A new initiative to foster innovation in the media sector
Academic, public and private partners are teaming up to to support and develop media innovation. The first projects will be launched this year.
EPFL, SRG, Ringier and Triangle Azur—a cooperation network between the Universities of Geneva, Lausanne and Neuchâtel—are joining forces to create the Initiative for Media Innovation (IMI), a consortium of public and private partners. This alliance aims to foster innovation in the media and IT sector. The Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM) will also support projects under this initiative. The IMI is open to all private and public organizations, in Switzerland or abroad, who wish to join and are active in the relevant fields.
Switzerland has a very dense print, audiovisual and digital media sector, as well as a network of top-level universities. The IMI’s founding members wish to create an interface between these two worlds in order to support and develop media innovation. The partners have made a financial commitment by creating an innovation support fund with an annual budget of CHF 650,000. This will allow research projects to be funded, in particular by drawing on the skills of researchers and students from partner universities. The first calls for proposals will be published this fall.
Topics could cover fake news, data journalism, content discoverability and personalization, artificial intelligence, IoT, immersive experiences, and also new business models, monetization or even the cultural and social aspects of media. The partners’ goal behind this initiative is to build a bridge between creativity and technology, between the world of media and that of academic research, on the basis that an interdisciplinary approach is one of the keys to innovation.
This initiative will implement projects under the governance of the various partners. Mounir Krichane has been in charge of the Media Centre—the operational arm of the Initiative—since March. EPFL is hosting this centre within the EPFL Innovation Park. Mounir Krichane is an engineer who graduated from EPFL and has worked for several years in the media industry. He is a member of various Swiss and European innovation communities.