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BBC announces new digital innovation unit

MUMBAI: BBC has announced a new digital innovation unit, the Guerrilla Group, to explore the next-generation of BBC content.

From later this year, a team of storytellers and engineers in Birmingham will begin to work across the BBC with a focus on engaging younger, more diverse audiences, and will be fully up and running from 2015.

The group will have the creative freedom to produce experimental new forms of content for programmes and services, using the technology and approaches of the future.

Building on BBC DG Tony Hall’s creative vision for the BBC in the Midlands, outlined in November, the Guerrilla Group will operate at the heart of Birmingham’s creative community.

The Guerrilla Group will act as a source of digital creativity at the BBC and as a catalyst for innovation in Birmingham. The team will work with the BBC’s R&D department, Connected Studio, BBC brands and audience members, as well as partnering and collaborating with a range of organisations, start-ups and SMEs. This is a small step towards supporting the city’s aspirations as a vibrant home for digital content businesses, which will help to re-affirm the city’s status as a major driver of the UK economy, and in the longer term to make the area a natural home for innovators, entrepreneurs and wealth creators.

The BBC director, strategy and digital James Purnell said, “Innovation at the BBC has never stood still, from the birth of radio and TV, to the first steps into the digital world with BBC Micro Computers and Ceefax, through to more recent services like BBC iPlayer. The Guerrilla Group will help us explore the next-generation of BBC content and services, finding new and creative ways to tell our stories to future audiences.”

BBC Birmingham head of business development Tommy Nagra said, “This is a tremendous boost for our plans for the BBC in Birmingham and demonstrates our commitment to developing something new, innovative and future facing. Birmingham is the youngest city in Europe, making it the ideal new home and testing ground for our brand new digital content innovation team.”