The BBC is backing a London Development Agency-funded initiative that will encourage small businesses to develop new technologies to be used when covering the 2012 Olympic Games.

The£90,000 initiative, called SciTech, will encourage technological innovation from six industry sectors, of which broadcast is one. The BBC, one of 12 industry champions of the scheme, has set the sector's agenda and has cited two needs it would like to see met.

The first is the development of technology that can handle wireless audio and HD feeds to deliver content. The second is gaming applications that link a worldwide audience of young people to the Games.

Interested parties have until 14 July to submit ideas to the website

The digital agency that has developed the scheme, White Loop, will pass on the ideas to its academic partners who in turn will work with the chosen companies to develop practical applications.

The best ideas will be showcased at a series of exhibitions and events in spring 2009.
White Loop managing director Henry Playfoot, the co-creator of SciTech, commented: “Small businesses are often extremely innovative but do not have the resources and sometimes the connections to bring their ideas to market.

The scheme provides a clear commercial channel for them.

“There is a big push for academics to become involved in the practical applications of technologies they are working on. Consequently, there are an increasing number of market-facing academics.”

Academic partners within the broadcasting sector include Circus Media Centre, Ravensbourne, Smartlab and City University.