Posts By / John Oliver

Taking part in EPSRC’s Digital Economy Theme

EPSRC logoRCUK have a cross-cutting Digital Economy Theme which aims to support research into the transformational impact of digital technologies. In December last year the BU Research Blog advertised a notice from the EPSRC who were looking to build a community of researchers to invesitgate ‘New Economic Models’ as a sub-category of the Digital Economy Theme. As my own area of research into media management investigates the transformational changes of media organisations to the digital environment, I thought it would be worth applying.

After successfully navigating the EPSRC peer review process I was invited to attend the first of many Network Meetings in Reading. It was a very professional event, with researchers attending from across the UK and from diverse academic disciplines. The aim of the first event was to scope out the size and shape of a future research agenda into this area and to get researchers to develop collaborative projects ideas for researching new economic models.

The EPSRC will soon be putting out a call for funded research, and in readiness for this, the Media School’s Advances in Media Management (AiMM) research group are organising a ‘Brainstorm Session’ with academics and high level media industry partners to scope out ideas to submit to this call.

This is an excellent example of how you can get involved with shaping the future research agenda within your discipline and preparing to respond to calls before they are released.

‘World Leading Academic to attend Media School Symposium’

Professor Robert Picard, of Harvard and Oxford universities has confirmed his attendance at the forthcoming symposium on New Economic Models in the Digital Economy.
The event is being hosted by the Advances in Media Management (AiMM) research group and Dr John Oliver and Dr Sukhpreet Singh say that they are delighted to have Professor Picard, the world’s foremost authority on media economics, in attendance. The event will involve a brainstorming session with academics from Brunel and Westminster universities aswell as senior executives from Virgin Media, The Telegraph, the CC Group and the British Film Institute.

The aim of the symposium is to develop collaborative project ideas to submit to the EPSRC’s forthcoming call on New Economic Models.


BU to Host European Prestigious Conference

I am pleased to announce that we’ve just been informed that our bid to host the European Media Management Association (EMMA) Conference 2013 has been successful.

Myself and the rest of the team – from BU’s Advances in Media Management (AiMM) research group – are delighted with the news as the EMMA Conference is normally hosted by universities in European capital cities.  The conference will provide a great opportunity to showcase BU and provide a unique opportunity to develop collaborative relationships with a number of universities spread across Europe. The European Media Management Education Association provides a forum for academics reseaching and teaching media management in higher education and industry training programmes in 24 European countries.  I want to extend my congratulations  to the rest of my bid team Dr Sukhpreet Singh, Dr Kris Erikson and Conor O’Kane.

My EUNF success!

I delighted to hear the news that my application to the EU Network Fund was successful. I aim to attend the 2012 Media Economics & Management Conference, Greece in order to network and develop collaborative relationships with academics from EU universities. The conference is a biennial meeting of the global community of media business scholars who reflect on contemporary issues in the economics and management of media industries and firms. It aims to provide to a platform for academics who research in this area to meet and network.

Some of the key themes of the conference relate directly to my area of research (Management in 21st Century Media Companies, Finance and Media Performance, Strategies, Competition and Multiple Business Models).

The conference also has a special session on the Creative and Cultural Industries which is of particular interest to me in my capacity as programme director of the Media School’s Professional Doctorate programme. The EU has just completed a consultation on various issues impacting the cultural and creative industries in Europe.  The responses to the consultation will inform the Commission and help it ensure that EU programmes and policies involving cultural and creative industries are fit for purpose. So there is the potential for EU funded programmes in this area.

I would also like to explore the potential for developing collaborative projects from the MEDIA 2007 programme  (2007-2013) which has a budget of € 755 million.

Surely the Creative & Digital Economy is important to BU

As BU seeks to position itself as a university that engages in research centred on the ‘big questions’ facing our society, it was a surprise to see that of the 10 proposed key themes, the Creative and Digital Economy has yet to gain any traction amongst BU researchers in terms of shaping the future research agenda of the University. Surely, this can’t the case?

As a former Liverpool FC manager once said “lets look at the facts”:
• Creative Industries contributed 5.6% of the UK’s GDP in 2008
• Exports of services by the Creative Industries totalled £17.3 billion in 2008
• There are approximately 182,000 businesses in the UK Creative Industries Software and electronic publishing are a significant sector
• The RCUK Digital Economy programme provides support for research into how digital technologies can contribute to the economy and society.
• The Prime Minister argued that the Creative Industries is an important growth area in the UK economy.
• The European Commission reports that Creative Industries are among the fastest growing sectors in the EU and account for 3.3% of total EU GDP.

These figures suggest that BU needs to be engaged, and at the forefront of research in the Creative and Digital Economy…there are many big questions to be answered and many opportunities for us to get involved.

We know that this theme has run a series of successful networking events across BU over the past year or so. These have sought to encourage cross school collaboration and generate research and enterprise outputs. We also know that the Creative and Digital Economy theme has previously been defined by BU as “a multi-disciplinary approach to researching information communication technologies, computer games and animation, software development and smart technologies and the rise of intellectual property law in digital media”. Going forward we need to ensure that this focus is fit for purpose.

So I’d like to put a call out to all BU researchers interested in shaping the agenda of the Creative and Digital Economy Theme. Please come along on Thursday 16th June, 10am-12 noon in Room W242.

Dr John Oliver
Head of Research (Acting)
Media School