Research Feature: FIRM

Transforming Creative Industry, Enabling Innovation and Talent

The Framework for Innovation and Research in MediaCityUK – FIRM – designs, facilitates and supports the creation of open partnerships and projects among universities and businesses for the discovery and application of digitally-enabled content creation and knowledge exchange tools. FIRM is a vehicle to enable things that would not otherwise happen, including the development of new forms of enterprise, technology and individual talent in the MCUK region.

Bridging Gaps

The FIRM partnership includes the BBC, Goldsmiths – University of London, Lancaster University, Northwest Vision+Media, the University of Salford , the University of Cambridge and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Established in 2007, the partners aim to tackle the challenges facing the digital creative media by promoting and facilitating trans-disciplinary research and development. FIRM bridges the communication gap between academics and businesses to produce national and global impacts in the domains of theory, practice and policy through:

  • Driving major research initiatives that proactively transform the creative industry
  • Creating greater opportunities to promote SME ventures
  • Brokering cross-enterprise response to industry problems and opportunities
  • Enhancing the talent pool
  • Providing value to the MediaCityUK host city of Salford and surrounding regions

Salford’s Dual Role: Coordination and Research

The University of Salford has a dual role in FIRM; not only do we coordinate FIRM strategy and activities from our campus in MediaCityUK, but academics at the University are also undertaking research into practices of engagement through virtual means. This research also focuses on the opportunities that this can present for cross-collaboration between a range of stakeholders, including community groups and public sector agencies. The university has led both the investigation into ‘Virtual Futures’ during FIRM’s first year, and the Virtual Community Engagement project.

Contributors from the University of Salford include acting FIRM Director Professor Brian Longhurst, researchers Professor Terrence Fernando, Dr Dulcidio Coelho, Dr May Bassanino, Jialiang Yao, Ian Everall and the support team: Mike Hession, Deborah Lea and Kelly Burgess.

FIRM is funded by The UK Research Council’s Digital Economy Programme and supported by the Northwest Regional Development Agency.

Find out more at the FIRM website or the University of Salford’s MediaCityUK website

Theme: Media, Digital Technology and the Creative Economy

The work and partnerships being developed with FIRM demonstrate the university’s ‘Media, Digital Technology and the Creative Economy’ theme (one of four cross-cutting interdisciplinary themes defined by the university): through our work in this theme we will place ourselves at the forefront of knowledge production and exchange in media, digital technology and the creative economy.