Media Lab Europe, initially established as a partnership of the Massachusetts of Technology and the Irish Government, will be phased out over a period of months. The two parties have decided to shutter the research effort because it couldn't generate enough outside funding.
Irish Minister for Communications Noel Dempsey said 50 persons will lose their jobs. Officials at the Media Lab in Dublin are bemoaning the loss of some 20 projects at the Lab--most with telecommunications overtones and "many of truly ground-breaking potential." They added that MIT, which had sought to extend the success of its U.S. Media Lab, and the Irish Government couldn't reach agreement on new funding.
The lab had attracted some financing from major corporations including AOL, BT, Ericsson, Intel, and Orange, but some observers noted that Ireland's lack of high technology firms headquartered in the country worked against the ambitious funding efforts.
Another problem was the timing: the Lab was founded in 2000 just as the dot.com bubble began to deflate.
At its height, the Dublin lab had some 100 workers including staff researchers, students, collaborators, and part-time undergraduates.