Texas A&M is one of 17 nationally prominent universities invited by Facebook to participate in a new program that will allow researchers at their institutions to interact more quickly and effectively with each other and with counterparts in the private sector regarding web-based scientific and technological projects.
The Sponsored Academic Research Agreement (SARA) was announced Wednesday (Dec. 21) by Facebook Vice President of Engineering Regina Dugan, who is head of Building 8, the new hardware team at Facebook focused on R&D and product development.
“Facebook’s Building 8 works at the intersection of science and product – that’s the legacy of DARPA-style breakthrough development characterized by aggressive, fixed timelines, extensive use of partnerships with universities, small and large businesses, and clear objectives for shipping products at scale,” Dugan noted.
“It’s why we have a team of hardware experts who have shipped more than 1.7 billion consumer devices in 170 countries,” she added. “It’s why we work, in partnership, with entrepreneurs, engineering teams, system integrators, and businesses large and small – globally. And now, it’s why we seek partnerships with the best research minds in the world.”
The SARA allows Facebook to engage with individual faculty and labs on joint technology projects in weeks and days, in contrast with the months-long turnaround typically required, Dugan explained.
In addition to Texas A&M, the other universities that already signed the SARA are Caltech, Stanford, MIT, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Rice, UC San Francisco, UC Berkeley, Northeastern, Princeton, University of Waterloo, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Arizona State University, Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech.
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