D-Lab: Disseminating Innovations for the Common Good

A hand-powered vacuum pump features a wooden flywheel that connects to two commercial vacuum pump units, mounted on a wooden frame.

This human-powered vacuum pump was developed by EC.715 students on the Vac-Cast project for use in rural clinics. Using the pump, technicians can make a mold in sand around an amputated limb, to quickly and cheaply cast a fitted prosthesis. This technology won $7,500 funding in the '06-'07 MIT IDEAS Competition. (Image courtesy of Vac-Cast Project: Tess Veuthey, Goutam Reddy, Irina Azu, Maria Luckyanova, Aron Zingman, and Stephen Samouhos. Used with permission.)


MIT Course Number


As Taught In

Spring 2007



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Course Description

Course Features

Course Description

In the trilogy of D-Lab courses, D-Lab: Dissemination focuses on disseminating innovations among underserved communities, especially in developing countries. Students acquire skills related to building partnerships and piloting, financing, implementing, and scaling-up a selected innovation for the common good. The course is structured around MIT and outside competitions. Teams develop an idea, project or (social) business plan that is "ready to roll" by term's end. Course includes an on-line forum discussion board, student-led case studies and a final proposal or business plan for realizing your dream innovation.

Related Content

Susan Murcott. EC.715 D-Lab: Disseminating Innovations for the Common Good. Spring 2007. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, https://ocw.mit.edu. License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

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