Adapting to social, economic and IT changes is the idea behind a new banking research center funded by Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) that will be located at The Media Lab on MIT’s campus in Cambridge, MA.

The Center for Future Banking is a five-year collaboration where researchers will address how banking can evolve as physical and virtual world’s completely intertwine; how social networks and mobile platforms can become an integrated banking experience; and how customers can better control their financial futures.

According to Frank Moss, director of MIT’s Media Lab, the Center is a powerful model by which academia and business can partner to invent the future of entire industries. Bank of America has committed $3 to $5 million annually to the research project designed to leverage insights and develop new consumer banking technologies.

"Bank of America is investing in the future of banking,”said Anne Finucane, chief marketing officer for Bank of America. “Working with the MIT Media Lab provides a unique opportunity to grow banking in innovative ways that respond to evolving customer behavior, preferences, and trends."

"The Center sets the stage for potentially path-breaking research that will tap into core Media Lab capabilities and extend them in exciting new directions," says Professor Deb Roy, chair of MIT’s academic program in Media Arts and Sciences, who will serve as the Center’s founding director and principal investigator. "We will create a focus of intellectual energy that brings together researchers with radically different perspectives, including behavioral economists, social scientists, computer scientists, psychologists, designers, and others who share a passion for invention. It’s a recipe for producing unexpected new ideas that will trigger significant innovations in the world of banking."