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NBCUniversal opens tech center in New Jersey

MUMBAI: US media conglomerate NBCUniversal has announced the launch of the NBCUniversal Technology Center, a state-of-the-art technology center located in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, which will be the new center for the company’s core technology team, as well as the home of the new Media Labs operation.

The creation of the 63,000 square foot Technology Center represents an investment of approximately $17 million in the company’s New Jersey operations, and serves as a complement to NBCUniversal’s previously announced investments in the infrastructure of its New York operations.

The NBCUniversal Technology Center features an open design with state-of-the-art collaboration technologies to facilitate and accelerate co-creation among the company’s offices around the globe; a “Technology Show Lab” fully equipped with the latest mobile, virtualisation, big data platforms and industry-leading emerging technologies such as Comcast’s “xfinity” platform which gives employees, start-ups, and industry technology partners a rich environment to experiment with the latest technologies and business models in the content ecosystem.

NBCUniversal president operations, technical services John Wallace said, “The NBCUniversal Technology Center is the perfect home for our technology team. It’s been designed to foster real creativity and collaboration, and we think it will quickly become a key center for innovation at NBCUniversal.”

As part of the announcement, the company also named Sanjay Macwan to the post of senior VP, CTO Media Labs. In this role, Macwan will lead Media Labs, a newly formed organisation within NBCUniversal that will be dedicated to working with academic research groups, start-up companies, and the global venture capital community to accelerate technology innovations and to help develop new business models for the company’s content delivery businesses. Media Labs will be staffed with top technology professionals from the worlds of application strategy, mobile development, virtualisation, video, and consumer-experience technologies.

Macwan will be based at the NBCUniversal Technology Center, and will report to NBCUniversal senior VP, international operations, technology Andrew Jordan.

Wallace said, “Sanjay brings to this new role an entrepreneurial approach to the business, and a proven track record of successfully spotting and harnessing emerging trends in technology in a wide range of areas. That combination makes him a perfect fit for Media Labs, which will serve as an in-house incubator for new technology concepts relating to our core businesses. I look forward to working closely with him as we partner with the company’s various divisions to both anticipate technology-driven disruptions to the business, and identify technologies that can help drive business growth.”

Macwan joins NBCUniversal from AT&T, where he served as VP, CTO and headed the CTO Technology Council which incubated programmes such as AT&T Foundry, a series of centers that collaborate with global technology start-ups and the VC community; The Innovation Pipeline (TIP), an innovation platform; and the team that was responsible for strategic analysis of key ecosystems of web, ad/search, communications, social networks, and content.