A Globe staff editorial ($) congratulates Harvard on the opening of its Innovation Lab in the old public television studieo in Allston.
The ribbon-cutting at the site last week marked a milestone in Harvard’s long-awaited expansion across the Charles River into Allston. The university should infuse the rest of its plans for the neighborhood with the same upbeat energy.
But, the paper reminds the school that some of its most innovative students — or at least the innovative students who made a lot of money and became household names — fled Harvard for the west coast.
The i-lab sits on the first floor of Batten Hall on 125 Western Ave. and is equipped with a coffee shop and a 24/7 public meeting space. Local artwork hangs from the walls and ceiling, pillars double as white boards, and bright orange chairs swivel to create what Jones called a “flexible space.”
“Great ideas and great thinking don’t always happen at a desk,” Jones said. “They can happen in unconventional places because your mind starts to think in more unconventional ways.”
While the facility is designed to provide resources for start-ups, it is also a start-up of sorts itself.
The i-lab is the first realized step in a series of measures the University is taking to develop a technological hub in Allston, similar to MIT’s Kendall Square.
Though the i-lab is the first part of this plan to come to fruition, it is not the centerpiece of Harvard’s plan.
Harvard broke ground on the Allston Science Complex in 2009, a project with an estimated $1 billion price tag that was meant to be a crown jewel of Harvard’s interdisciplinary science facilities. But due to financial constraints, University President Drew G. Faust halted construction on the site.
The lab has a blog, which reported on an event called the “student scramble:
Warning — Don’t get excited about “today’s” events. The home page calendar lists next week’s events as happening on “Friday,” although the actual dates are correct. So
don’t rush over for the health care innovations event tonight. It’s on Monday.
Mon, November 28, 6:30pm – 8:00pm
Come meet Harvard students from across the school interested in healthcare innovation at the new Harvard Innovation Lab. Register here: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/2508216142