Jeff Carter, the Bank of America executive heading the bank's Center for Future Banking - a collaboration with the MIT Media Lab - sounds every bit the evangelist when asked about his project. To visit the center, he says, is a "life changing event. ...It literally changes the way you view life and what's going to take place. We are not looking to develop the next credit card or widget. We're looking to transform the business model. We're redefining what innovation means."

Back in March, BofA announced the deal with the Media Lab, a collaboration MIT says is unprecedented in terms of a sponsor's commitment of time and resources. BofA has agreed to a five-year partnership and committed $3 million to $5 million annually. In reality, says Carter, the bank's commitment is much higher when you consider the amount of time, money and other resources it takes to fly and accommodate executives from around the country to the Center in Cambridge, MA. Already, 500 BofA executives have participated in the program.

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