PRESS RELEASE published on 31 May 2017 • Department / Unit Digital Media European Affairs Radio TV Technology & Innovation

EBU to spearhead future policy and innovation network with EU-funded ‘MediaRoad’ project

The 'MediaRoad' project aspires to reawaken a ‘start-up mentality’ in the media sector, reshaping the way organizations collaborate and deploy new ideas in the market. Augmented and virtual reality, robot journalism and 5G as well as future research policy priorities for the media sector are just some of the ‘tomorrow’s world’ topics this EU-funded project will touch upon.

The EBU will lead a consortium in which some of Europe’s most prominent broadcasters (BBC, RAI, VRT, Association of European Radios) will work alongside leading media research institutes (IRT, EPFL, IMEC) and independent producers (CEPI TV). The ‘MediaRoad’ project consortium will work closely with the creative sector to help innovative concepts mature for market deployment and formulate common recommendations for future media policies.

It draws upon existing initiatives developed by EBU members on how to innovate with start-ups and SMEs. VRT’s award-winning ‘Sandbox’ and the BBC ‘Taster’ have created unique conditions to experiment with new ideas as well as test and scale promising concepts in operational environments. Supporting the launch of similar ‘innovation incubators’ across Europe is a key aspect of the project.

Project partners will also develop a long-term policy vision for the future of the audiovisual and radio sector as well as social media, covering areas such as the EU research agenda, data, 5G, security, immersive media, investment and training. In order to bridge media innovation with future policy priorities, the project will create a broad and diverse network where the European media and creative sector can come together around technological and R&D opportunities.

The ’MediaRoad’ project is fully funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme. It will officially begin on 1 September 2017 for a duration of 2 years, with a launch event to take place early October.

EBU Head of European Affairs Nicola Frank: “I believe that this project will help the media sector rekindle a ‘start-up mentality'. We will help turn EU diversity into opportunities, supporting organizations to become more competitive and innovative, so that ultimately, they will be able to give audiences even better content, better delivered.”

VRT Sandbox International project leader Sarah Geeroms:  “As the Flemish public broadcaster, our goal is to remain agile and continuously strengthen our connection with the audience by offering a better service. This involves collaborating closely with our partners and inspiring open innovation. By transforming our current approach at VRT Sandbox to a replicable model, we will be able to build our European network and foster a strong and innovative European media industry.

CEPI (European Coordination of Independent Producers) President Jérôme Dechesne: “CEPI’s members are excited to be part of this ambitious project which will showcase the European audiovisual sector’s strength and creativity. The project offers independent producers and a majority of SMEs the opportunity to create new partnerships with broadcasters, technology companies, social media providers and research institutes.”

AER Director Regulatory Affairs Vincent Sneed: “MediaRoad will help us reinforce what Europe is good at: creating great and rich content integrated in as many platforms as possible. Radio has always been at the forefront of creating content people like and finding new ways of reaching out to people. MediaRoad should ensure the SMEs, composing the diverse and thriving radio sector, are empowered with great research and innovation. Stay tuned!“

Project Partners

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Contact details

Jacques Lovell
EU Affairs Communications Officer