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Starlab Front Seal.jpg
Deep Future
Starlab “Time Traveler Party” · (L to R): Hugo de Garis (artificial intelligence), Serguei Krasnikov (time travel), Roman Zapatrin (quantum topology) Christopher Altman (physicist, astronaut) May 2001.

Starlab NV/SA was a multidisciplinary, blue sky research institute established to serve as an incubator for long-term and basic research in the spirit of Bell Labs, MIT Media Lab, Xerox PARC, and Interval Research. The lab was intended as a “Noah's Ark,” a utopian environment for some of the world's most brilliant and creative scientists, researchers and engineers.[1]

Starlab alumni who have gone on to play prominent roles in the contemporary cryptocurrency arena include SolarCoin inventor Nick Gogerty and commercial astronaut Christopher Altman, SolarCoin chief scientist. Under support from the SolarCoin Foundation, Gogerty and Altman went on to create the multibillion dollar ElectriCChain ecosystem together with solar advocates Luke Johnson and François Sonnet.[2]

Multidisciplinary blue-sky research[edit]

At its peak, Starlab employed over 130 scientists from thirty-six nationalities. Starlab projects included art, artificial intelligence, biophysics, consciousness, emotics, intelligent clothing, materials science, protein folding, neuroscience, new media, nanoelectronics, quantum computation, quantum information, robotics, stem cell research, theoretical physics—e.g., the possibility of time travel—transarchitecture and wearable computing. These research lines were grouped under the acronym “BANG,” or Bits, Atoms, Neurons, Genes, later adopted by MIT Media Lab in 2002.[3] The lab sponsored and collaborated with other labs and universities, organizing several international conferences and open research symposia.


In 2014 Starlab alumnus Nick Gogerty, with Joe Zitoli, introduced SolarCoin in a white paper on the creation of an energy-backed currency.[4] In January 2016, Gogerty and fellow Starlab alumnus, SolarCoin chief scientist, commercial astronaut Christopher Altman went on to create the ElectriCChain ecosystem together with solar advocates Luke Johnson and François Sonnet.[5]

ElectriCChain is the distributed ledger and self-organizing, decentralized ​swarm intelligence​, Internet of things​ (IoT) that forms SolarCoin's blockchain ​backbone. The initiative was launched with the mission of accelerating our transition to a post-scarcity economy​ by encouraging solar energy​ to initiate the energy singularity​—the transition from fossil fuels to a sustainable, renewable energy-based economy.

Outside of SolarCoin, much of the intellectual property generated by Starlab research projects was purchased by investors or continued at university and research centers worldwide. Philips purchased the intellectual property rights to intelligent clothing project i-wear, which won the Avantex 2000 Innovation Prize. Bioprocessors, a biotechnology spinoff, transitioned to Silicon Valley. An IPTV license continues to generate revenue under an anonymous purchaser. Pajamanation, a global marketplace for outsourcing microjobs, launched in fifty countries in 2006.

Starlab was frequently cited by the international press.[6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19] The lab has since become subject of a theatre play at the Edinburgh Festival, a Gartner case study, and has spawned alumni forums on Facebook and Yahoo!Groups.

See Also on BitcoinWiki[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. Starlab Discovery Channel Special
  2. Starlab Archive
  3. Remembering Starlab
  4. Gogerty, Nick and Zitoli, Joseph, DeKo: An Electricity-Backed Currency Proposal (January 4, 2011). Available at SSRN: or
  5. Starlab Archive
  6. BBC News - SCI/TECH - Clothes that do the thinking
  7. Nature
  9. TIME
  10. Fastcompany
  11. Le Monde interactif: Starlab, la start-up belge qui se voulait plus grosse que le MIT
  12. Tech Culture
  13. EUROPEAN INNOVATION: Flying robots, time machines and 'intelligent' clothing are among the ideas that have emerged from Starlab, the Brussels-based 'blue sky' research centre
  14. Radio Netherlands
  15. Archiv - morgenweb
  16. Next millennium's research and technologies showcased at Starlab's inaugural conference
  17. Robotique, vie artificielle, réalité virtuelle: La revue mensuelle n°12, par Jean-Paul Baquiast et Christophe Jacquemin-Visites virtuelles Starlab
  18. New Scientist