Science and knowledge in the search for a diverse world


“It is essential that research is carried out and technologies are developed to ensure that people with disabilities acquire practical and social skills to facilitate their participation in education systems, work and community life”. 

Excerpt from joint statement by Alana and MIT, March 20, 2019

The Alana Foundation, Alana’s philanthropic branch created in 2012 and headquartered in the United States, will donate US$ 28.6 million to MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), to encourage the development of new technological and multidisciplinary research. Part of this initiative is the creation of the Alana Down Syndrome Center; a technology program for the development of research that can improve the lives of people with disabilities; and scholarships.

The donation, formalized on March 20, will give rise to the Alana Down Syndrome Center, hosted by the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at MIT, which will involve the expertise of scientists and engineers in an initiative to deepen the biological and neuroscientific knowledge of Down syndrome. Down. The center, which will be led by scientists Angelika Amon – an expert in understanding chromosomal instability – and Li-Huei Tsai – recognized for her work with degenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease – will also offer new opportunities for young scientists and students from around the world through scholarships.

The technology program will be in partnership with the Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation (“Technology to Foster Skills”) at MIT, in which the researcher seeks support and encouragement to design and develop technologies that can increase the quality of life and autonomy of disabled people. Together, the center and the program will help accelerate the creation, development and testing of new technologies that aim to enhance the quality of life of people with disabilities and increase their participation and inclusion in education, work and the community.

Watch the joint statement from Alana and MIT:


The donation made by the Alana Foundation supports the MIT Campaign for a Better World, publicly launched in 2016 with the mission to advance MIT’s work in education, research and innovation to address humanity’s most pressing challenges.