Johns Hopkins signs on with Facebook's under-the-radar hardware lab - Technical.ly Baltimore

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Dec. 22, 2016 7:39 am

Johns Hopkins signs on with Facebook’s under-the-radar hardware lab

Johns Hopins and the university's Applied Physics Lab are two of the 17 universities that are partnering with Facebook's Building 8.

Facebook's 10-year roadmap.

(Image via Facebook)

In its quest to build game-changing hardware, Facebook’s Building 8 is pushing academic institutions such as Johns Hopkins to speed up innovation.

Johns Hopkins University and the JHU Applied Physics Lab in Laurel are two of the 17 university partnerships recently announced by Building 8 head Regina Dugan. The agreements are known as Sponsored Academic Research Agreements (SARA).

Since its launch earlier this year, Building 8 has been working with outside researchers. The new agreements look to speed up the usual time it takes for institutions to strike partnerships, TechCrunch reports. The SARA agreements will go project-by-project, and Facebook will pay the universities a fee for their help. TechCrunch added that it could also help the university research “actually become a reality.”

“The SARA is designed to make it easier and faster for B8 to work with university researchers. Not in the 9-12 months that’s typically required. But within weeks,” Dugan, the former head of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), wrote in the announcement.

Mark Zuckerberg hinted in April that projects in Building 8 would be focused on “augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence, connectivity and other important areas.”

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Stephen Babcock

Stephen Babcock is the lead reporter for Technical.ly Baltimore. A graduate of Northeastern University, he moved to Baltimore following a stint in New Orleans, where he served as managing editor of online news and culture publication NOLA Defender. While there, he also wrote for NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune. He was previously a reporter for the Rio Grande Sun of Northern New Mexico.

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