New lab is key

Key to Innovation ImageA new state-of-the-art laboratory that strengthens BT’s longstanding collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, near Boston, has been opened.

The extension to the MIT Media Lab will play host to the new BT Laboratory for a Connected World, and is designed to encourage collaboration through the use of open shared spaces, dramatic sight lines and natural light.

Steve Whittaker, a chief research professional at BT, and a visiting scientist at the MIT Media Lab, said: "This is a place where researchers from academia and business work to build the future together, not limited by the traditional boundaries between disciplines and industries.

"The Media Lab is one of the world's leading multidisciplinary research centres, part of one of the world's premier engineering research institutions and set at the core of one of the world's most vibrant innovation ecosystems.

"The Lab's philosophy has always been that if you have an idea, you have a responsibility to bring it to life - to build an exemplar, to show a glimpse of a possible future or a new approach to a pressing challenge - and then to share it, show it, discuss it, have it critiqued and develop it. It’s a great fit for a company like BT."


The new BT lab, home to four MIT research teams, is one of seven interlocking double height glass-enclosed spaces, each with its own character.

BT's collaboration with MIT is a key element of its open innovation strategy. The new facility, which builds on the success of an earlier BT lab, will act as the hub which connects BT to MIT and a wide range of well established collaborations across campus, including engineering, social science and business research.