Media Innovation Fund

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Call for applications now open!

The EBU Media Team is happy to announce that all five applicants from the last round of the Media Innovation Fund have been awarded funding. You can read more about them in the summaries below.

The first 2021 call for applications is now live! If you have an innovation project that you're exploring, have just started working on, or are in the process of developing and it needs some funding to scale or come to life, then this fund is for you!

The deadline for applications is 21 May 2021 at 18:00 (CET). Application form and rules can be found at the bottom of the page.

If you'd like to run your idea by the team before you formally apply, please get in touch with Grace Zakka and she'll schedule an informal call to talk through your ideas.

In development

We have numerous projects that are currently in development, if you'd like to get in touch with any of the project owners, please email Grace Zakka and she'll put you in touch with the related team.

NRK (Norway): Design Tools

NRK’s new design profile, implemented in code, and utilized in tools for designers, developers and content producers. They’re in the process of implementing the design as code and this project will function as a pilot and proof of concept. You can read more about their project in a one-page document that they have prepared. Expected delivery date: Q3/Q4 2021

VRT (Belgium): Synthetic Voices

The team at VRT is working to create an environment to experiment with all aspects of storytelling with a voice service. This will include — but is not limited to — the creation of a convincing, recognizable voice, setting a tone of voice, adjusting timbre and using dialects. You can read more about their project in a one-page document that they have prepared. Expected delivery date: end of 2021.

VPRO (Netherlands): Archive for the Future

A rich and large archive of audiovisual content for one of VPRO’s oldest documentary series. VPRO plans to work closely with the National Archive for Sound and Vision and other partners to apply the latest artificial intelligence (AI). interventions to create innovative archival applications and connections. You can read more about their project in a one-page document that they have prepared. Expected delivery date: February 2022

BBC (United Kingdom): Adaptive Podcasting

The BBC R&D team has built an app that uses object-based audio to create a better podcasting experience for the listener. They’re in the process of making the app more accessible for different creators by building a simple editor. Expected delivery date: end of 2021. One-page summary coming soon.

BR (Germany): Drive by Bavaria

BR plans to populate its Radio app with rich Bavarian history from its archives, so that users will have audio content for specific regions as soon as they are getting close to them (geolocalization), especially when approaching signs along the motorway indicating places of interest. The project aims at evaluating the acceptance of location-based content and providing EBU Members with a proof of concept regarding the location-based distribution of content. You can read more about their project in a one-page document that they have prepared. Expected delivery date: Q3/Q4 2021

NRK (Norway): Audience Interaction on Radio Apps

How can the traditional “calls from the audience” be brought into the digital era? How can audience interaction be used to enhance the advantages of live radio, and at the same time add value to audiences in an on-demand or podcast setting? How can the feeling of togetherness be achieved without having to moderate free-form comments on a large scale? These are the questions that the NRK Audience team is working to answer through their project. Interactive features integrated into the NRK Radio app/website will include ways in which the listeners can interact with the studio, with each other and with the content, both in a live setting and for on-demand audio. You can read more about their project in a one-page document that they have prepared. Expected delivery date: Q3/Q4 2021

RTS (Serbia): Synthi 100

The team at RTS (Serbia) has been working on collecting, digitizing, and curating 100 sounds from the mighty EMS Synthi 100 (a large analog/digital hybrid synthesizer made by Electronic Music Studios Ltd). These sounds will then be made available to EBU Members to use, experiment, and play around with. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, the team has not been able to be back in the offices to continue the work, but we’re hoping that we'll have some sounds ready for exploration soon.

Completed Projects

To give applicants or prospective applicants an idea of what the fund is about, we’re really happy to share some summaries of previously funded projects that have now been completed. These are not all the projects that have been completed, but the most recent ones (from 2019). If you’d like more information please contact with Grace Zakka and she'll put you in touch with the team.

BR (Germany): Smart Radio, Smart Conversations

  • Creating better, more emotional conversations with radio hosts over the smart audio device
  • Hybrid of broadcast radio and conversational smart audio connectivity
  • Embraced the complementary strength of simulcast radio and new features that can be used on smart speakers
  • Open-source code available for EBU Members

Check out the report.

NPO (Netherlands): Radio 1 To-Go Pilot

  • NPO radio stations produce a large amount of on-demand content, but it is difficult for users to find the content they want
  • Personalizing what the user’s favorite topics are then filtering the choices into a customized playlist from NPO Radio 1 programmes

Check out the report.

Frequently Asked Questions

We've put together some of the questions we get asked regularly to help our Members better understand what we're after.

Q: Who can apply? I work for an organization that is considered an “Associate Member” or “Approved Participant”. Can I still apply?

A: The Media Innovation Fund is currently set up for Members (aka Active Members) only. Should this change we'll make sure to inform you.

Q: What exactly do you mean by “Media Innovation” or “Innovation Projects”?

A: We’re after a project that works towards improving, reinventing, or creating solutions to be used in an app, widget, plug-in, website, prototype or formats that will not only benefit your organization but the EBU community at large. A project can be experimental as long as it is measurable, has well-defined goals, and a structured timeline.

Q: What do you mean by impact and shareability?

A: Impact is our biggest driver for expanding the Media Innovation Fund. Our main goal is to find projects that can benefit other Members more practically. This means being able to share knowledge beyond a presentation or report such as open source solutions, detailed how-to manuals, or clear and replicable processes.

You can find additional questions and answers here

Rules and application forms

You can download the rules in the pdf and the application form in the Word Document.

The Fund, previously known as the Radio Innovation Fund, is under the supervision of the Radio Committee and Digital Steering Committee and is being managed by a working group from within the EBU. 

Contact detail

Grace Zakka
Digital Project Manager
+41 22 717 2439
zakka@ebu.ch