The Media Academy Network was launched on 13 December 2007 in London by Culture Minister James Purnell, Skills Minister David Lammy and a host of representatives from the media industry.
The network has been devised by Skillset - the UK Sector Skills Council for the Audio Visual Industries. The Network is made up of 17 Academies, drawing together creative education partnerships from 43 colleges and universities across the UK.
The institutions in the network are already centres of excellence in television production and interactive media, and Bradford will build on its existing partnership with the National Media Museum by working with East Coast Media based at the Grimsby Institute in Lincolnshire.
Dr Ian Palmer, Dean of the School of Informatics at the University, said: “We are delighted to be working with East Coast Media as part of the new Network. Between us, we can offer excellent facilities, distinctive courses and wide-ranging opportunities to engage with media education and industry in all its forms.
“Our extensive resources are enhanced by the involvement of the National Media Museum, providing unrivalled access to archives, facilities and events that are of international importance and bringing a unique dimension to the partnership.
“Through the Academy, it is possible to focus on particular specialisms whilst having a full appreciation of the multiplatform environment that we all live in. With a well-articulated vision for the future and a key theme of equality of opportunity and widening participation, the Academy will be a hub of excellent practice in media education, at both regional and national levels.”
The network will see world-leading academics, content creators, computer games developers, software programmers and creative artists working with industry to develop talent, creativity and business ideas to exploit new technologies and opportunities in broadcast television and interactive media.
Greg Dyke, former Director General of the BBC, Skillset Patron and Chair of the Media Academy approvals panel, said at the launch: "We live in a very competitive world where one good idea can see a person move from mum's garage to global media magnate virtually overnight. The problem for the UK, though, is that a lot of people all over the world are having good ideas in television and interactive media. Good ideas are simply not enough – they have to be world-beating! This is where education and industry collaboration can play a crucial role.
"Media organisations are all about ideas and doing the unthinkable - going left when the herd veers right. You’re looking for people who do things very differently. You go into a college or university in the Skillset Media Academy Network and you find people who are working with industry and doing remarkable things that aren’t predictable, and that’s what you’re looking for all the time.”
Media companies supporting the Skillset Media Academy include the BBC, Channel 4, ITV and Sony. For more information visit: www.skillset.org/mediaacademies/
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