The world's most influential media, entertainment & technology show

11 - 15 September 2020
RAI Amsterdam 

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What are IBC Accelerator Media Innovation Projects?

IBC Accelerators are fast track, collaborative proof of concept projects that address complex media and entertainment business and technology challenges to develop innovative solutions, over an intensive four to six months project path. The solutions are then showcased as Proof of Concepts at IBC 2020.

Bringing together companies large and small, Accelerators enable much faster R&D cycle times compared to in-house initiatives. They are created and developed by ecosystem players themselves with a collaborative focus on the deliverables set out by end users/ buyers in the media & entertainment content chain and showcased at IBC’s event in Amsterdam (11-15 September 2020).  

Through a collaboration between IBC and TM Forum (which represents global mobile and fixed telecoms operators and the IT and telecoms ecosystem) there is also an option to showcase the PoC at their event, Digital Transformation World in Copenhagen (16-18 June 2020). This option can be considered if the project includes a significant element of connectivity (mobile, fixed, wireless) and the project team wishes to showcase the PoC to this community.

What is the purpose of IBC Accelerator projects?

The purpose of Accelerator projects is primarily to prototype solutions to new business challenges based on standards and best practices, and to demonstrate the business value that can be achieved from implementing standards-based solutions. Accelerators also foster the development of extensions to standards as required by market changes, as well as encouraging the implementation of standards and best practices in commercial products. A useful by-product of these projects is the validation of the state of readiness of the standards material, and projects frequently produce change requests for the standards based on their findings. Test implementations can be made available within an Accelerator IPR boundary and reused within it over multiple project phases to significantly improve R&D efficiency.

Accelerators can also result specifically in the development of new products for the market, as has been the case with projects in the 2019 cycle, showcased at IBC 2020.

The Accelerator programme is all the more relevant in a rapidly evolving landscape of media-entertainment, technology and telecoms convergence, where often complex cross sector collaboration is required, together with new approaches to addressing innovation within the context of digital transformation.

Why is IBC behind this, and what will its role be?

IBC has grown over more than five decades to become the most influential annual event for professionals engaged in the creation, management and delivery of media & entertainment services worldwide. Through its key role of convening the industry, bringing together more than 56,000 attendees to its event every year, IBC recognises a host of current and future industry challenges and opportunities that require a faster, more agile approaches to innovation. Challenges include the seismic audience shifts from traditional to online platforms and across multiple devices and screens, the transformation to IP for production workflows, convergence between the media, technology and telecoms sectors, in parallel with a host of disruptive technologies that are already changing the creative, production, distribution and consumption landscape, to name but a few.

IBC provides a collaborative hub to address some of these common business and technology challenges, assisting in bringing synergistic project champions and participants together, supporting and driving outcomes through project management and ultimately the platform to showcase solutions as Proof of Concepts. The Accelerator Media Innovation programme is fully supported by IBC’s Board/ Owners, including IABM, IET, IEEE Broadcast Technology Society, The Royal Television Society, The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) and the Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers (SMPTE).

What is different from the Media-Telecoms Catalyst Programme of 2019?

IBC Accelerators are an evolution of the Media-Telecoms Catalyst programme created and delivered in 2019. This first iteration focused on convergence between the media & telecoms eco-systems through a collaboration with the TM Forum. For 2020, the IBC-led Accelerator projects widens the scope significantly to focus on broad media & entertainment sector challenges through projects that address and solve challenges within the broadcast and media content chain. This provides flexibility for projects to develop which drive innovation entirely within the sector, as well as in collaboration across sectors.

IBC’s collaboration with TM Forum continues for projects where there are connectivity, telecoms and IT elements and where project teams also wish to showcase their solutions at the TM Forum’s annual Digital Transformation World event in Copenhagen, (16-18 June 2020). See section on TM Forum collaboration option.

What were the projects, solutions and outcomes that were delivered in 2019?

Three inaugural IBC focused projects were successfully delivered and showcased at IBC in 2019:

  • Mobile Newsgathering using AI Powered Compression: A collaboration between Al Jazeera, RTÉ, Associated Press, BBC NEWS, BT, V-Nova and Aviwest on a project designed to improve the quality and reliability of mobile news gathering and faster time-to-air for live and pre-recorded video, leveraging AI and the new MPEG-5 Part 2 LCEVC compression standard to maximise use of available mobile bandwidth.
  • 5G-enabled Smart Tourism Experience: A collaboration between the University of Bristol, BBC R&D, Aardman Entertainment, Zeetta Networks and Cambridge Communications Systems (CCS) exploits the exciting new capabilities of 5G for a VR/AR enabled immersive tourism experience at the Roman Baths.
  • AI Indexing for Regulatory Compliance & Editorial Monitoring: A collaboration between Al Jazeera, RTÉ, Associated Press, V-Nova, TechMahindra, Metaliquid and QCRI (Qatar Computer Research Institute, HBKU) using highly efficient AI visual analysis to rapidly identify, index, and measure political balance and enhance accuracy of on-air content, supporting broadcasters and content owners regarding their regulatory measurement and compliance processes.

For further information on each of these projects, in terms of the challenges and solutions found, please click on the links above for project presentation videos.

What kind of challenges could IBC Accelerators address in 2020?

There is a wealth of potential areas that could be addressed by Accelerator projects in 2020. Key to identifying challenges and selecting project teams is that they should be relevant high value industry use cases that the Media & Entertainment industry is addressing throughout the content supply chain.

Projects can focus on any areas of the ecosystem chain, including, but not limited to: content creation (new techniques in visual, audio, lighting, VR, AR, MR), production (innovation in the production and post-production process, including AI based automation, graphics, outside broadcast and remote production, new digital techniques in news and sports production), and distribution (linear playout, OTT  VOD platforms, live signal distribution (IPTV, cable, satellite) and internet distribution. monetisation (broadcast management systems such as scheduling, traffic, and rights and royalties tools such as Blockchain, advertising, including addressable and programmatic, data aggregation and analysis), Consumption, (such as identity management, user UX & UI design, platform and app development) to content management (media asset management and workflow orchestration, transcode, tools and services, editorial compliance and technical QC, archive management), storage (such as on premises and cloud storage) connectivity (IP and SDI infrastructure, routing, interfacing and conversion. connectivity services including internet, fibre, mobile/ 5G, satellite, microwave, wireless), and support services (including Video and audio monitoring, computing and cyber security).

Who sets out the specific Accelerator challenges?

The business challenge is set out by a ‘Champion’ of an Accelerator project who is a provider of media & entertainment services, or the end user/ buyer of a particular solution or product. A Champion could be a broadcaster, an online platform/OTT, a content creator, production studio, a rights owner or a telecoms operator, for example. There can be any number of Champions of an Accelerator project, but the minimum is one. The Champion not only sets the business or technology challenge but advocates the solution. There are no fees for Champions to start or join a project.

Who can participate in solving a challenge and joining an Accelerator Project?

‘Participants’ in an Accelerator Media Innovation project are providers of technology and solutions such as vendors, system integrators, consultancies and enterprises for example, who design and build a solution for the Champions’ business or technology challenge.  There can be a number of Participants in a project though the minimum is four. Note there are fees for Participants in projects, based on annual revenues, see answer on ‘what are the fees to join a project?’, below.

Who is eligible to join an Accelerator team?

Champions and Participants (as described above) can start or join a project. The programme is open to small, medium & large organisations in the media & entertainment ecosystem, including IBC sponsors, exhibitors and visiting companies to IBC2019 and/or 2020.

What support does IBC provide?

IBC provides project management, a collaborative working environment and tools, an IPR framework and face-to-face working opportunities. IBC provides a marketing platform and physical showcase for the innovation developed by the team at its annual event in September 2020. Additionally, there is an option to showcase at TM Forum’s Digital Transformation World event (16-18 June 2020). IBC will also hold an event in February 2020 (Kickstarter) for the project teams to come together, develop project scope and plans and recruit additional resources to their teams (further details to follow).

How does IPR work within an Accelerator Project?

Accelerator team members join a formal project with its own IPR boundary. Specifically, any IPR contributed into the project remains with its original owner, and there is no obligation to license this to other project members, but if they wish to do so, this can be negotiated bilaterally within the team, under fair and reasonable terms. IPR jointly developed within the Accelerator project is jointly owned by the team members.

What are the fees to join or start an Accelerator Project?

Champions do not pay fees. Participants pay Accelerator Participation fees, based on company size defined by annual revenues. Fees for Participants, as below.

Note: Full Accelerator Showcases at IBC (Amsterdam, 11-15 September 2020) are included with the Fees. Accelerator Project must have at least 1 Champion + 4 Participants. The option to showcase at Digital Transformation World (Copenhagen, 16-18 June 2020) is dependent upon individual teams. Prices are per project participation.

Annual Revenues (USD) Category Accelerator
Participation Fee Including IBC Showcase (GBP/ USD)
Option to Showcase Project at TM Forum (Digital Transformation World). Copenhagen 2020
> $25 billion A £14,100/ $18,000 £10,700/ $13,700
$100 million to $25 billion B £9,200/ $11,800 £7,100/ $9,100
$25 million to $100 million C £7,200/ $9,100 £5,400/ $6,900
$1 million to $25 million D £4,200/ $5,300 £3,200/ $4000
< $1 million E £1,100/ $1,400 £860/ $1,100


What are the benefits of joining an IBC Accelerator Project?

There are many tangible and significant benefits to being involved in an Accelerator project, aside from addressing and solving a specific, complex technology challenge for your organisation, these include:

  • Multiplication of resources (Est x5): IBC Accelerators serve as extensions to your R&D departments where resources are pooled by participating organisations
  • Acceleration of R&D, Fast Collaboration: With an R&D cycle considerably faster than most in-house cycles, the power of Accelerator Projects is significant. IBC manages the projects’ cycle ensuring structured programmes are in place. All this comes at a fraction of the cost that you would have incurred internally
  • Creativity from a multi-company team: Working with some of the brightest minds from outside your company helps get fresh perspectives into the project
  • Testing Platform: Learn how your solution works with others from the industry or from other sectors in a hands-on environment. Receive real requirements and sincere feedback from other Champions & industry colleagues
  • ‘Trust’ – A safe place to innovate: Explore new concepts: without needing to expend time and energy to form commercial relationships –IBC (together with TM Forum, where appropriate) takes care of the contracts and collaboration tools.


What does an Accelerator team receive for their investment?

The value of starting or joining an Accelerator project is significant, not least through solving your business or technology challenges cost-effectively within a condensed time frame, as a Champion, but also to discover new solutions, expertise and technologies and potentially new suppliers of the future. For participants, the opportunities to solve the business or technology challenges of the project Champions could lead to new business partnerships and potentially new, end-user focused, commercial products and solutions.

In terms of marketing and PR exposure, the benefits include engagement range from virtual online showcases, professional studio video interviews & demos, blogs, written articles and presentations, awards submissions and of course the highly visible and promoted showcases at IBC (and TM Forum, if selected). For more information on these opportunities, please contact 

What is the process and timelines for selecting Champions or Participants?

IBC is calling for Accelerator Innovation project submissions now, until the deadline of 15 January 2020. Champions and Participants can either submit their own project challenges/ use cases and teams or can apply to join a project as the various challenges are published.

In mid-January 2019, we will begin a ‘Matchmaking’ phase whereby IBC will help Champions and Participants to identify additional companies with relevant technology and/or expertise to join their teams.

What is the process and timelines once Accelerator teams have been identified?

Once the Accelerator project teams have been identified and assembled, the teams come together at an IBC hosted ‘Kickstarter’ event in London, bringing project teams together to discuss synergies, recruit additional expertise and initiate project development to solve their chosen business challenge (further details on this event to TBC).

IBC will also hold an event at MWC 2020 to evangelise the challenges and utilise the event to further promote and recruit additional expertise for project teams, where appropriate. Once the project is underway and a solution developed to the satisfaction of the Champion, the team has the option of showcasing the initial phase of the project at TM Forum’s Digital Transformation World event in Copenhagen (16-18 June 2020) is subject to the team agreement after which development continues toward the showcase at IBC Show in Amsterdam (11-15 September 2020).

What is the specific role of Champions, and what resources are required from them?

Champions’ responsibilities include:

  • Helping to define project scope & refine the business challenge and ultimately validating that the

     project addresses a significant organization or industry problem

  • Providing business requirements, clarifications and feedback for the use cases within the project
  • Validating that the proposed project deliverables will provide value to their organisation and the wider industry
  • Giving feedback on solutions as they are developed
  • Promoting the solutions within their organizations and to the wider industry
  • Providing a ‘sponsor’ for the project, and a working level engagement contact (can be the same person)
  • Attend at least 80% of meetings
  • Attend IBC Project ‘Kickstart’ event in early February 2020 (details TBC) and subsequent Showcase events


What is the specific role of Participants, and what resources are required from them?

Participants’ responsibilities include:

  • Develop project scope, plans and timelines
  • Develop solution design and executable deliverables including the proof-of-concept demonstration
  • Complete the necessary documents (project charters, templates, etc.) as required by the initiative
  • Harvest the learning and assets from the Accelerator to create best practices guidance and standards input for the industry Work collaboratively with other project team members
  • Attend at least 80% of meetings
  • Attend IBC Project ‘Kickstart’ event in early February 2020 (details TBC) and subsequent Showcase events


Who is responsible for providing resources to the Accelerator teams?

The teams participating in a project provide resources from their own companies to work through the necessary project tasks, preparation of Accelerator demos and production of deliverables. IBC (and TM Forum, where option selected) will provide support in the form of marketing, technical and project management guidance, project mentorship and are available to answer any additional questions raised.

How long do Accelerator projects last?

Accelerator Projects are designed to be rapid-fire, fast track proof of concepts and typically last four to six months (depending on complexity) from the action-oriented start of the process in February to showcasing the solution from June 2020 (optional) and ultimately at IBC 2020. Projects often extend to a second phase to expand the scope or work on more advanced use cases.

Can competitors take part in the same Accelerator?

Yes, and this has proven to work to good effect in previous projects, whereby competitive Champions and Participants have often engaged collaboratively to solve a specific, common challenge. Nothing of commercial sensitivity need be shared, and each Accelerator is supported by well-established ground rules and policies established in similar projects over many years.

What are the outputs of an Accelerator project?

The outputs of a project range from whitepapers, case studies, best practice guides, lessons learned as input to other teams through to API specifications, Models, Frameworks & Reference Code.

What does showcasing an Accelerator Project entail?

Accelerator showcases will take the form of exhibition kiosk showcases demonstrating the solution to a challenge as a PoC. This will be in the form of a cluster of Accelerators in a special zone at and at IBC in Amsterdam (11-15 September 2020). The costs of showcasing in this (and optional events) is included in the participation fees for a project (see fees for more information). The showcases are presented by the project teams with support from IBC and boosted by a full suite marketing programme to add context, visibility, and prominence to successful projects.

Are there Awards for Best Accelerator Projects?

Yes, at the culmination of the Accelerator cycle, outstanding projects will be recognised with Accelerator Awards at IBC2020 and at TM Forum’s DTW event, if the project team decides to showcase. More details will follow soon.

Where can Accelerator teams promote their work to the industry?

Accelerator Projects and participating teams will be listed on the IBC website (and TM Forum, where the team decides to showcase at their event) and widely promoted through various communications channels. Once a team provides details of their project, the information is made available on their own specific Accelerator web pages hosted. There are also multiple press releases created from project outputs and content that will be shared with all team members to promote within their own organisation.

How do potential Champions or Participants apply to get involved?

Either email at or contact Mark Smith, who is heading the programme at