Johns Hopkins, APL among universities, centers to join Facebook research agreement

Johns Hopkins University and the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory have been selected to join a group of universities and research centers participating in a research agreement sponsored by Facebook's Building 8, a new team focused on research and development, and product development.

The sponsored academic research agreement, or SARA, aims to accelerate the development of breakthrough technologies by making it easy for researchers and Facebook to work together.

"APL's scientists and engineers have developed some of the most advanced technologies anywhere," said Ralph Semmel, APL's director. "This agreement provides an avenue through which we can explore potential applications of these technologies that are complementary to our traditional research areas."

In addition to JHU and APL, 15 other universities have joined the initiative, including Stanford, MIT, Harvard, Princeton, UC Berkeley, Caltech, University of Arizona, Virginia Tech, and Georgia Tech.

According to a TechCrunch writeup of the agreement, "In return for their labor, the universities will be paid a fee by Facebook. They'll also gain a focus for their research that will actually become a reality rather than staying theoretical."

Building 8 head Regina Dugan, former head of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, announced the agreement today in a Facebook post.