Knowledge Transfer Partnership Case Study - Boomerang+

‘Tween Audiences and Welsh-language Television Production: Impacts on Economic Prosperity and Cultural Life’

Summary of the benefits:

The project helped to inform and shape the company’s outputs by adding ‘authority’ to decision-making processes and enabling ‘smarter’ ways to tender for future contracts with their main client, S4C, the nation’s Welsh-language broadcaster. This proved crucial for the company in economic terms, in a climate of significant budget-cuts and intensifying competition across the sector. S4C also took an active interest in the research findings, and the project also formed the basis of a Royal Television Society (Wales) special event on the future of children’s television production.

 

About the Company:

Boomerang Plus PLC is an award winning, Welsh media production company. The Company is engaged in various activities including programme production, post-production services, television facilities, and talent management.  Its national and international output includes sports, drama, comedy, live events, children's programmes, Web content, and radio broadcasts. The Company’s objective is to deliver innovation and excellence. 

About the Associate:

"Participating in this KTP and completing a challenging project enabled me to develop excellent project management skills. The post also offered first-hand insight into the creative industries in Wales, which has proved invaluable in developing my own PhD research."
Helen Davies – Research Associate

Helen Davies, the KTP Research Associate, was based full-time with Boomerang+ throughout the duration of the project. She was responsible for project management, data gathering/analysis, and ensuring that the academic-business partnership was both meaningful and workable. Prior to the project, she had international teaching experience with primary school children and an academic grounding in social research methodologies. During the course of the work, she completed the Level 5 Leadership & Management course with the Chartered Management Institute, whilst also undertaking an MPhil postgraduate research degree at AU. The MPhil was subsequently upgraded to a PhD, focusing on children, media and minority language maintenance, and Helen is due to complete the work by September 2015.

Further information:

For further information on the opportunities presented by Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, please contact:


Business Development Officer
Department of Research, Business & Innovation
Aberystwyth University

Tel: 01970 622797

Email: syg2@aber.ac.uk

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About the Project:

"This KTP promoted new ways of thinking about my academic research, offering fresh perspectives on children’s media content and production. The project enriched both my teaching practice and writing, and applying my knowledge to a new context has been invigorating."
Dr Merris Griffiths – Academic Supervisor

The project had a Wales-wide scope, involved over 1000 children in schools across the country, and represented the first ever data-gathering exercise of its kind to be conducted with Welsh-speaking children. The emergent findings from various ‘encounters’ with the audience members produced a ‘snap shot’ of contemporary childhood in Wales (capturing issues of cultural life that were important to the children) and of the media’s place within it.

The KTP offered Boomerang+ a timely opportunity to further strengthen their industry position as one of the main producers of original children’s television content in the UK by generating new data on children’s media preferences and practices that could be tailored to the company’s requirements.

Dr Helen Davies and Dr Merris Griffiths

From left to right: Dr Helen Davies (Associate) and Dr Merris Griffiths (Academic Supervisor)

Without input from Helen Davies, the Associate,and Dr Merris Griffiths’, the Academic Supervisor, Boomerang+ would not have had the knowledge or capacity to design and implement such an extensive and complex data-gathering exercise using a number of interlocking approaches. The research was designed in such a way as to build a range of datasets that could be compared, in order to highlight and ‘test’ various emergent patterns of audience response. As such, Griffiths’ expertise – as arguably the only person in Wales conducting this kind of research – fed directly into the KTP and enabled a raft of impacts and benefits to be generated.

The KTP enabled the company to avoid the pit-falls and concerns often associated with child-related research (in terms of ethical considerations, research design, and access to participants), radically enhancing their capacity to undertake such work, and the project became a crucial link between the company and its intended target audience.

The impact of the project on practitioners was instantly meaningful to the company’s creative outputs and played a positive role in the development of current programmes. Throughout the research project, the company pro-actively responded to feedback from the target audience and (where appropriate) made agile, innovative and immediate adjustments to their production work.