EBU Director of Technology & Innovation Antonio Arcidiacono outlines his vision for future collaborations that deliver products and services as well as know-how and expertise to the Membership. The editorial piece of issue 38 of tech-i magazine is republished here as a blog post:
My priority since I stepped into the role as EBU Director of Technology & Innovation, just a couple of months ago, has been to listen and to understand. Conversations with EBU colleagues, the Technical Committee and – most importantly – our Members around Europe have been helping me to crystalize our path forward.
The primary role of the EBU Technology & Innovation Department, as I see it, is to help Members conceive, develop and launch new products and services. Collaboration is the key to achieving this. By pooling resources and tapping into R&D-related funding opportunities at a European level, we can find and build on synergies that will help Members to confront the challenges they face daily and maintain a position of excellence in their respective markets.
With any innovative product, 50% of the effort goes into the conception and development, but the other 50% is definitely in the lessons learned and the related solutions that emerge from the actual launch with the first real customers. I’m committed to leading an active and interactive dialogue with our Members to identify the initiatives that show the most promise and find the synergies to make them a reality.
The EBU benefits from the fact that our Members do not directly compete with each other. We are ideally positioned to help those that are ahead of the innovation curve to be more efficient and to share the burden of pioneering; but we must also support those who are lagging behind, based on the lessons learned by the early adopters.
There are many technology pillars around which new initiatives can be built: AI, virtualization and cloud-based technologies, the use of shared resources, blockchain, and so on. But it is the actual deployment of new products and services with anchor Members that will ensure our innovations are materialized into real “products”. There are already good examples of this approach in action. The EBU PEACH and Flow projects, providing respectively solutions for personalization and multi-CDN delivery, have shown what we can achieve through co-development, with small groups of Members taking the lead.
Finally, a specific mention of radio-frequency spectrum. This is the precious “land” upon which EBU Members have been developing and operating services since the inception of public broadcasting. Regardless of technological advances, the spectrum used remains a unique asset that must be protected. This means we must fully exploit this resource to the large-scale benefit of audiences, using the unique physical advantages of native broadcasting technologies. We need to be proactive, finding new ways to prove that other forms or uses of broadcasting can bring huge benefits to society and citizens.
I’m delighted to take on this role, building on the good work of my predecessor Simon Fell. Don’t hesitate to get in touch (arcidiacono[at]ebu.ch) and share your thoughts on how we can find success working together.