Through an idea accelerator, the two francophone public radio organisations set themselves the challenge of finding innovators for the “radio of tomorrow”.

The Idea Accelerator first saw light in 2015, by the hands of Canada’s public radio organisation, Radio-Canada. The Accelerator was a way for creative minds interested and working in the field to submit, and put in practice, innovative ideas for the fu public broadcasting.

The accelerator soon gained traction to become a yearly event, with the September 2018 event gaining a little extra help. For the first time, the project also included Radio France as a collaborator on the other side of the ocean. Teams from both organisations researched and gathered the most innovative ideas around the theme “Create the radio of tomorrow for the listeners of tomorrow”.

“The project aims to stimulate creativity and innovation among collaborators and offers a dynamic that allows to go from an idea to its materialisation through a prototype,” said Adeline Beving, Open Innovation Project Manager at Radio France, in an interview.

The Accelerator, Beving explains, is very much a project that aims to produce a concrete final product. It offers support to the collaborators throughout the process to help them find, test and refine ideas through “design thinking”, and eventually to materialise them to obtain a prototype, a product that can be manipulated and changed.

According to Beving, the project allowed both teams to truly work together, making the accelerator a true transatlantic experience and a way of learning from one another and discovering each others’ differences.

Throughout Autumn 2018, collaborators from Radio France and Radio Canada submitted a series of ideas on a shared platform, which were then voted by a jury and employees of both companies. The winners were announced at the end of November 2018.

Collaborating for the listeners of tomorrow

Surprends-moi (Surprise me) was the winner from Radio-Canada’s team.  The project proposes to experiment with a personalised algorithm based on listeners’ habits according to their preferences, their mood in the moment and how much time they have available to listen.

As this year’s theme focused on “listeners of tomorrow” – future listeners and young people today – Radio France decided to focus on audiences from 0-3 years old with their winning project,  La Radio Réveil (The Waking Up radio). This features a connected and personalised alarm clock, which broadcasts content that seeks to accompany the day of a child without having to resort to a screen. It works by playing timely soft music in the morning, relaxation and stories in the evening, as a way to introduce infants to the world of radio.

The Accelerator project offered a unique collaborative opportunity for the two public radio services as participants from both organisations could submit, provide feedback and vote via a shared platform. The collaboration however, did not remain virtual for too long: the winning team in Canada had the chance to present and conduct part of its prototype phase in France, while the winning team from France is currently doing the same in Canada.

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