Upcoming activities in the Media Cluster

Published 25.02.2022
We are ramping up for a busy year in the Media Cluster. In the weeks and months to come, our members can engage in workshops, seminars, innovation collabs, and study tours. Also, Future Week is back in June with MCB Tech, MCB Hack - and a brand new conference: MCB Fact.

Even though we are still in partial lockdown, the activities in the Media Cluster are lined up! As we all now are getting used to digital communications platforms, the Media Cluster activities will run their course - business as usual - and we can all look forward to a full and exciting agenda to kick off the new year. Make sure to save the dates in your calendar for these happenings, with our sincere wish that most of them can take place physically - in real life:

MCB JoLab: There are a lot of exciting and ongoing activities under the JoLab umbrella. We have just completed our international JournalismAI-project (read about the results here), but we are initiating a similar project in the cluster during the spring to look into how AI can be used and implemented in the newsroom to solve various challenges. Both publishers, newsrooms, and tech companies can engage in these projects. Feel free to reach out if you want to join.

Team meeting in Arendal in August 2021 for the JournalismAI Collab. From left to right: Ketil Moland Olsen (Media City Bergen), Frode Nordbø (Fædrelandsvennen), Gaute Kokkvold (Factiverse), and Mailinn Mersland (Fædrelandsvennen). (Photo: NCE Media)Our Data Journalism Network (open to members of the cluster) now counts more than 150 enthusiasts from several newsrooms and tech companies from all across the country. We are setting up five meetings (all online) this spring, where our members share their experiences and present ongoing projects to each other. Want to learn more about the Media Cluster's Data Journalism Network? Contact Ketil at ketil(at)mediacitybergen.no.

New network; Small-scale studio production: Shortly, a new network aimed explicitly at the Media Clusters´ traditional newsrooms, or what we can label "small-scale studio production", will be launched. Several of our members run their daily high-quality video production from a small studio staffed by only one or two people. They lack a network and forum to share good ideas, best practices and learn from each other. You can contact Ketil, ketil(at)mediacitybergen.no, if you want to join. 

New network; Customer journey and insight: Several of you also wish for a network for those of you working on customer journey, insight, and customer loyalty. Also for this purpose, we are connecting resourceful enthusiasts amongst our members to learn from each other and share valuable experiences. This network is still in the planning stage, and, when launched, will be open to all member companies. If you have input, ideas, or if you can be a resource for us in the planning, we would love to hear from you. Send Ketil, ketil(at)mediacitybergen.no or Anne (anne(at)mediacitybergen.no), a shout-out.

Mediatech on Stage: Save the date 10 February (online) to join the European Media Technology startup scene in the latest version of Mediatech on Stage, hosted by Kristoffer Hammer (photo) from the cluster organization. He will introduce you to forward-leaning startups from all over Europe, and you will get to know the latest media technology development and innovation. In addition, you will hear from industry experts in our network. Sign up here.

Student Show & Tell: Make your way to the Media Lab in MCB on 25 February to learn about an ongoing and comprehensive collaboration between TV 2 Play and the University of Bergen. Bachelor and master's students are challenged to create prototypes to help TV 2 Play reach their target audiences in new and original ways. Students create prototypes based on thorough insight and work together with TV 2. At this event, some of them present their solutions.

In the weeks and months to come, there will also be plenty of other opportunities to get to know the Media Cluster students, not only from the University of Bergen but from all our other member schools and academic institutions.

Postponed Christmas party: Only open to members. Save the date 10 March. Join us for the postponed (due to covid) Christmas Party in the Media Cluster. We all know the saying; Christmas lasts until Easter, and this time it actually does. We will serve up delicious food and drinks, as well as a joyous party vibe. The highlight will be the traditional awards ceremony, where selected members will receive their much-earned honors and glory, including the most prestigious award; The Media Cluster's Ambassador 2021. 

It is a venerable and ceremonious occasion when we in a traditional manner nominate and award Ambassador of the Year in the Media Cluster. Here are the previous winners. (All photos: NCE Media).For the Annual Meeting: Participate physically in the Media Lab in Bergen or join online.
For the belated Christmas Party: Participate physically in the Media Lab in Bergen, and make sure to sign up here.

Straight from the labs: Afternoon, 5 May in the MCB Media Lab. Spend an informal and laidback afternoon in the MCB Media Lab, and enjoy the old networking/mingling atmosphere - just as we did back in 2019... Straight from the Labs takes you into selected member companies' labs and back rooms. You will have an unofficial preview of new digital solutions of the future, and receive first-hand knowledge about the latest tools employed by the Media Cluster. 
Open to all and everyone. Drinks and food are on us!

Remember when we could actually meet, have a beer, and deep dive into exciting discussions? Let's do that again! (Photo: NCE Media)
Future Week: Do save the dates, 7-10 June! We had so much fun last fall (check it out) when the cluster companies - in a small window of covid freedom - set up more than 50 different events in Oslo, Bergen, and Stavanger, including two conferences, during a very hectic week. We will repeat it all in June, aiming for a fierce, fun, and exciting week with plenty of highlights and lots of valuable opportunities to innovate, create, debate and network.
Future Week will hold your usual activities; Workshops, seminars, talks, debates, and breakfast meetings on everything from innovation in the newsroom, emerging tech, and tools, as well as discussions and workshops on the future of journalism, production, and content.

It will definitely hold the cornerstone of Future Week, the MCB Tech .22 Future and Technology Conference, with world-renowned thought leaders on stage. The date is 9 June. Stay tuned as we soon will launch the program and open registration. Also, our Data Journalism Conference will be back. MCB Hack was an instant success from the very first nerdy speaker on stage, and we have rarely had so much positive and cheerful feedback. Yes - it will be repeated and it will be an annual event. Block 7 June in your calendar. Registration will open soon. 

MCB Hack had standing ovations and great feedback last year. Here is a throwback to Lasse Lambrechts' (BT) presentation. And not to forget - Future Week will hold yet another brand new conference!! Save the date 8 June, and stay tuned as we launch MCB Fact, dedicated to the most crucial issues of our time; How can we build a sustainable democracy in a "post-truth" era. The core of the Media Cluster activities is the ongoing work to fight disinformation and "fake news", and develop tools and technology to strengthen democracies. The cluster has its own research center, SFI MediaFutures; Research Centre for Responsible Media Technology & Innovation, where the main objective is the development of responsible media technology, in particular leveraging AI technology, for the media sector.

"AI technology has shown to be of great value in many different application domains; however, it has also raised significant ethical issues, including, e.g., the creation of echo chambers in online media systems, and caused political polarisation and controversial or questionable election outcomes". (Source: About Media Futures). 

By discussing, and looking into, how new tech, and AI, in particular, can be used to detect and disarm false information and conspiracy theories, as well as cater for startups, innovation, and research projects dedicated to this field, the Media Cluster aims to make a difference and to strengthen our future democracy. An ongoing discussion amongst Cluster Members is also to debate and understand the role tech platforms, such as Google or Facebook, play in our democracy. The new conference MCB Fact will have both national and international speakers and will highlight what we perceive as the most important discussions of our time. 

We promise an exciting Future Week program with many surprises and highlights, and look forward to releasing the complete program soon. If you have any wishes or suggestions for Future Week, we are happy to hear from you. Don't hesitate to send Charlotte a few words (charlotte(at)mediacitybergen.no).

Hubspot: Great news for the Media Cluster's startups: We are now part of the HubSpot for Startups Partner Program. This means that qualified cluster members will have access to relevant events, workshops, and resources specifically aimed at startups and scaleups. In addition, these companies will be able to get very good discounts on HubSpot's solutions for marketing, sales, and customer follow-up through our license. More information about the program will be shared soon, but you are welcome to contact us now if you want early access or know more about the scheme. Here, you'll find a brief presentation of the HubSpots Startup Community.

Breakfast meetings, seminars, tech talks, and roundtable conferences - Oslo, Bergen, Stavanger + online: This spring, you will find several breakfast meetings, Show&Tells, workshops, and seminars - as usual. Those are all set up based on input from you - our members. A few highlights: We will have a seminar on intrapreneurship (inhouse startups), GDPR, and journalistic tools. There will also be workshops, networks, and seminars on new methods, technology, solutions, and know-how to strengthen democracy and fight disinformation will also take place. Stay tuned. 

One of the most memorable events last year was the breakfast meeting on the future of journalism. – Journalism is broken, said Shirish Kulkarni (The Bureau of Investigative Journalism) as he took the stage in Media City Bergen, and presented the seven building blocks of future journalism - journalism for the citizens, not the journalist.
Nordic 5G Consortium and Norwegian Cognitive Center: The Nordic 5G Consortium facilitates innovation, development, and commercialization of 5G services for content production, and shapes 5G use and policies across the Nordics. The Consortium is working for the best possible conditions for the media industry targeting the next-generation media services, working with governments and organizations to provide insights and resources, such as frequencies, to bring media production and distribution to the next level. We also support the industry sector in developing new products and services and promoting the industry's needs to partners and Governments. The Consortium is run by Media City Bergen. Want to learn more? Contact Kristian Bruarøy, kristian(at)mediacitybergen.no.

AI Industry Sandbox: Do you have available data and want them to create value for your company? Norwegian Cognitive Center has established AI Industry Sandbox, a free, isolated test environment that makes it possible to build new products, services, and decision-making tools using artificial intelligence. In the Sandbox, you will find no less than 387 different tools, applications, and solutions that allow you to quickly get started with your AI projects. In addition, you will have ten hours of free assistance from data scientists who can help you get started. Feel free to read this article to identify and describe use cases. Odd (odd(at)norwegiancognitivecenter.com) and Stein (stein(at)norwegiancognitivecenter.com) are ready to assist you!

We also recommend checking out all the ongoing activities in the Norwegian Cognitive Center. There are plenty of opportunities to engage in projects, workshops, seminars, or events. You can contact odd(at)norwegiancognitivecenter.com for an overview of what is happening and how you and your company can connect.

Media Cluster Hubs in Oslo and Stavanger: Like last year, the cluster organization will be present in both Oslo and Stavanger on a regular basis. Covid is currently making this a bit demanding to plan, but feel free to contact us if you want us to attend special projects or meetings. We will return with more information and current dates as soon as the virus calms down.

Members meeting in Stavanger: We were all disappointed when the planned Christmas party in Stavanger had to be canceled at short notice due to the pandemic. But not to worry. We promise to return stronger and set up member meetings in Stavanger when the situation has stabilized a bit more. As is well known, inspiring things are going on in Stavanger, and this year the Media Cluster will have its first on-site project manager in Stavanger. We can't wait!

Young Media: New to the media industry? At the beginning of your career? Young Media will be built up to a meeting place and network for recent graduates and young people at the beginning of their careers in the industry. The network will provide professional updates, build relationships and networks, and give you an industry overview. You will also have access to relevant seminars, presentations, and social activities. More info will follow soon, but feel free to enlist your interest to marianne(at)mediacitybergen.no.

Illustration from a previous networking event in MCB Media Lab. (Photo: NCE Media)Financing your innovation project: This spring, the stage is set for the second and final announcement in one of our EU projects, STADIEM. In this accelerator program, small and medium-sized companies can apply for up to NOK 1.5 million for their next innovation project, where new solutions are co-created with international media companies. Is this of interest to you? Read more about the announcement here or contact marianne(at)mediacitybergen.no if you have any questions. Application deadline: 28 February.

Vacancies or own events? We are happy to share our members' activities, including webinars, blogs, seminars, and so on, on our websites, newsletters, and social media. The same applies to job vacancies. Here is an overview of vacancies in the cluster right now. Make sure you also tune in to our event calendar to stay updated on activities and sign up for our newsletter to have the latest information from the cluster. 

And YES, there will be a study tour in 2022, at least one. True to tradition, we aim to be present at Times Square on NYC election night, as Americans cast their vote in the mid-term election in November 2022. We will return with more info soon, but you can already enlist your interest and contact us for more information. There will, as usual, be few spaces available here. Some of you might also remember that we set up a study tour to Korea and Japan, which had to be postponed due to covid. As soon as possible, we will reschedule this trip.