It has been a challenging year for many of us, but restrictions and cancellations due to the Covid-19 pandemic also brought forth the opportunity to divert attention into developing new and innovative solutions. Members of the Media Cluster truly embraced this opportunity as the new everyday life changed, culminating in several exciting and innovative new solutions, products and services in the cluster.
With people working more from home than ever before, cluster companies adapted to the situation and offered solutions for remote operations. Vizrt made several of their products and services cloud-based to accommodate remote production. Besides being just what their customers needed, they also set the stage for their new digital platform VizrTV. Social arenas also had to move online during the pandemic, opening new ways to produce and distribute content. Myreze provided the solutions behind the first-ever virtual comedy show, Lykke Show, and the first Virtual revolutionary TV-Channel. Motion Corporation launched "Shared Motion", a revolutionizing cloud-based concept for precisely timed synchronizing content across devices. This is just a selection of the many ways member companies adapted to a more digital world in 2020!
The Media Cluster has continued to grow. We have welcomed a variety of new members in the course of the last year, including the Highsoft spin-off Everviz, Dagens Næringsliv, Faktisk.no, Global M, Mobica, Vuu and several more. The outstanding work and solutions of members in the cluster continue to be recognized nationally and internationally, with cluster members bringing home several prestigious awards this year. Among the award-winners, we find Vimond, Ingeborg Volan at Dagens Næringsliv, and Fonn Group startups 7 Mountains and Mjoll. The latter are truly making their mark in the industry by winning NAB Show Product of the Year awards, Mjoll winning TVBEurope Best Show award, and 7 Mountains winning the TV Technology Future Best of Show award.
Here are some selected highlights from 2020, a very different and noteworthy year for the Media Cluster.
Celebrating 10 years
Throughout this very special year, the Media Cluster has celebrated our 10th anniversary! From 2010 until today, the cluster has created thousands of new jobs, groundbreaking innovations, international successes - and an awesome cluster family. It has been an incredible journey from the early beginnings at Nøstet in Bergen, initiated by enthusiasm and ambitions, to the powerful and world-leading environment the Media Cluster represents today. More about the Media Clusters way from Nøstet out into the world can be read in the new book about NCE Media.
Some statistics and facts from the performance in the Media Cluster through the last ten years:
- 75% higher value creation than the national average
- 60% higher job-creation compared to the rest of the industry
- 4 times higher results (operation profits) than the national average
- 50% of the companies receive innovation funding each year
- 80% of members launch innovations each year
- New companies are established at twice the rate inside the cluster
European Gold Label
We got proven for Cluster Excellence! The Norwegian Media Cluster was awarded the coveted European Gold Label in April, as we joined rank with the European clusters of the highest standard. The ECEI GOLD Label, “Excel in Cluster Excellence", is awarded to cluster management organizations that demonstrate a high level of professionalism and sophisticated cluster management. In their evaluation of NCE Media, the EU expert team was especially impressed by how the Media Cluster works in the international arena, and IBC in particular.
SFI Centre for Research-based Innovation
It was a proud day when the University of Bergen and the Norwegian Media Cluster was awarded an SFI Centre for Research-based Innovation from the Norwegian Research Council in June 2020. The center MediaFutures will develop responsible media technology and innovation, targeting the next generations of media users. National broadcasters TV 2 and NRK are partners in the center, as well as several publishers, media tech companies, and academic institutions.
In addition to Media Futures, the Media Cluster has launched several new initiatives during 2020 to collaborate with the media industry, industry clusters, and global leaders within their fields and academic environments. The initiatives all have the aim to further facilitate and drive innovation within a specific area of media technology.
The Nordic 5G Consortium
The Media Cluster also launched the Nordic 5G Consortium in 2020 to serve as a Nordic collaboration consortium to facilitate innovation, development, and commercialization of 5G services for content production and to influence 5G use and policies. Organized as a membership body organization, anyone interested can join the consortium.
In 2020 MediaMotorEurope (MME), an EU funded mentoring programme supported by Startup Europe, was launched. A total of 21 European media deeptech startups/scaleups have been selected, distributed across the four innovation hubs behind the MediaMotorEurope program: VRT in Flanders, Belgium, Sofia Knowledge City, Bulgaria, Thermi Group in Thessaloniki, Greece, and Media City Bergen in Norway. Media Cluster members Visualyst, Factiverse, Scriptix and GlobalM was all selected for the 2nd support cycle.
MCB Journalism Lab
NCE Media joined forces with the Nordic Media Industry to launch Media City Bergen Journalism lab (JoLab) to increase media innovation and build competence for the newsroom of the future. The aim is to fuel editorial competence and technological innovations that will strengthen critical and investigative journalism and build new, sustainable business models for the media industry.
JoLab was kicked off in January 2020 with an all-day workshop in digital journalism with the BBC’s online investigative specialist, Paul Myers, and a five-day workshop with Bellingcat, a world-leading, international collective of researchers, investigators and citizen journalist with extensive expertise in investigative journalism.
Norwegian Cognitive Center
Norwegian Cognitive Center for Applied AI went operative in 2020. The consortium is a strong industry cross-over initiative to build Norway as a powerful European hub for applied AI and attract world-leading expertise. Fueled by collaboration and cooperation, the Center offers a shared competence across sectors and industries, unique in a European Context. The consortium comprises several industry clusters, representing hundreds of companies, many of them global leaders in their fields.
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic and its accompanying restrictions for travels and meetings during the greater part of the year, the Media Cluster has still had the pleasure to host several events for our members, partners and network, both digitally and on-site. Together with our members, we have hosted workshops, breakfast seminars, and presentations, with the majority of events being streamed so that you could take part and enjoy them with us no matter where you have been located. This has also allowed us to make some of the events available for you to watch again whenever you want.
Here are the events that stand out from 2020:
The Norwegian Media Cluster: 10 YEARS
Before the pandemic swept across the nation, we got to mark our 10th anniversary with our Media Cluster members, partners, and extended family! It was a night of celebration and plenty of surprises.
Digitalt Frokostmøte om #FakeNews
During our first digital breakfast meeting, we discussed fake news and how we, as a society, can build a defense against false information and the spread of fake news. We also explored how new technology can be utilized to detect and fight misinformation.
mcb tech .20 online
Innovation is change, or at least, innovation requires change. As the pandemic situation continued to evolve, mcb tech had to move online. Using technology and tools from the Norwegian Media Cluster, a virtual studio was built to facilitate the conference in this extraordinary situation. On June 11, we looked into the concepts of the future and how we relate to this in the midst of a global pandemic. This year the conference connected with some of the mcb tech alumni for an update on some fascinating cases.
Watch behind the scenes of mcb tech .20 online here, the full event can be watched below.
AI for leaders
Artificial Intelligence will be the most important individual factor contributing to increased value across many different industries in the future. On August 25 Norwegian Cognitive Center invited leaders, board members, and those responsible for strategic business development and competitiveness to the event "AI for leaders; take a step into the future". Here, they discussed how AI can change businesses, the potential that lies in data-centered business development, and the possibilities of joining the Norwegian Cognitive Center.
Digitalt Frokostmøte om Redaksjonell Innovasjon
The Covid-19 pandemic has been difficult for the media houses, but at the same time, Norwegian publishers have had a pace of innovation as high as ever. On August 19, we met with several key Norwegian publishers to discusses innovation in the newsroom, and they showcased some of their new services and products launched during the Covid-19 crisis.
Biz Talk & Tech Talk: Cracking the AI Code - Everyday examples with great impact
Norwegian Cognitive Centers events Biz Talk and Tech Talk explored everyday examples with great impact from industry-leading companies in quite different sectors, to learn from their experiences. In the Biz Talk event, we learned how AI was implemented in Hansa Borg Bryggerier, Mjoll, Cutters and BKK, and its impact from a leader's perspective. The session focused on goals, value creation and effect from successfully implementing AI. Tech Talk focused on the technical aspects of developing and implementing AI in the business, targeted towards developers and data scientists.
Slik dekker vi valget
On October 22. MCB Journalism Lab invited Norwegian publishers and broadcasters to Media City Bergen to present how they were planning to cover the 2020 US presidential election.
NCE Media Christmas Special
On December 15, we gathered with members and partners in the Media Cluster for the annual NCE Media Christmas Special. Here the participants were treated to a recap of 2020, as well as we got to recognize some of the cluster's most enthusiastic and inspirational people. TV 2's Olav T. Sandnes was given the coveted award as the Ambassador of the year due to his continuous effort towards the clusters' larger joint projects and his essential contribution towards achieving the cluster's goals in an especially important year.
Vizrt - The Election Story
On December 17. Anne Jacobsen (CEO NCE Media) sat down with Vizrt’s Chris Black (Head of Brand & Content) and Petter Ole Jakobsen (Founder & Chief Innovation Officer) to discuss Vizrt's election story. In this session, we looked into how broadcasters are using Vizrt tools in their election coverage, and how storytelling has evolved over the years, with the evolution of the video wall and the creation of AR graphics, holograms, and teleportation.
2021 - what's in store?
The Media Cluster organization has expanded throughout 2020, with Einar Kaslegard joining us as our new Project Manager and having just recruited an additional Project Manager and a new Communication & Event Manager, taking the total number of employees to six. The Media Cluster team will continue to do our utmost to create value and opportunities for all our members in the year to come.