WASHINGTON Dec 21 Facebook Inc's
hardware development division on Wednesday announced a new
partnership with Harvard, Princeton and 15 other universities
intended to allow swifter collaboration on technology research
The agreement between Facebook's Building 8 and the
universities comes as the social media company seeks to find new
revenue streams in virtual reality and artificial intelligence,
after the company signaled last month it had begun to hit some
advertising growth limits on its network of 1.8 billion monthly
Research partnerships between universities and companies
typically take nine to 12 months to facilitate, but the new
agreement will allow for collaboration on new ideas within
weeks, said Regina Dugan, who joined the company in April to run
the new Building 8 unit.
Dugan did not provide specifics to explain how the
partnership will promote a quicker pace of research, but
traditional negotiations between universities and companies can
often take several months.
"When curiosity strikes, with this new agreement in place,
Harvard researchers can initiate new projects with scientific
colleagues at Facebook almost immediately," Isaac Kohlberg,
chief technology development officer at Harvard, said in a
statement. "This agreement with Facebook recognizes that the
most significant, transformative solutions will be informed by
Participating universities will receive payment from
Facebook, a company spokesman said, declining to specify how
much Facebook would pay.
Facebook has increasingly sought to find new revenue streams
outside its traditional advertising model, but products such as
its WhatsApp messaging app and Oculus Rift virtual reality
headset currently generate little.
Other participating universities include Stanford,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, California Institute of
Technology, Georgia Institute of Technology, University of
Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Johns Hopkins University,
Northeastern University, Rice, University of
California-Berkeley, University of California-San Francisco,
Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Arizona State University, Texas A&M
University, and the University of Waterloo in Canada.
(Reporting by Dustin Volz; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)