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Welcome to the R&D Blog

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Matthew Postgate Matthew Postgate | 10:22 UK time, Friday, 6 November 2009

I'm Matthew Postgate, the Controller of Research & Development at the BBC, and it's my pleasure to be writing this inaugural post for the new R&D Blog. This blog will form a part of the way we show you how we are working, developing and growing, and will of course offer a place where you can ask us about our work.

Open Innovation is a core principle of how we work and builds on the collaborative traditions the department has worked to throughout its history. We appreciate the best and most creative work comes when we share what we know, and draw on a wide community to build on that knowledge. Many of our projects are collaborative efforts, with research bodies, fellow broadcasters, universities, and companies from around the world.  For several years we have been supporting the 'BBC Backstage' program, opening data and resources to independent developers and 'hackers' from across the UK.

There are a couple of existing blogs which are related to this area:
  • Our Prototyping team has previously been blogging at RAD lab. From now on their posts will appear on this blog.
  • KEP as a knowledge exchange network was set up earlier this year to encourage and develop knowledge exchange between the BBC and academia, specifically in the arts & humanities area. That effort is now ready to expand into a wider domain, so we felt it was a good opportunity to fit it into a wider R&D blog effort too.
Future posts will give an insight into the work we conduct, giving you key updates as we demonstrate new systems or launch prototypes. We're engaged in over 40 active research projects day to day, and provide technical expertise to the wider BBC and the international broadcast industry on a whole range of subjects. We hope we'll be able to give you a insight and information across that range of topics through this blog.

The authors who will be posting here come from all across our department, and will tell you about the very latest developments we are moving into the mainstream, and some that lie further ahead. We're often appearing in public at conferences and conventions, so we'll let you know the one's we're heading for and share with you the highlights we pick up from around the world of media technology.

The coming months are an important time for BBC R&D- in February of 2010 we will be moving into our new southern home in the heart of the BBC's West London campus. As I'm sure you can appreciate, the effort of relocating over 100 staff and their facilities from our previous base of 60 years is substantial.

At the same time we are rapidly building up a BBC R&D laboratory in the North; the team has just moved into their interim accommodation in New Broadcasting House in Manchester. In 2012 that team will be on the move again, to take up a core role at the centre of the BBC's Media City base in Salford Quays. With each stage of these changes we'll keep you up to date, and share some of the trials and triumphs of these challenges.

This is a two way communication of course. If there's any particular area of our work that you'd like to know more about, a project, or a team, or perhaps some area of technology that you think we ought to know about, do let us know. Keep an eye on us- we'll be posting regularly and in some depth.

Thank you, I'm looking forward to the conversation,




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