Adrian Woolard, Project Director at the North Lab for BBC Research & Development has updated the BBC Internet blog with interesting details about the Connected Studio project.
Launching its first phase today, Connected Studio is designed to allow creative people and BBC staff to work in together to develop new features for BBC Online. Focused on the ten BBC Online products, the programme will make available up to £2m of investment to fund pilot projects which audiences will be able to trial. Late last year Ralph Rivera, Director BBC Future Media, unveiled his vision for the Connected Studio as a network where multimedia creativity can be joined up and accessed seamlessly.
BBC Online teams will host a series of events, the first set will be based around the homepage, search and navigation products and will be held in MediaCityUK in Salford. The BBC is welcoming ideas and inviting audiences to attend the events which begin on May 4.
In June the weather and travel team will run Studio events in London and then in July the project returns to Salford with BBC Children’s looking for leading ideas in games.
Through these events the broadcaster aims to work with the UK tech community including established businesses and freelance creatives who, alongside BBC staff will work to develop pilot projects both separately and collaboratively.
In his blog post Woolard says:
…put simply the ‘Studio’ (for radio, television and film) has been, and remains, a dynamic and innovative place where storytelling and technology come together to create great experiences for BBC audiences. This has been happening successfully for over 80 years.
Now in 2012, just ahead of a major point in BBC’s history with our plans for the first truly digital Olympics, we are looking to re-envisage what the ‘studio’ means in this highly digital and highly connected world.
We want to inspire a steady flow of these sorts of disruptive ideas, which is why we’re opening this up to everyone, both within and outside the BBC. Our initial plan is to offer up to one million pounds of investment in 2012/13 to fund external creativity, and enable at least the same level of BBC staff time, resources and expertise to be made available for internal development. If you want to get involved or find out more of the specifics around our Creative and Build Studio events, please visit our site.
This initiative sounds like an intriguing way for tech creatives to get an insight into the workings of the BBC as well as the corporation itself refreshing and developing new and exciting ways of working.
As the field of broadcast and media continues to change in challenging times, opening up areas to focus on creative solutions is a smart move that should benefit from audience input.