Digital Cardiff Week

Friday 21 June 2013, 17:02

Mark Jacobs Mark Jacobs programme manager, BBC Academy

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Following on from his blog about Digital Bristol Week, Mark Jacobs looks ahead to a week of events in Cardiff, centred around exploring the digital future for creative media industries in Wales.

I'm Mark Jacobs, programme manager for the BBC Academy. Aided by a small team of colleagues, I run a cutting edge training project called Fusion. Through labs, workshops and conferences we support the development of the latest skills that bring together the best in creative ideas and new technology – hence the name: ‘Fusion’

You can see some of our work on the Academy YouTube channel. We have seen capacity audiences at conferences ranging from the games and broadcast crossover, to the future of fiction and measuring success in the digital age.

Back in January I published a blog describing a unique event we developed with partners in Bristol. Digital Bristol Week was a great success with over 500 people attending and some fantastic presentations. That model has now been taken forward in Cardiff.

Taking place from 24-27 June, this event will bring together the best talent in the public, private, educational and training sectors in Wales to explore new ideas, innovation and opportunities across the whole digital spectrum.

Leading creative industry and digital sector companies will be showcased alongside the latest production technologies and digital platforms. Practical workshops will feature guides to digital output - across games and animation, drama and factual content - and ways to finance digital projects and build capacity through new funding models.

Wales Millennium Centre – a fantastic venue for this event - is throwing open its doors to host the week. They’ve also been hugely supportive and in parallel with Digital Cardiff Week are also hosting a range educational events for children and teachers, following similar themes to the professional conference, with sessions on emerging technologies, digital literacy, games for learning and entrepreneurial skills.

My personal highlights include the opening presentation by Lord Patten, Chairman of the BBC Trust, the Technology Fair and BBC Connected Studio taster session and a fantastic range of free training workshops from both the BBC and Creative Skillset Cymru on the Monday and Tuesday.

On Wednesday there is the Wales Games Development Show 2013 and on Thursday Cardiff Council have put together a fabulous day devoted to exploring the digital economy. They will highlight ways to finance digital projects and build capacity through new funding models, with sessions on digital markets and platforms; digital convergence and technology and digital funding and investment.

The event is led by a number of partners including the BBC Wales, S4C, Cardiff Council, Creative Skillset Cymru, BAFTA Cymru, Media Academy Wales and the Welsh Government.

If you're unable to attend, the good news is that the Monday conference will be streamed on the S4C website in Welsh and English and videos will be available on the Academy YouTube channel shortly after the event.

These partnership initiatives, such as Digital Cardiff and Digital Bristol Week have great potential to grow the creative and digital sector across the UK – thanks to all involved.  I’m really looking forward to the week and hope you also find the events valuable either online or in person.

Mark Jacobs is Programme Manager, BBC Academy.

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