It's been a little time since this years labs came to a close - we've... Read more »
14 Jul 2008 12:07pm
What are the BBC Innovation Labs?
The Innovation Labs are a series of creative workshops for interdisciplinary teams of professional creative technologists, application designers, software developers and interactive media designers, working across both Future Media & Vision platforms.
We are inviting independent companies from across England, Scotland and Wales to pitch ideas in response to a briefs set by New Media & Vision commissioners across the BBC.
Up to 10 projects in each of four regions - Scotland, North East England & Yorkshire, North West England, and Wales & West Midlands - will then be selected to attend a 5-day long Lab. During the Lab, they will work with BBC commissioners and other mentors to develop the idea and prepare a final pitch. On the last day of the Lab, the ideas are pitched to the BBC commissioners for further development funding.
The funding will be agreed at the lab and ranges from a 'we'd love to talk to you some more - £2.5k' all the way to 'go build it, how much will it cost us?'. You'll know exactly what you're getting at the end of each lab.
Who can apply to take part in the Lab?
The Labs are open to independent new media & vision companies in the four regions represented this year – Scotland, North East England & Yorkshire, North West England and Wales & West Midlands.
The Labs are aimed at independent media companies with a track record of producing innovative new media & vision products. As we aim to commission further development of prototypes selected for the Labs, we expect projects to come from established teams with the capacity to deliver projects at scale.
Individuals or freelancers are encouraged to submit projects as part of a collaboration or consortium with an established company. We will be providing corporate growth mentoring to all selected teams participating in the Labs, but would expect collaborative or consortium proposals to have a clear idea of how their team will be structured in the event of further development commissioning, and to have resolved IP ownership issues between the consortium members.
Why is the Lab limited to participants in these regions?
BBC Innovation Labs are jointly financed by the BBC and economic or media development agencies in each region.
What are the benefits for companies taking part in a Lab?
• Participation in an intensive creative workshop with peers and expert mentors
• An opportunity to pitch a project to BBC New Media commissioners
• Access to business advice, mentoring and development finance from other sources
• Retention of any IP that they develop
• A £5,000 fee for each of the selected teams
How many teams can participate in the Lab?
Up to 10 teams in each region.
How many people can there be in a team and what skills should they have?
Each team will have a maximum of 3 members who will participate in the week-long Lab. There is no typical skills profile; the Lab will be made up of people with a range of technical, production and creative skills: writers, coders, producers, directors, interaction, interface and sound or game designers, information architects, musicians and artists.
You may choose to nominate an existing team from within your company or take the opportunity to experiment with a new collaboration and invite someone you’re interested in working with to join you for the Lab.
Since one requirement of the Lab process is the production of a visualisation or concept prototype, it will help if at least one member of your team has the skills to build it.
When and where will the Lab take place?
The five-day Labs will be held in March and April 2008 at venues within the four regions. We are currently booking these, and will update the site as soon as these are confirmed.
What will actually happen at the Lab?
The residential Labs will be structured to meet the specific needs of the development teams and their projects, with time divided between individual and group sessions with the mentors, peer-to-peer collaboration between teams, and unstructured time for teams to develop treatments, pitch documents and visualisations. Teams will work towards a ten minute pitch of their projects on the final day. The pitch must include a visualisation or prototype of the project. This might be as simple as a wireframe model or a series of screens in Powerpoint; it may be a more complex presentation which demonstrates aspects of the functionality.
The creative and technical mentors will have relevant, recent experience of production for interactive media with the BBC or other major developers, publishers or broadcasters in the UK and abroad.
What will happen after the Lab?
The BBC will retain a first option to commission projects developed at the Lab for a three month period.
If the BBC decides to commission a project, it will negotiate a contract for a joint development arrangement with the company which brought it to the Lab.
If the BBC decides not to commission a project, any IPR will remain the property of the company which brought it to the Lab.