As part of the BBC's Technology Review, the BBC plans a new approach to technology research in 2006.
The BBC will begin to refocus its research efforts to increase work on non-broadcast distribution, gateways and navigation as well as introducing new work on engagement and audiences.
The proposal further reinforces the BBC's commitment to creating a digital BBC for a digital Britain and to continue its ground breaking innovation in R&D and in particular access services.
To achieve a new approach to research, the BBC has proposed to relocate BBC R&D from its Kingswood Warren site in Surrey to locations closer to the BBC and partners.
Over the next three years, the department will move to two separate locations:
1. Applied Research will be based in West London.
As part of the BBC's Out of London initiative, elements of the department within New Media & Technology will move to Manchester in 2010, subject to final approval of the plans.
Initially it is proposed that Applied Research will be based in London. As we now enter a new era in broadcasting, it is crucial that the BBC's Applied Research activity is closer to the business end of the BBC and ensure research projects get greater sponsorship.
2. A new BBC Research Institute will be established in Manchester.
A small number of volunteers will move to Manchester in 2006 to start Advanced Research pilot projects.
Manchester has been chosen following an evaluation of technology clusters in the UK. It offers scale and scope unrivalled elsewhere for generating academic partnerships and opportunities for co-funding.
The plans were approved by the Executive Board and BBC Governors at a Board meeting on 24 November.
The relocation is an important part of the BBC's plans to integrate its R&D and Technology Direction departments to become 'Technology', part of the New Media & Technology Division.
The new group, which will focus on the BBC's technology strategy and innovation, will play a crucial role in leading the BBC's required business transformation over the next ten years.
Increasing collaboration and partnerships
Future research activity will be multi-sourced, including BBC staff outside Technology and external partners.
The new locations will help the group work more collaboratively and the close proximity to academic partnerships in Manchester will further strengthen the BBC's opportunities for co-funding projects in areas of Advanced Research.