From 1996-2001, De Brouwer was a sponsor of the MIT Media Lab, and sat on the programming board of Nicholas Negroponte's Digital Life project at the Medialab. Inspired by Negroponte's work, he set up the 'Fundamental Research' cult-laboratory Starlab which competed with Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen's Interval Research Corporation and Xerox Parc, specializing in Blue skies research (Deep Future research).
Nicholas Negroponte, Stephen Wolfram and Walter De Brouwer @ No 9 Park, Boston
The laboratory initially worked on BANG (the consilience of Bits, Atoms,Neurons and Genes), and – according to Gartner - had at its disposal a full-time staff of 111 scientists from 36 countries with combined expertise across 40 disciplines. Starlab produced generic patents in intelligent clothing which were later sold to Philips Electronics, worked on Time Travel after recruiting the Russian physicist Sergei Krasnikov and laid the foundations for further research into MPEG-21. The Financial Times reported it as attracting '… the world's brainiest nerds', Fast Company called it a 'Nerd Heaven', Discovery Channel featured it as '… a place where thoughts are thought for the very first time' and CNN listed it as a 'lab of the last chance for important but risky ideas'. The Sunday Times Magazine called Walter De Brouwer a 'collateral thinker' and for Corrieredella Sera he was the 'Woody Allen del business'. The laboratory met its demise with the end of the dot-com bubble in 2001 after five years in operation.
Luc Montagnier and Co
Walter De Brouwer took over the management of BenvenisteBio, the French quantum biology lab specialized in digital EM signatures of molecules in aqueous solutions. Benveniste Bio is the legacy of the late Jacques Benveniste, whose research has lately been supported by two Nobel prize winners: Luc Montagnier (2008 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, for his discovery of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Brian Josephson, Nobel Physics 1973 for the Josephson effect).