Representatives of 12 EBU Members paid an innovation-focused visit to Radio France in Paris last week. They learned about several initiatives that aim to identify and embed innovation throughout the company and to facilitate collaboration with external start-ups. The visit was part of the EBU programme on Implementing Open Innovation (IOI).
Radio France aims to use innovation to "design and create radio and audio for the future". The head of the innovation team, Matthieu Beauval, explained that the team's work has three pillars:
- Embark: to find the innovators throughout Radio France and bring them on board;
- Share: to engage in storytelling, both internal and external, about innovation processes and new developments in radio and audio;
- Accelerate: to commit time, money and brains to creating something really concrete.
One key tool for building innovation capacity within the organization is L'Accélérateur d’idées. It was originally developed in 2015 by Radio-Canada, as a competition to generate new ideas from within the company, and in 2018 it ran simultaneously at Radio France. In addition to generating new ideas, the competition also disseminates new methods for ideation and has helped to build an internal innovation community, improving inter-departmental working.
L'Accélérateur d’idées and the Bar à podcasts (which leverages the growing success Radio France is seeing with podcasting) are just two examples of internal initiatives to boost innovation. Looking more to the outside world, the organization has embraced an Open Innovation approach that has two main aspects. Firstly, it involves scouting trends in the world of audio and sharing them widely, thus creating earlier awareness of important developments. And secondly, it's about becoming open to external actors with the potential to develop useful solutions for radio.
Radio France has several means of sourcing external partners, including through its membership of the MediaRoad Sandbox Hub and through making its data available via an Open API. The IOI visitors from around Europe had an opportunity to see first-hand how a partnership with STATION F, the world's biggest start-up campus, provides another source of potential external collaborators. Radio France is a member of French Tech Central (pictured above), which allows the start-ups at STATION F to engage with a variety of public services.
The next IOI visit will be to Montreal, where Radio-Canada/CBC is building a new Maison de Radio-Canada. EBU Members can now register to join this visit.
EBU Members can access a report on the IOI visit to Radio France and STATION F, along with other related resources, on the IOI workspace.