RAI partners with MIT


ROME -- Italian state broadcaster RAI said Friday it was creating an alliance with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to explore the future of interactive media with an eye toward "developing a common vision of the future of media and the development of new technologies."

The agreement, signed in a ceremony between RAI's Piero Gaffuri and Mel Casalegno from MIT's Mobile Experience Lab, will go into effect immediately.

RAI praised the deal and said it was proof that the company that operates three national television networks, an Internet portal and a web of regional and local radio stations was determined to stay on the forefront of the wave of new technologies.

"This agreement is a concrete illustration that RAI intends to be a leader in the area of new media," a RAI spokesman said in an interview. "The evolution of the world of communication assures that companies unwilling to innovate will be left behind."

The spokesman -- who said RAI is the Mobile Experience Lab's first major European partner -- said the alliance would include joint research projects, cross training of staff, and the exchange of technology and the results of research. Focus areas will include multi-media and interactive media platforms related to television, the Internet and mobile phones.