BBC R&D delivers at least 5x return for Corporation | Major Businesses | Business
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With it under great pressure to justify the investment made in it through the licence fee, the BBC is celebrating the fact that every £1 spent on R&D during the last charter agreement delivered a return of at least £5-9.

bbcRD 23Jan2018This is a top-line finding of an assessment of the work BBC R&D has done over the last charter period from 2007-2016, including an independent cost-benefit analysis, a qualitative assessment of successes and consideration of future objectives.

In outlining what it can bring for the corporation, BBC R&D says that its most immediate and high-profile contribution was to iPlayer. It also claims to have helped bring forward the launch of HD on terrestrial TV by three years, delivering a total economic benefit of £77-152 million for a cost of £2.8 million. The BBC now says that it is carrying on in this mission with its Ultra HD trials and the invention of hybrid log-gamma high dynamic range for the broadcast and streaming industries.

Commenting on the department and its future, Andy Conroy, controller, BBC research and development, said: “Collaboration has always been critical to BBC R&D fulfilling its objectives, and this will be even more important in future. The BBC will face new and different market and operating environments, with fast-paced technology change and disruption, new types of competitors and different standards that drive and shape the global media ecosystem. Last charter we began collaborating in new spaces with new partners and in new ways. Through initiatives like BBC Taster, Connected Studio and BBC News Labs we worked with hundreds of new partners to develop ideas, concepts and technology for BBC online.

BBC Taster, where we showcase many of these experiments, made 250 projects available for audiences to try. Connected Studio engaged with over 520 companies from the creative industries, resulting in 168 collaborative projects. And BBC News Labs worked with over 50 news organisations, universities and research bodies. This will continue to be an important theme underpinning much of our work in the next charter.”