MetLife Joins MIT Media Lab as Consortium Member

MetLife’s collaboration with the Media Lab will focus on disruptive applications of innovative technologies for the insurance industry.

(MIT Media Lab. Photo credit: Andy Ryan for MIT.)

MetLife (New York) has announced a multi-year collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT; Cambridge, Mass.) focused on accelerating innovative technologies that will transform the insurance industry. The insurer has joined the MIT Media Lab as a Consortium Lab Member. MetLife calls the new collaboration an aspect of a its “comprehensive and disciplined” innovation approach aiming to bring together leading companies and institutions to identify and create disruptive solutions for the industry.

Marty Lippert, Executive VP and Head of Global Technology & Operations.

“Every industry is impacted by the exponential growth in technology, the rise in globalization, and changing consumer demographics,” comments Marty Lippert, EVP and head of MetLife Global Technology & Operations. “Our collaboration with MIT is the latest proof point of a strategic approach that is providing MetLife first-mover advantage in identifying and capitalizing on emerging consumer and technology trends.”

MetLife’s announcement of the news notes that the MIT Media Lab has developed tools, materials and methods that have led to innovations such as the touch screen, GPS and wearables. Today the Media Lab has 26 research labs and approximately 450 active projects. MetLife’s collaboration with the Media Lab will focus on disruptive applications of these technologies for the insurance industry, the insurer announced.

MetLife says it is also leveraging MIT’s research in the areas of sensors (Internet of Things), social data, digital records, machine learning, and data science to reimagine underwriting to enable an enhanced customer experience with simplified underwriting, improved risk management and differentiated pricing.

Growing Innovation Ecosystem

MetLife characterizes its collaboration with MIT as the latest addition to its growing innovation ecosystem. The news follows the insurer’s January launch of two new InsurTech-related investment programs, MetLife Digital Ventures and the MetLife Digital Accelerator powered by Techstars. While these new entities are proximately aimed at the cultivation of startup companies, their ultimate objective is to accelerate internal digital transformation and MetLife’s participation in industry innovation and disruption. They represent a complementary approach to MetLife’s recent investment in strictly internal initiatives, such as its LumenLab innovation center in Singapore.

MetLife Digital Ventures will support the company’s transformation through direct investment in strategically aligned startup companies that can bring new forms of value to its customers. The entity is backed by a $100 million co-investment that will be combined with capital from MetLife’s venture capital firm partners.

MetLife Venture Fund, Accelerator to Cultivate Internal Innovation and Industry Disruption

Anthony R. O’Donnell // Anthony O'Donnell is Executive Editor of Insurance Innovation Reporter. For over a decade he has been an observer and commentator on the use of information technology in the insurance industry, following industry trends and writing about the use of IT across all sectors of the insurance industry. He can be reached at AnthODonnell@IIReporter.com or (503) 936-2803.

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