MetLife Seeks ‘First-Mover’ Tech Advantage by Joining MIT Media Lab

April 12, 2018

MetLife has launched a multi-year collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) focused on technologies that it believes will transform the insurance industry.

MetLife has joined the MIT Media Lab. The Media Lab’s work has led to tech innovations such as the touch screen, GPS and wearables. Today, the lab has approximately 450 active projects. MetLife’s collaboration with the Media Lab will focus on disruptive applications of these technologies for the insurance industry.

MetLife said it is also leveraging MIT’s advanced research in the areas of sensors (Internet of Things), social data, digital records, machine learning, and data science to simplify underwriting, improve risk management and differentiate pricing.

“Every industry is impacted by the exponential growth in technology, the rise in globalization, and changing consumer demographics,” said Marty Lippert, executive vice president and head of MetLife Global Technology & Operations. Lippert said the collaboration with MIT will provide MetLife with “first-mover advantage” in capitalizing on emerging consumer and technology trends.

MIT Media Lab is involved in various projects with potential impact on insurance including ones on blockchain, robotics, bionics, sensors and artificial intelligence. As a member, MetLife gains access to other sponsors as well as lab faculty, research staff, events and student recruitment. Many major corporations are members including American Express, ExxonMobile, General Electric, Google, IBM, Toyota and Verizon.

This move follows the insurer’s earlier steps to invest in insurance technology startups. In January, MetLife started MetLife Digital Ventures and MetLife Digital Accelerator powered by Techstars. Backed by a $100 million co-investment fund, MetLife Digital Ventures will invest in start-up companies. The MetLife Digital Accelerator program will mentor startups and host them at MetLife’s Global Technology Campus in North Carolina for an intensive 13-week program.

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