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BBC & UCL announce new strategic partnership

21 November 2012

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BBC Research & Development today announced a new strategic partnership with UCL, to drive innovation, and collaborate on a wide programme of R&D activity. Building on the BBC’s history of partnerships, this venture will bring together some of the brightest minds in the UK to discuss and tackle the challenges for digital media and the creative industry at large.

Over the next four years, the new partnership between BBC and UCL will focus on an ambitious programme of research work that seeks to advance state-of-the-art communications technologies, Internet research, content production, user experience (UXD) and access services. The outcomes of this research will also be shared with the wider industry.

As part of the partnership, the BBC and UCL will share facilities and resources, and create new opportunities for students, graduates, staff and third parties with a range of sponsored studentships for doctorate level research, internships, student placements and a staff exchange programme. This initiative will form the foundation for future collaboration with other academic and industrial partners and as such will act as a catalyst in accelerating UK performance in this sector.

UCL Engineering is committed to delivering research that changes the world. Applying our expertise in cutting-edge computing to create new 'digital experiences' is an excellent example of one way university research can have a real impact on people’s lives. BBC R&D is the ideal partner as they provide both technical excellence and a fantastic platform for exploiting the results of innovation.

Professor Anthony Finkelstein

A new, joint space at 1 Euston Square will also be established. 80 researchers from BBC R&D and UCL will co-locate in a new, permanent home that will act as a gateway for participation with other universities and organisations.

BBC R&D has a long history of partnerships, working alongside the industry and universities in order to maximise research, share knowledge and influence emerging new systems and standard. The BBC and UCL have both committed to supporting the Connected Digital Economy Catapult (CDEC) and look forward to sharing knowledge and applied research.

Matthew Postgate, Controller of BBC R&D, said: “BBC R&D is an industry-leading department with a rich heritage and history of innovation, and I am delighted to announce our new partnership with UCL. By bringing together two world-leading research institutions, this partnership will inspire new ideas, help position the UK as a leader in media technologies, and act as a gateway to further innovation. It will also lay the foundations for further collaboration across the industry in the future.”

Professor Anthony Finkelstein, Dean of UCL Faculty of Engineering, said: "UCL Engineering is committed to delivering research that changes the world. Applying our expertise in cutting-edge computing to create new 'digital experiences' is an excellent example of one way university research can have a real impact on people’s lives. BBC R&D is the ideal partner as they provide both technical excellence and a fantastic platform for exploiting the results of innovation."

Media contact: Clare Ryan


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