Development's approach is collaborative. We know transformative ideas and solutions come from academic perspectives and from the perspectives of those who live inside a community. Expertise is layered with many kinds of individual experiences. As an integral part of WPI's Global Initiatives and the work of The Global School, the Institute of Science and Technology for Development seeks to advance the ways science and technology can solve pressing global problems from the individual to the global level.

To meet these goals, we foster alliances between communities, private sector firms, NGOs, government, and universities from around the world. We collaborate with our community to identify challenges, develop co-produced design solutions, cultivate the necessary resources to sustain these solutions. Education and job training are part of the way we design this work. Whether in North America, sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, Latin America, or Australasia, our teams of thinkers and doers develop authentic partnerships with communities and other stakeholders to co-create sustainable outcomes.


A New Approach

The community represents a new generation of thinkers. We are global citizens who are concerned with the social and environmental problems associated with development, gender inequality, economic opportunity, and development policy. As a result, the Institute of Science and Technology for Development uses cross-cultural design principles to develop appropriate solutions by merging traditional science, engineering, and other knowledge. The solutions may be technological, behavioral, or policy-oriented to meet the needs and goals of communities and people facing challenges to their economic security, dignity, and a safe environment.


Our Teams

The research teams will become partnerships with researchers, educators, NGOs, and donors around the world. They will create change using specialized technical and focused social and business expertise. This work is mutually supportive and crosses the boundaries of traditional science and engineering. As teams bring in different knowledge and experience, they develop responsible, sustainable, and culturally-appropriate solutions to global problems that integrate social science, engineering, and business. Our partnerships create and evaluate technological interventions and assess cutting-edge approaches as the field of development engineering continues to evolve.


New MS Expands Innovation

Students at WPI can get real-world experience in global development and the world issues that contribute to complex problems. Our master’s in science & technology for innovation in global development offers students the opportunity for participating in challenging academic growth, developing global networks, and making an immediate impact in communities you care about.

Close Collaboration with Partners Around the Globe


Development Design Lab

The Development Design Lab works directly with community stakeholders to help co-define development-based problems. Working together to find solutions, those working with the lab conduct basic and applied research in areas around natural resources, education, community autonomy, and economic and public policies. Current projects include environmental and human health work around mercury use risks in artisanal mining, development of educational materials, and building essential community infrastructure like a health center.


Working in Partnership with Ghana

Read more about how WPI and Ghana formed a partnership to improve quality of life and infrastructure in the coastal African country.


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