The BBC is a broadcasting organisation that produces radio and television programmes in a number of studio centres throughout the United Kingdom. In addition, it operates one of the most popular web sites in Europe. The BBC exists to serve the public, and its mission is to inform, educate and entertain. Its audience includes 96% of UK adults who use BBC TV, radio or online each week. BBC’s primary entertainment destination is the iPlayer, an internet streaming catchup TV and radio service for people in the UK.
BBC R&D is a world-leading centre for media production and broadcasting technology, providing the BBC with a competitive advantage through technology development and expertise. Based in research labs in the North and South of the UK, the department is made up of around 200 highly specialist research engineers, scientists, ethnographers, designers and producers, working on every aspect of the broadcast chain, from Audiences, Production and Distribution right through to the Programmes themselves. BBC R&D contributes to the setting of international standards, and has played key roles in groups such as MPEG, EBU and DVB. BBC R&D has participated in many successful EC-funded projects and has an excellent track record for commercialising the application of project results.
Forthnet is the largest entertainment and communications provider in Greece. Today, the company that brought internet and satellite pay TV in Greece is, through Nova 3Play, the largest 3play provider in the country. Forthnet, using state-of-the-art technologies and fully exploiting its knowhow, is constantly devoted to developing pioneering proposals for providing integrated and inexpensive communication and entertainment services to the Greek family. It’s a listed company in the main market of the Athens Stock Exchange since 2000.
Today, Forthnet operates a chain of more than 130 shops all over the country and as of September 30, 2014, the company has over 1.17 million subscriptions, entering more than 820 thousand households (~20% of total).
Forthnet has always been a pioneer, as it is the company that introduced the terms 2play and 3play to the Greek market, while through Nova, the pay-TV platform, it was the first to broadcast in HD (high definition) and the first to produce and broadcast 3D TV content. In 2014, it introduced yet another digital novelty, the Nova GO – an awarded over-the-top service, which offers live and on demand TV content on laptops, tablets and smartphones.
It owns and broadcasts, along with Nova distributed channels, the Novasports and Novacinema channels. The sport channels offer the most popular Greek sports content, such as the national top leagues in football, basketball and volleyball. The Novacinema channels, through exclusive deals with the major Hollywood studios, offer premieres and blockbusters one year before any other channel in Greece. In addition to those premium content channels, the Novalifε channel is available to all Nova subscribers, offering movies, series and talk shows.
QMUL is one of the UK’s leading research-focused higher education institutions. The second largest of the colleges of the University of London, QMUL’s 4,000 staff delivers world class research across a wide range of subjects. QMUL is home to 18,000 students from 151 nationalities and it has well over 2,000 students studying in Beijing, China for a joint degree from the Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications and Queen Mary. With over 240 degree programmes and 5 campuses in London, QMUL is a key player in the UK high educations sector. With a budget of £300 million per annum and a yearly economic impact on the UK economy of some £600 million, Queen Mary is a research-focused university, which has made a strategic commitment to the highest quality of fundamental and applied research.
QMUL has strong links to the industry and a substantial track record on supporting entrepreneurship. Over the years QMUL has asserted its commitment to cutting-edge R&D producing five Nobel Prize winners and incubated several successful hi-tech companies including Activiomics Ltd, Actual Experience Ltd and Retroscreen Virology Group plc. QMUL owns the QTech Software Accelerator, a government funded seed for software inventions. The QTech Software Accelerator is fundamentally about commercialising software innovations originating from research. The aim is to identify commercial opportunities for the software and coach startups in a structured program of education, training and support; boot camps facilitated by externals with commercial expertise; and one-to-one mentoring to develop the pitch. QMUL also owns QApps, a smart phone App Store which distributes a range of innovative and exciting Apps developed by staff and students. QApps is as a collaborative venture supported by Queen Mary Innovation.
QMUL hosts one of the UK leading research groups in multimedia signal processing and computer vision: The Multimedia and Vision (MMV) Research Group.
The Universidade Nova de Lisboa (NOVA) hosts nine schools, including the Faculty of Sciences and Technology (FCT NOVA). FCT NOVA is a major science and engineering school in Portugal, hosting 8000 undergraduate students, 600 PhD students, and 500 faculty.
The NOVA Laboratory for Computer Science and Informatics (NOVA-LINCS), hosted at Department of Informatics, FCT NOVA, is a recently (2014) launched research unit, awarded a top-ranking grade of “Excellent” in the field of Computer Science and Engineering by the last FCT evaluation exercise. NOVA LINCS mission is to develop cutting edge scientific research in key areas of Computer Science and Informatics, in cooperation with the international research community; knowledge and technology user communities; and local academic/industrial partners and other public institutions.
The Multimodal Systems research group is focused in methods and tools “to create, access, and interact all forms of digital content in any device or scenario”. We work on algorithms to “model, analyse, and visualise vast amounts of data from which to extract more value, to make an intelligent use of data coming from different sources”. Thus, the Multimodal Systems Group is fully aligned with the EU Horizon 2020 ICT research topics for “Content technologies and information management”.
VITEC is a worldwide provider of innovative digital video products that support end-to-end media solutions. Since 1988, VITEC has played a leading role in the design and manufacture of hardware and software for video encoding, decoding, transcoding, recording, conversion, archiving and streaming over IP. Our comprehensive product portfolio of video solutions covers a wide range of industries including Broadcasting, Government, Military, Sports & Entertainment, Education, Medical, Telco, Enterprise and Transportation.
Starting with the world’s first MPEG-1 encoder for micro-computers in 1992, VITEC has been pioneering the field of MPEG technology. From zero-delay IPTV streaming and medical-grade recorders to broadcast-quality encoders and decoders- we are uniquely positioned as an innovator of digital video technologies. In addition to off-the-shelf digital products – VITEC has earned the reputation of a world-class provider of Custom Design and OEM for high-performance video systems.
From its beginning VITEC has been involved in collaborative research projects (EC Esprit program), has participated to several European or National research programs. VITEC received the IST 2001 Prize for its MPEG-2 compression hybrid technology (VM2000 ASIC), and since then several prices for collaborative projects, the latest one being the Eureka Innovation Award 2014 for Eureka Celtic Hipermed project.
The Foundation for Research and Technology – Hellas (FORTH) established in 1983, is the largest and most prestigious research center of Greece with well-organized facilities and highly qualified personnel. It consists of six research institutes located in the periphery of Greece and over the years, it has become one of the top European research centers. The Institute of Computer Science (ICS), one of FORTH’s institutes, has a long tradition in conducting basic and applied research, developing applications and products, and playing a leading role in Greece and internationally. In 2005, ICS-FORTH launched its Ambient Intelligence Programme, constituting a platform for cooperative research towards developing and studying ambient intelligence related technologies and continuously assessing their impact on the individual and the society.
Two ICS Laboratories participate in the COGNITUS project:
- The Human Computer Interaction Laboratory (HCI), established in 1989, is an internationally recognized center of excellence, with accumulated experience in user interface software technologies, design methodologies, and software tools. The HCI Laboratory carries out leading research activities rooted in the principles of Universal Access and Design for All, and focuses on developing user interfaces for interactive applications and services that are accessible, usable, and ultimately acceptable for diverse users in the Information Society, for a wide variety of technological platforms. Recent research activities of the Laboratory are concerned with Ambient Intelligence technologies and their application in Smart Environments.
- The Signal Processing Laboratory (SPL) strives to be at the forefront of signal processing research in the fields of multimedia signal processing and communications. SPL researchers are active in applying state of the art signal processing techniques to a wide range of applications, such as immersive audio acquisition and rendering, multichannel audio coding, speech/audio enhancement, speech synthesis, video compression, distributed information processing, remote imaging, and machine learning.
Pace France, a wholly owned subsidiary of ARRIS International PLC, is the COGNITUS project partner.
Pace creates world leading technologies, products and services for the payTV and broadband industries. Leveraging our complete portfolio of media servers, set-top boxes, gateways, sophisticated software, optical transport and access network solutions and highly specialised services support, Pace solutions empower customers to simply and cost-effectively delivery and evolve digital services at the speed they want and in the way they want, enabling them to build their success. Pace’s thirty years of leadership, experience and expertise is recognised by a customer base, including over 200 of the world’s leading payTV and broadband operators, that spans the globe.