Strategic Membership FAQ’s

Why should my organization form relationships at Stanford through mediaX?
The mediaX membership programs provide regular opportunities for people from high-impact companies to get acquainted and interact with Stanford University researchers. Programs at Stanford through mediaX focus on how the relationship between people, media and technology can be enhanced, augmented and improved.

mediaX takes its strength from Stanford’s thought leadership — the faculty, students, courses, and the research programs that receive support from federal agencies and private foundations. At Stanford, we are able to go deeper and wider than is practical for most companies.

The combination of Silicon Valley’s entrepreneurial culture, actively engaged industry partners, Stanford thought leadership, and the energetic creativity of bright, motivated graduate students infuses mediaX activities with unique opportunities to capitalize on the full intellectual, technological and cultural resources at Stanford University.

What type of organizations get value from a Strategic Membership?
Organizations that want to expand their thinking about the future are an excellent match. Companies that thrive in a Strategic Membership with mediaX have top executives who appreciate the sustainable advantage of open innovation and new ways of thinking.

To benefit from a mediaX Strategic Membership, your organization needs to be willing to dedicate your researcher’s time to interact with Stanford researchers in order to build a bridge of human relationships —a network.

Successful Strategic Members are willing to participate in intellectual exchange, and they respect the uncertainty of truly novel research. If your organization understands that getting the question right is essential for world-class research, we would like you to become a Strategic Partner.

Organizations that sustain their Strategic Membership over multiple years reap an increasing bene t. As the network of relationships between your organization and Stanford grow through mediaX, so does the opportunities for further intellectual exchange.

What are the benefits of a Strategic Membership through mediaX?
Becoming a mediaX Strategic Member provides the opportunity to establish discovery relationships with Stanford faculty and students. mediaX Strategic Members have facilitated assistance in engaging Stanford thought leaders and their labs in a Research Themes.

A Research Theme is formed in response to one or more Strategic Members’ interests, usually framed in a 3-5 year horizon. The labs propose new ways to explore innovative questions within that theme. A number of projects are selected for implementation. Additional benefits include:

Attendance at mediaX conferences, symposia, and formal presentations by faculty and students on new and ongoing research. This provides an opportunity for an informal exchange of ideas among industry representatives and mediaX affiliated researchers.

Notice of activities such as workshops, seminars and colloquia that might be of your interest. Great networking opportunities are possible, as well as participation in the mediaX community—an agile, dynamic network of researchers who share an intense curiosity about how people and information technologies interact.

Can you explain what the mediaX Research Theme Program is?
The Research Theme Program is unique to mediaX. It is a program that is distinct from internal or corporate R&D initiatives. It taps the intellect of Stanford research leaders, most of whom are already well-funded, on research questions that have not been articulated before.

A mediaX Research Theme enables researchers from member companies to collaborate with Stanford researchers and explore edge questions — those that revolve around complex issues and are not yet well- defined.

How do I select and start a Research Theme?
Strategic Members work with the mediaX leadership team to articulate a research challenge. This is then distributed broadly throughout Stanford University as a Request for Proposals (RFP). The mediaX RFPs seek concept-proving projects that focus on a critical question. Professors, researchers and labs from multiple disciples on campus often submit several proposals. Often, these novel concepts prove extremely innovative.

Once proposals are received, the Strategic Members’ team reviews them and provides input to a mediaX Faculty Review Committee, which makes the initial selection.

A launch meeting is scheduled with the winning teams, and after an appropriate time frame, Stanford researchers report their results and findings. A summary report is provided. Your company also receives an interim report when themes last more than two quarters.

How does my organization benefit from a Research Theme?
Through a Research Theme, your organization creates opportunities for discovery collaborations on novel research. You leverage the Stanford network to enhance existing expertise, and identify what new expertise is needed.

You also leverage current research methods and results at Stanford, with new questions from your company. This gives your organization new research pathways and new ideas about how to pursue critical issues, while lowering your risk of exploration. With rapid iteration on the theme at Stanford, you can externalize that risk and know what will work, sooner.

The expertise of thought leaders across the whole university bridges deep knowledge in both the social sciences and information technologies. Since the research exploration takes place in an academic context; your research objectives are intertwined with learning objectives of some of the brightest students in the world.

How long is required to plan a Research Theme?
It takes three to four months to launch a mediaX Research Theme. Stanford operates on three academic quarters that start, roughly: the last week of September, the first week of January, and the last week of March. Stanford is a research university, and summer is also an active time to launch.

How are results of a Research Theme made available?
Results of mediaX research projects are ultimately intended to contribute to academic journals of science. Along the pathway that leads to academic publication, early results in written updates are shared with Strategic Members at briefings and meetings.

What provisions are made for intellectual property produced by Stanford researchers?
The creation of new knowledge is the goal of the research that mediaX sponsors. Sometimes intellectual property is also created. When this occurs, innovations are disclosed to Stanford’s Office of Technology Licensing. If your organization identifies proprietary interests in research at Stanford, mediaX can facilitate conversations with researchers and planning through Stanford’s Office of Sponsored Research for contract research on special interests. (learn more).

I’m Interested. How does my company become a Strategic Member?
Getting started is easy and partnerships begin immediately. Contact Martha Russell for details. Strategic Partners commit a minimum of $300,000 /year with an automatic annual renewal for three years.