NBCUniversal Opens $17 Mil Technology Center

NBCUniversal is trying to transplant some Silicon Valley culture to the East Coast.

The media company Monday announced the launch of the 63,000-sq.-ft. NBCU Technology Center in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., which will house about 340 staffers by the end of 2014. The facility, in which the company said it has invested $17 million, features an open design and a Technology Show Lab equipped with mobile, virtualization, big data platforms and emerging technologies for use by employees and outside partners.

The NBCU Technology Center “has been designed to foster real creativity and collaboration, and we think it will quickly become a key center for innovation at NBCUniversal,” John Wallace, president of NBCU Operations and Technical Services group.

With the Technology Center launch, NBCU also named Sanjay Macwan — formerly head of AT&T’s CTO council — to the post of senior VP and chief technology officer of Media Labs, a newly formed organization dedicated to working with academic research groups, startup companies, and venture-capital firms. NBCU said Media Labs will be staffed with technology professionals versed in application strategy, mobile development, virtualization, video and “consumer-experience technologies.” Macwan will report to Andrew Jordan, senior VP of international operations and technology.

At AT&T, Macwan was VP of the Chief Technology Office and headed the CTO Technology Council, which incubated programs such as AT&T Foundry, a series of innovation centers that collaborate with global technology startups and the VC community. He first joined AT&T Labs in 1992 as a software developer; since then Macwan’s roles have included lead Internet architect for AT&T’s WorldNet service and assistant VP of the telco’s multimedia, mobility and security R&D center.

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