Mayor Announces NYU-Poly and Columbia to Lead City-sponsored NYC Media Lab

Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced on Monday that New York University (with Polytechnic Institute of NYU as the lead) and Columbia University will direct NYC Media Lab, the nation’s first government-sponsored laboratory for media innovation. NYC Media Lab will connect private-sector businesses with research already under way at academic institutions, and sponsor independent research on topics vital to the City’s $30 billion media industry.

“Many of New York City’s 100 universities and colleges are conducting new media-related research within areas that the City’s 10,000 media companies are looking to expand, but often that connection is made too slowly or never at all. The NYC Media Lab will bring these two forces together,” said Mayor Bloomberg at Wired’s “Disruptive by Design” conference. “And by sponsoring its own independent research driven by private sector interests, the NYC Media Lab will further establish the City as a center for next-generation media research and commercial development.”


Advanced search technologies, legal and privacy issues surrounding mobile content, computer animation for film and gaming, emerging marketing techniques, and content distribution are some of the topics affecting media companies that academic institutions can provide critical research on through NYC Media Lab.

“The NYC Media Lab will demonstrate that a university’s great ideas need not live only in laboratories but in the real world. The powerful combination of technology push from academia and market place pull from the City’s media leaders will transfer great research breakthroughs into new commercial products and processes,” said NYU-Poly President Jerry M. Hultin. “The NYC Media Lab is a prime example of academic entrepreneurship, a concept that we at NYU-Poly refer to as i-squared-e: invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship.” 

The New York City Economic Development Corporation will provide $250,000 to establish NYC Media Lab, which will be located at NYU-Poly’s Center for Advanced Technology in Telecommunications and Distributed Information Systems in Downtown Brooklyn.

“The NYC Media Lab will introduce faculty to media leaders who are tackling issues similar to the ones they are studying, and encourage them to work together,” explained NYU-Poly Provost and NYU Senior Vice Provost for Engineering and Technology Dianne Rekow. “Equally important, it will introduce academics from schools across this city to each other. With differing expertise but sharing the same creative, inquisitive spirit, they will be able to explore joint research that can keep New York City in the forefront of media solutions for decades to come.”

NYC Media Lab will host its first roundtable discussion this summer (it will hold 9 more over the coming year), focusing on the future of online and mobile video. The event, sponsored by WPP, the world’s largest communications services group, will bring together senior product and strategy leaders from across WPP’s portfolio of companies with faculty experts from Columbia, New York University, and NYU-Poly who are currently engaged in research on the topic.

NYC Media Lab is also creating a media research and development database comprised of university faculty, experts from corporations, not-for-profit research institutions, and R&D facilities throughout New York City.

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