In 2015, the Stanford School of Engineering sought input from hundreds of people across the University to determine in which areas they could make the greatest world-changing impact, and how Stanford Engineering should be structured to address the major opportunities and challenges of the future.
The school recognized that solutions to the Future 10 Grand Challenges would require a new space to foster earnest interdisciplinary collaborations as well as support for Stanford faculty to take bold risks and explore far outside their traditional bounds of research. The Stanford Catalyst for Collaborative Solutions was formed in late 2016 with a call for proposals. In 2017, five projects received funding, and in 2018, the program funded four. Amounts ranged from $3 million over 3 years to $450,000 proof-of-concept awards.
The Catalyst provided project funding and strategic workshops in support of interdisciplinary research across the School of Engineering, the University, and beyond, to achieve impactful and lasting solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.