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January 18, 2005

Closure of Media Lab Europe

It's sad news indeed that Media Lab Europe (MLE), the European research partner of MIT Media Lab in the US, is to close.
Neither of the Lab's main stakeholders - MIT itself, and the Irish government - was prepared to fund the Lab once it became clear that it would not become self-financing through corporate funding for its research. MLE was on its third director in as many years when the decision to close was made, but these individuals were not the reason MLE failed. It was doomed by a businesss plan written during the tech boom which they had to implement during a tech bust. What will be hurting the 100 people at MLE the most, right now, is the knowledge that they were only just getting going. It takes years to build momentum in a research institute, and over the past year MLE had started to carve out its own agenda and develop an independent personality. It's a rotten business that it had to stop right now.

Posted by John Thackara at January 18, 2005 06:38 PM


That's sad news indeed. After Media Labs and the Government of India had that unfortunate spat a year back, Media Labs Asia researchers have continued on with much of their work at the IIT's in India, but its clear that the work has gotten quite scattered. I suppose many European technology houses should be acting now to grab some of the MLE researchers. I remember having great conversations with Jussi and Valentina at Doors East.

Posted by: amit at January 19, 2005 12:28 PM

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