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Bell Labs offers glimpse into the future of the network

April 9, 2015

MURRAY HILL, NJ -- Bell Labs' central role in the innovation of the communications industry is being showcased today as the industrial research arm of Alcatel-Lucent celebrates the past, present and future of its Murray Hill facility.

Bell Labs' current generation of researchers are exploring the future of connectivity and communications in the new era defined by the digitization of everything and everyone. This leading-edge work is the latest step in the facility's never-ending quest to provide real-world solutions to the communications field. This is work preceded by more than 90 years of history that has included countless game-changing innovations and eight Nobel Prizes.

Today, Bell Labs celebrates this history, using it to chart a path to the future as well as open doors to a global ecosystem of innovators in order to stimulate and encourage collaboration.

During today's one-of-a-kind event, Bell Labs is bringing together current and former members of its research team, along with local New Jersey dignitaries, to honor the organization's past, celebrate its present and glimpse into the future at the epicenter of innovation in Murray Hill.

The event will begin with the dedication of The Bell Labs Nobel Laureate Garden. This is a reflective space within the Bell Labs Murray Hill campus celebrating the extraordinary contributions of the 13 scientific minds that have shared eight Nobel Prizes in physics and chemistry. The garden dedication will be punctuated with a presentation by Bell Labs' most recent Nobel Laureate, Eric Betzig, who received his Nobel Prize in 2014 for his transformative work on molecular and biological imaging.

On hand to cut the ribbon on the new garden will be Marcus Weldon, president of Bell Labs; New Jersey Lt. Governor, Kim Guadagno; and several Nobel Laureates, including: Eric Betzig (2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry); George Smith (2009 Nobel Prize in Physics); Horst Stormer (1998 Nobel Prize in Physics); Bob Wilson (1978 Nobel Prize in Physics) and Philip Anderson (1977 Nobel Prize in Physics).

Following the dedication, guests will receive a unique glimpse into the future with an inside look into the Latest Bell Labs Innovations that seek to redefine imaging, optics, computing, connectivity, and search. Building on the rich history of industry-shaping thinking, Bell Labs is poised to continue delivering leading-edge technological breakthroughs as researchers work to solve the complex, real-world problems facing the communications field.

One of the avenues that will help produce these game-changing technologies is the Bell Labs Prize. Throughout the day, Bell Labs will take the opportunity to praise the work under way from the winners of the inaugural prize contest, and celebrate the overwhelming international interest already being seen in the Second Year of the Bell Labs Prize. These "10X", game-changing proposals may well lead to the next great breakthrough in communications technology.

Beyond an up-close look at these new technologies, Bell Labs will premiere a New Film Series that examines how the past connects to the present and future states of technology. Introducing Future Impossible, a collection of short films paying tribute to the brilliant minds that created the invisible backbone of our society, a fantastic network of wires and cables undergirding and infiltrating every aspect of modern life. The trailer is available here and the series will be available to the public for viewing in early May.


Marcus Weldon, president of Bell Labs and CTO of Alcatel-Lucent, said: "Our researchers have always set their minds to the significant, real-world challenges facing the communications industry. We're reaching a new era defined by the digitization of everything and everyone that requires a new outlook on the future of connectivity and communications. At Bell Labs we are dedicated to developing the necessary technologies to create the network of the future."

"Dedicating the Nobel Laureate Garden will serve as a reminder of the innovation we've planted over the past century and what new innovation we will continue to develop. As we work toward the future and celebrate our history, we open our doors to the global ecosystem to collaborate with us, to bring innovation even further."

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