New LED lighting and health care alliance between Philips and MIT

May 20, 2015
Royal Philips and MIT have created a research alliance, headquartered in Cambridge, MA, with a focus that includes LED lighting, photonics, and bioimaging.  

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG; Amsterdam, The Netherlands) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT; Cambridge, MA) have created a research alliance for an initial term of five years and $25 million. The two say it will ultimately support MIT research in the company’s two core business areas of health care and LED lighting technology.

RELATED ARTICLE: Philips to split in two, creating a standalone LED lighting business

With the alliance, the North American research headquarters of Philips will move to the Kendall Square area in Cambridge. The exact location was not announced, but the company has said that it is choosing the new location based on its concentration of startups and research labsespecially in the biomedical areaand for its proximity to MIT and the research projects that will be supported by the alliance.

While Philips has not announced all of the projects that will receive research funding through the alliance, the company has already met with representatives of several different labs and centers on campus, and has solicited research proposals. Philips expects that approximately 70% of its research funding will be allocated for studies of health diagnostics and imaging, while the other 30% will support lighting research.

Alan Berger, a professor of urban design and landscape architecture, says the alliance will focus, in part, on how to use lighting devices to generate data that can be used to help plan energy usage, from individual homes to entire urban areas. Such efforts could harness the ubiquity of lighting, making lighting fixtures into data-collection and transmission devices, as well as light sources. For example, lighting could be used to monitor pollution, measure building occupancy, or detect emergency conditions such as fires or flooding.

Lights could also be used to convey information: For example, if flooding is seen in an area, streetlights could change color to direct people to evacuation routes, Berger says. Lights could also monitor traffic, so city planners would know which areas are most heavily used and may need more resources.

“The projects will span the whole Institute,” Berger says. And the resulting products, he says, should find applications globally: “These technologies can be deployed in places that have very little infrastructure.”

RELATED ARTICLE: Philips divests OLED IP and production to OLEDWorks

Source: MIT News

About the Author

Conard Holton | Editor at Large

Conard Holton has 25 years of science and technology editing and writing experience. He was formerly a staff member and consultant for government agencies such as the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the International Atomic Energy Agency, and engineering companies such as Bechtel. He joined Laser Focus World in 1997 as senior editor, becoming editor in chief of WDM Solutions, which he founded in 1999. In 2003 he joined Vision Systems Design as editor in chief, while continuing as contributing editor at Laser Focus World. Conard became editor in chief of Laser Focus World in August 2011, a role in which he served through August 2018. He then served as Editor at Large for Laser Focus World and Co-Chair of the Lasers & Photonics Marketplace Seminar from August 2018 through January 2022. He received his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, with additional studies at the Colorado School of Mines and Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

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