Boeing makes funding pledge for MIT’s new Wright Brothers Wind Tunnel
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has announced that it will be replacing its Wright Brothers Wind Tunnel, now 79 years old, with a new facility that will become the most advanced and largest academic wind tunnel in the United States.
Aerospace giant Boeing has been named as the lead donor of the project, having offered up $18mn towards its construction – a continuation of the firm’s partnership with MIT that has had a significant impact upon the aerospace industry.
“Few relationships in aerospace can compare to the ties between MIT and Boeing.” said Greg Hyslop, Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President of Boeing Engineering and Test Technology. “We’re thrilled and gratified to be part of this critically important renovation that will launch our relationship into the second century of aerospace.”
The facility will be developed by the MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, retaining the name of the Wright Brothers Wind Tunnel.
“The new Wright Brothers Wind Tunnel will present MIT with a state-of-the-art research and teaching tool for many years to come,” says AeroAstro Department Head, Jaime Peraire. “We greatly appreciate Boeing’s generosity and commitment to future generations of aerospace engineers and their research.”
The new wind tunnel will be constructed on the sight of the old one, with the MIT Museum set to preserve a number of artefacts from the 1938 tunnel in order to retain some of its history.
CB Insights: US Insurtechs Compete In A Now Global Market
In the first half of the year, insurtech companies around the world have raised US$7.4bn, nearly doubling their funding in Q2. According to Digital Insurance, insurtechs have raised US$4.8bn in Q2—an 89% increase in funding from Q1. But US firms are no longer the sole beneficiaries.
What Are the Stats?
Out of the 15 Q2 mega-rounds—those that top US$100mn—only eight included American firms. Pretty good, you might say. That’s over half! But US companies only made up 38% of the deals, which marks a 10% drop from Q1 and a 12% drop from 2020. Technically, therefore, US insurtechs are less influential than they’ve been in the past. But who says this is a bad development?
Despite my American citizenship, I’d argue that a more globally diverse insurance market is only for the best. Many of the world’s citizens who could most benefit from improved insurance services live outside of the States—and deserve local, tech-savvy services.
Why Does This Matter?
You’re always going to see the typical insurtech contenders from Western countries. For instance:
- German-based wefox: US$650mn Series C
- UK-based Bought By Many: US$350mn Series D
- US-based Collective Health: US$280mn Series F
But it’s critical that we address risk across the world. American insurtechs might be some of the most technologically skilled firms in the industry, but it’s not their first goal to address floods in Southeast Asia, crop destruction in China, and COVID complications in South Africa. That’s why we should celebrate that the recent Q2 round included insurtechs from 35 different countries.
According to CB Insights’ Q2 2021 Quarterly InsurTech Briefing, this was the first time that they’d observed insurtech activity in Botswana, Mali, Romania, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey. And ‘from a product, service, distribution, and underlying risk perspective, we—as a society and as an industry—are moving at an unprecedented speed’, says Dr. Andrew Johnston, Global Head of Willis Re InsurTech.
Just ask CB Insights. InsurTech value propositions have resonated with the world.