Digital media facility opens in Bristol

A studio complex that encourages design and technology companies to pitch jointly for digital media projects opened in Bristol last week. Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling cut the ribbon on the Pervasive Media Studio on Thursday.

Local media organisation Watershed and HP Labs, Hewlett-Packard’s research arm, are jointly running the centre, which aims to help its tenants win content-provision contracts for emerging digital platforms.

‘The landscape of media production is changing to transcend TV, cinema and radio and to open up new opportunities for creative businesses,’ says a Watershed spokesman.

‘The funding from Watershed, HP and the South West Regional Development Agency should give about six months in which to develop this concept and communicate what we are trying to do,’ adds PMS managing director Claire Reddington.

Housed in a converted leadworks, which until December 2007 was home to the At-Bristol science education centre, the studio features 31 desks, an events space, hot-desking zone and prototyping area.

The walls of the prototyping space will be lined with Smartslab interactive digital display screens, allowing designers to sketch projects out for the benefit of clients.

Reddington reports that there are currently six companies installed in the centre, with room for about six more. The tenants include design group Evans Studio, sound artist Duncan Speakman, HP Labs and Licorice Film, among others.

Watershed recently handed out £9000 each to six companies, four of which are based in the PMS, to conduct their own research and development projects.

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