Periodic Reporting for period 2 - MediaRoad (MediaRoad – European Media Ecosystem for Innovation)
Reporting period: 2018-10-01 to 2019-10-31
At the same time, European media organisations have many advantages. They possess resources, knowledge and an audience reach that can be utilised to develop innovations. Their individual initiatives, if shared and scaled, can lead to significant breakthroughs with global impact.
The European audio-visual and radio sector must strengthen its approach to collaboration and innovation by creating fora for sharing technological advances, proactively developing joint policy positions and networking more effectively to exchange expertise. Media organisations should open up to new technology and start-ups to form new partnerships with the private sector and academic players.
The MediaRoad project reaped the benefits of media convergence and supported the development of creative and innovative media concepts to bridge the gap between R&D, content production, technological innovation and policy-making.
3 interconnected and cross-fertilising project hubs drove the project:
• The Sandbox Hub enabled media organisations to create a series of 18 interlinked media innovation accelerators (Sandboxes), where start-ups and SMEs can test and scale innovative concepts in operational environments. Connecting these accelerators across Europe enabled their exchange of know-how and created the necessary scale.
• The Policy Hub defined a long-term policy vision for the whole radio and AV sector through 2 Vision Documents that focused on media innovation and future and emerging technological trends. It provided a series of policy recommendations in relation to accelerating European media innovation, its place in the EU research agenda post-2020 and other media-related policy/regulatory issues.
• The Network Hub created a series of 20 events to bring together broadcasters, researchers, producers, content creators, technologists and entrepreneurs to inspire collaborations and share knowledge. The Hub addressed key issues for the media sector like media convergence, social media, policy & research and challenges in the digital era.
The consortium implemented the communication strategy and developed project website, social media channels, project materials, 99 videos, 103 news articles, 7 publications, 17 newsletters, 9 press releases, 10 podcast episodes as well as the Sandbox project presentations and materials. MediaRoad used the opportunity provided by 84 various external conferences and meetings to disseminate the project and feature in a majority of them as a speaker.
The Sandbox Hub set up a European network of media innovation accelerators. Sandboxes are hosted by media organisations and collaborate with media-related start-ups involving technology, journalism, social media and content. The Sandbox Hub is a big success with 18 organisations joining so far. It supports new entities by sharing innovation management guidelines and a toolkit during dedicated training sessions. The Hub facilitated over 20 international pitching events and provided matchmaking between media companies and media start-ups.
The Policy Hub nurtured the creation of a sustainable ecosystem for the development of a long-term policy vision for the whole European media sector. This was achieved through a series of stakeholder consultations, reports and research updates. The Policy Hub has published 8 policy-oriented newsletters and 2 Vision Documents: “The Future of Media Innovation – European Research Agenda beyond 2020” and “Future and emerging technological trends for the media sector”.
MediaRoad successfully developed and still maintains a network of over 50 official stakeholders, including broadcasters, production companies, R&D institutes, key creative sector players, new media, technology-developing SMEs, journalists and academics. This network, as well as the organization of 10 thematic conferences and a podcast series, are the highlights of this hub. Beyond the project, MediaRoad will uphold the network and will further support connecting, educating and enabling this community.
MediaRoad has created a forum for media exchange on topics related to the key challenges for the European media such as fake news, hybrid radio, robot journalism, online platforms, artificial intelligence, 5G, multimedia content production and overarching media innovation trends and future technologies. The results of the exchanges between the media stakeholders are the foundation for the development of joint positions which will help develop evidence-based policy making at the European level.
At a time when the EU develops its next MFF and starts setting priorities for the next 5 years, MediaRoad shares with policy makers the position of the media stakeholders. The Vision Documents aim to create a framework for a strong and flourishing European media sector. Implementing such a roadmap will have a lasting impact.
Beyond policy and networking, MediaRoad offered practical ways to help media companies stay competitive in the global media landscape by enhancing their innovation capacity and creating new market opportunities. The organisations involved have fostered both internal and external innovation activities, promoting a new way of collaborating between broadcasters, producers, start-ups, entrepreneurs and technology innovators. This type of collaboration is in high demand. In the course of the project, 18 organisations joined the Sandbox Hub, while only 4 were initially planned. The work on enhancing the innovation capacity will continue further and beyond the lifetime of the project. Existing members of the Sandbox Hub are involved in collaborative projects which can be adopted and up-scaled by media organisations or external stakeholders. This was made possible through dedicated events, such as pitching sessions to create direct networking and possibilities for new business and market opportunities.