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The Media Lab works closely with its sponsors, providing them with a springboard for both innovative products and thinking. By pursuing a range of research that no single company could match, the Lab provides an abundance of ideas, technologies, and paradigms for the future. Sponsoring companies can use the Media Lab for:
Knowledge TransferRanked by the Lab’s current sponsors as the most important benefit, this includes the transfer of creative ideas for the use of a single new technology, or the convergence of several technologies.
Interactive DemonstrationsComing to the Lab to see research projects firsthand—and to engage in impromptu discussions about the demos—gives sponsors valuable insight into new approaches that can be applied to their own research agendas. The Lab hosts sponsor events in the spring and fall, and sponsors may arrange visits at any time. Lab researchers may also visit sponsor sites and events.
Brainstorming, Technology, and Product Review SessionsLab input can help sponsors create a new product concept, provide critical feedback during various stages of product development, or help to reframe an existing product line. Faculty members and staff are always available for consultation.
Student RecruitmentOne of the Media Lab’s greatest strengths is the quality of its students. Sponsors can recruit these students to join them as interns during term breaks or as full-time employees after graduation. Media Lab graduates currently fill significant positions at several sponsor companies, including Microsoft, IBM, Motorola, Samsung, and France Telecom.
Intellectual PropertyThe Media Lab has spawned dozens of new products for our sponsors, and over 50 start-up companies. In addition, the Lab generates approximately 20 new patents a year. Sponsors at the consortium level and above have royalty-free license rights, in perpetuity, to patents registered during their period of sponsorship.
Neutral Meeting Place for Cross-Company CollaborationSponsors recognize the value of meeting other sponsors, opening the possibility for collaboration, or even for using their time at the Lab to organize collaboration with multiple divisions within their own large companies.
Business ConnectionsMany sponsors use the Media Lab to build business connections and specifically to collaborate with downstream partners, which can enable them to come to market with a more complete product. Plus, connections with Media Lab start-ups provide a rich source of ongoing technology and product development.
Masthead: Marcelo Coehlo