Digital Pathways 2011 BBC Final

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  • 1. intro overview to BBC R&D in North 2. Examples of good practice, recent & current activities from collaborations 3. lessons learnt & how we might collaborate going forward
  • Who am I? I started as engineer, did a PhD in animatronics – Spent sometime as professional geek (passionate but realistic about the future) Made technologies to make games and films more ‘ realistic’ Been at BBC for 7 years came to be an imagineer and currently head of innovation culture Working at intersection between emerging technologies, user centred design and new editorial concepts Now focused on leading partnership strategy for the research & innovation arm of future media
  • Our R&D lab is made up of 130 engineers, mathematicians and scientists located over three sites. But why does the BBC have this capability? There are two reasons Reason 1. We have to: It’s written in tablets of stone. Well, in the BBC’s Royal Charter and Agreement. This is essentially our constitution. Clause 87 of the Charter Agreement states, among other things, that (1) The Executive Board must ensure that the BBC conducts research and development activities geared to the promotion of the BBC’s Public Purposes and which aim to maintain the BBC’s position as a centre of excellence for research and development in broadcasting and other means for the electronic distribution of audio, visual and audiovisual material, and in related technologies. Reason 2: It’s actually quite useful: Carrying out R&D is not some regulatory burden or constitutional oddity. It has a clear role. We describe this through the following mission statement. To define the future BBC, drive UK competitiveness and benefit digital citizens by generating knowledge, assets and capabilities that advance the technological state of the art of the media industries.
  • Reason 1. We have to: Clause 87 of the Charter Agreement states, among other things, that (1) The Executive Board must ensure that the BBC conducts research and development activities geared to the promotion of the BBC’s Public Purposes and which aim to maintain the BBC’s position as a centre of excellence for research and development in broadcasting and other means for the electronic distribution of audio, visual and audiovisual material, and in related technologies. Reason 2: It’s actually quite useful: Carrying out R&D is not some regulatory burden or constitutional oddity. It has a clear role. We describe this through the following mission statement. To define the future BBC, drive UK competitiveness and benefit digital citizens by generating knowledge, assets and capabilities that advance the technological state of the art of the media industries
  • As agents of change, BBC R&D wants to work with industry to steer towards a coherent view of the future, a view of the future which we think of as a NEW BROADCASTING SYSTEM. We want to work with industry through partnerships, conversations, collaborations, and standardisation to collectively define what this new broadcasting system is and ultimately to make it real—to build it. To create a shared solution for industry. We currently believe the new broadcasting system has these considerations at its core: A new definition of broadcast The value of metadata Standardisation IP end-to-end systems with data captured and manipulated in software Hybrid distribution models Immersive services which are distinguished by their high quality As our view and the debate matures, we will refine our new broadcasting system vision.
  • Long standing Surrey , Oliver, CBBC, Sport AHRC/ BBC Recent & Current examples Dundee - Ethnographic project MMU – accessible fonts Lancaster / MMU – Remote Controls Westminster - KTN network Active examples Manchester / Lancaster – foresight events KTP – CBeebies & Salford Uni PhD Intern – R&D and Newcastle Uni Telethrone & Salford FIRM & ONE Westminster & Data Art RCA & Intergenerational Emerging ones Universal control – a research platform Watch this space for news in next couple of months
  • timely and from a long standing relationship 10+ years) structured, trust, excellence, mutual benefits, proximity
  • Why? Speed up research cycles Deeper reflection than market research Make research more accessible beyond organisation More iterative & responsive to shifting industry trends Projects Alone Together? Social Learning in BBC Blast (Bristol) A Public Voice - Access, Digital Story and Interactive Narrative (Cardiff) Inhibited Exploration in Older Customers of Digital Services (Manchester) Listener Online Engagement with BBC Radio Programming The Miners' Strike - A Case Study in Regional Content (Leeds Met) UGC at the BBC – Understanding its impact upon contributors, non-contributors and BBC News (Cardiff) Virtual Worlds - An Overview and Study of BBC Children's Adventure Rock (Westminster) What do Children Want from the BBC? Children’s Content in an Age of Citizen Media
  • Pilot programme – an online ktn – mixed results <insert screenshot of connection factory – online community tool linking media profs and ahrc academics)
  • Open source is network, code, automated diff management, and rights. (Future) Production is networked, media, (diff) EDL’s, and rights. Discuss??? Lean, integrated production – efficiency at ‘half the price’ through re-engineered platforms for media production and delivery Production : any time, anywhere, anyone – creative social interactions through new social media platforms
  • Strong innovation networks -lots more hidden
  • Some thoughts on 2011
  • A changing financial environment for collaboration-
  • Will require new models. As agents of change, BBC R&D wants to work with industry to steer towards a coherent view of the future, a view of the future which we think of as a NEW BROADCASTING SYSTEM. We want to work with industry through partnerships, conversations, collaborations, and standardisation to collectively define what this new broadcasting system is and ultimately to make it real—to build it. To create a shared solution for industry. We currently believe the new broadcasting system has these considerations at its core: A new definition of broadcast The value of metadata Standardisation IP end-to-end systems with data captured and manipulated in software Hybrid distribution models Immersive services which are distinguished by their high quality As our view and the debate matures, we will refine our new broadcasting system vision.
  • Digital Pathways 2011 BBC Final

    1. 1. Research & Collaboration in a New Century City Dr Adrian Woolard Project Director (North Lab), BBC Research & Development Shaping the BBC of the Future Future Media and Technology at MediaCity:UK
    2. 2. <ul><li>Most modern technology is created by bringing together & developing capabilities which already exist… </li></ul><ul><li>The genius lies in the way they are brought together & improved. </li></ul><ul><li>Lord A. Broers Triumph of Technology, 2005 Reith Lectures </li></ul>
    3. 4. A bit of background…
    4. 5. BBC R&D remit <ul><li>Maintain the BBC’s position as a centre of excellence for research and development in broadcasting and related technologies </li></ul><ul><li>Pay particular attention to the development of “open standards” </li></ul><ul><li>Conducted within the BBC and in co-operation with university departments and businesses </li></ul><ul><li>The Executive Board must ensure that an appropriate balance between revenue and the value to licence fee payers and the UK economy by making new developments widely and openly available. </li></ul>Regulatory context: Governed by clause 87 of the Public Charter for BBC.
    5. 6. BBC R&D: work plan overview
    6. 7. BBC R&D: research priorities Fabric initiative Archive DVBT-2 YouView Storage HiFi data capture Data manipulation in software Commodity technology Metadata standards & brokering ‘ IP glass-to-glass’: the modern media network Hybrid of IP and broadcast networks New editorial formats and UIs Managing diversity Network service enablers Flexible spectrum
    7. 8. Strategic ambition – next 1 to 5 years… <ul><li>BBC R&D will aid the creation & consolidate a new “broadcasting” system. </li></ul><ul><li>This work will lay the foundation for a future BBC that is defined by: </li></ul><ul><li>The parallel development of ‘pervasive’ & ‘immersive’ media experiences </li></ul><ul><li>A drive towards 'IP end to end’ & the radical changes this implies </li></ul><ul><li>An evolving purpose that reflects the shift towards an information society </li></ul><ul><li>Taking a leading role in improving the environmental, financial & social performance of our sector. </li></ul>
    8. 9. Examples of Collaboration
    9. 10. BBC, University of Surrey & CBBC/ BBC SPORT http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/researchanddevelopment/2011/03/rd-and-blue-peter--ski-rossend.shtml
    10. 11. BBC and AHRC Knowledge Exchange Programme The academic paper & citation list aren’t enough! Its got to be relevant, tangible & delivered yesterday Unnamed BBC Senior Producer, Knowledge Summit 2006 You waste money on market research & consultants but we already know the answer to your questions – you just don’t ask! Unnamed AHRC Research Lead, Knowledge Summit 2006 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/knowledgeexchange/
    11. 12. <ul><li>Foresight is invaluable & bullishness is essential </li></ul><ul><li>Demand exceeded funds (FEC !!!) </li></ul><ul><li>Legal needs to innovate on both sides </li></ul><ul><li>Balance between industry & academic peer review was challenging to say least </li></ul><ul><li>It didn’t speed things up in the end </li></ul><ul><li>Expect churn in industry </li></ul>Reflections on the Knowledge Exchange Programme
    12. 13. Connection Factory pilot – University of Westminster
    13. 14. Data Art – University of Westminster http://backstage.bbc.co.uk/data_art/
    14. 15. User studies in the home - Lancaster University PhD Interns
    15. 16. Usability in Very Young Audiences – Salford University / CBeebies KTP “ How revealing are eye-movements for understanding web engagement in young children ?”
    16. 17. “ StoryCrate” – University of Newcastle Upon Tyne (CultureLab) – PhD intern
    17. 18. Font Legibility & Accessibility Research – Manchester Met Uni consultancy <ul><li><insert screenshot from project> </li></ul>
    18. 19. File-based Production - University of Dundee – Design Ethnography MSC <ul><li><insert Screenshot of transition to file based – intern study of production> </li></ul>
    19. 20. Connected Media Spaces for Inter-Generational Audiences – RCA MSc Project http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/researchanddevelopment/2011/03/designing-connected-media-spac.shtml
    20. 21. The Telethrone – University of Salford – PhD + general ‘hackery’ Preserving the art of conversation
    21. 22. FIRM: Framework for Innovation & Research in MediaCity:UK <ul><li>Drive major research initiatives that proactively transform the creative industry </li></ul><ul><li>Create greater opportunities to promote SME ventures </li></ul><ul><li>Broker cross-enterprise response to industry problems and opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Enhance the talent pool </li></ul><ul><li>Provide value to the MediaCity:UK’s host city of Salford and surrounding regions </li></ul>http://www.firm-innovation.net/
    22. 23. Future Media & Technology Mock-ups of future ‘Collaborative production services in the Cloud’ Distributed production environment for SME, Freelancer, Public - Lancaster University, regional SMe’s
    23. 24. Universal Control – BBC R&D releasing research tools for collaboration http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/researchanddevelopment/2011/02/universal-control.shtml
    24. 25. Relevant across the North
    25. 26. Innovation Networks across the regions
    26. 27. Lessons learnt & going forward…
    27. 28. <ul><li>HEFCE </li></ul><ul><li>HEIF </li></ul><ul><li>TSB – Collaborative R&D, KTN’s </li></ul><ul><li>UK Research Councils - EPSRC, ESRC, BBSRC, AHRC, MRC </li></ul><ul><li>JISC </li></ul><ul><li>SRIF </li></ul><ul><li>Digital Economy – DTC’s, Research Hubs </li></ul><ul><li>European Regional Development Funds (ERDF) to assist SME’s </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP’s) </li></ul><ul><li>EU Framework Programmes (EU FP7) </li></ul>Collaborative funding… from 2009 <ul><li>RDA’s – NWDA, YorkshireForward, One North East </li></ul><ul><li>Digital Agencies – NW V&M, ScreenYorkshire, Codeworks </li></ul><ul><li>Council funding – MDDA, Manchester Knowledge Capital, Creative Sheffield, Creative Hull,… </li></ul><ul><li>Professional Institutions (eg. Royal Academy of Engineering, Design Council, Arts Council, British Council) </li></ul><ul><li>MOD </li></ul><ul><li>Govt Depts special pots (eg. Cabinet Office for Civil Contingency Secretariat) </li></ul><ul><li>Charities and Trusts </li></ul><ul><li>Alumni (eg. endowments) </li></ul><ul><li>oh & industry sometimes… . </li></ul>
    28. 29. Collaborative funding… 2011? <ul><li>? </li></ul><ul><li>? </li></ul><ul><li>? </li></ul><ul><li>? </li></ul><ul><li>? </li></ul><ul><li>? </li></ul><ul><li>? </li></ul><ul><li>? </li></ul><ul><li>… . </li></ul><ul><li>HEFCE ? </li></ul><ul><li>HEIF ? </li></ul><ul><li>TSB – Collaborative R&D, KTN’s ? </li></ul><ul><li>UK Research Councils - EPSRC, ESRC, BBSRC, AHRC, MRC ? </li></ul><ul><li>JISC ? </li></ul><ul><li>SRIF ? </li></ul><ul><li>Digital Economy – DTC’s, Research Hubs ? </li></ul><ul><li>European Regional Development Funds (ERDF) to assist SME’s ? </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP’s) ? </li></ul><ul><li>EU Framework Programmes (EU FP7) ? </li></ul>
    29. 30. Final thoughts on collaboration… <ul><li>People – diversity, mutual respect, expertise & passion </li></ul><ul><li>Networks – informal, build trust, exchange </li></ul><ul><li>Frameworks – formal, funding </li></ul><ul><li>Projects – mutual risk, clear goals </li></ul><ul><li>Outputs - Impact on user not career </li></ul>
    30. 31. BBC future areas of interest… A new “Broadcasting” System <ul><li>The creation and usage of content and would include (but not be limited to) these areas: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>IP networks, storage, distribution </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Metadata management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Spatially aware devices e.g. cameras to provide context sensitive information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Multi-modal production e.g. integration of games and digital productions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Involvement of consumer in content creation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exploring potential futures for 'non-linear TV' </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consumption of non-linear TV e.g. multi-screen or multi-location </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exploring user experience and their diverse needs </li></ul></ul>
    31. 32. <ul><li>If we acknowledge the importance of technology then we are now in the phase of working out how best to manage & improve it for the public and private good. </li></ul><ul><li>Paraphrased from Bronac Ferran, 8 Essays 2009. </li></ul>
    32. 33. Thank You! Dr Adrian Woolard Project Director (North Lab) BBC Research & Development, Future Media Interim Lab, OB Base, New Broadcasting House Oxford Road, Manchester M60 1SJ (until May 2011) E: [email_address] T: adew or BBCRD W: http:// www.bbc.co.uk /rd

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