IF YOU READ my personal blog, you know I've visited TippFM, our regional radio station. I would like to find a way to add to the TippFM studios some of the creative broadcasting skills we teach in our Technological University classrooms. I think there might be a way to do this with the help of Science Foundation Ireland (SFI).
The Industry RD&I Fellowship Programme at SFI supports academia-industry interactions. At TUS, we have a workflow that might address some industry‐informed challenges related to audiences that have moved away from listening on traditional radios at home to listening to presenters in apps. I think several of our TUS faculty members, informed by the practice of our students, can address this issue. SFI has a mechanism whereby faculty and postdoctoral staff can spend time in industry "through the temporary placement of academic researchers with an industry partner".
I've often thought about what I am doing to ensure the viability of local radio. I've taught on the third level campuses since the start of the century and watched the changing listening habits of students in my classrooms. Today, many of them aren't listening to the local issues that percolate from top-rated chat shows and they don't hear local news bulletins. Every radio station manager knows it's critical to foster a wide demographic of listeners. I think several of the ideas we've discovered during lab sessions with creative media students can be used to grow an audience of GenZ listeners. Some of the youngest GenZ listeners know the names and voices of presenters they hear while on the school run with parents.
Some facts about SFI Fellowships.
- They can last from one month to 12 if full-time, and between two and 24 months if part-time.
- SFI expects the academic will be embedded with the industry partner's workplace.
- Grants awarded under this programme are subject to the General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER) under EU State aid guidelines.
- SFI funding varies from 25% to a maximum of 80% of total project costs. This means the industry partner contributing some of the project costs.
- The maximum SFI contribution to the Fellowship costs is €100,000 direct costs.
At this point, I don't know if TippFM would like to partner in an SFI project. We have a clever suite of production and mobile journalism skills worth considering. We've made soundscapes and field reporting during some of our podcast sessions on Spotify.
We can bring skills to the table.
- We have relevant knowledge and skills that can enhance broadcast production workflow in real time.
- We can offer conceptual definition, planning and documentation of software services and mobile journalism products.
- We can prototype, demonstrate, pilot, test and validate the use of these products, processes and services in a live broadcast environment, both in the studio and in a roadcaster.
Impacts of this undertaking
SFI measures the effectiveness of its funding programmes by evaluating the impacts of each funded project. I think several significant impacts will arise by the technology transfer of skills from the newly-established Technological University of the Shannon to local radio.
- We would enhance knowledge.
- We would significantly advance collaboration in the production of local media.
- Our work together enhances the local initiatives.
- The workflow and clever integration of cognitive services will reach the broader research community.
I've written these thoughts after reading the SFI Call Document that was released on the 21st of February. I plan to talk to Liam Brown, the VP of Research for TUS.ie and to review on-going projects we have with Media Literacy Ireland before submitting a package prior to the May 22 deadline. [Click to Download 1.2 MB PDF]