Other Voices music series and CultureTECH digital festival launch innovation challenge

10 Apr 2013

(From left) Philip Gilliland, Londonderry Chamber of Commerce; Muireann Kelliher, Other Voices; Mark Nagurski, CultureTECH; and Philip King, Other Voices, at the launch of the Other Voices Digital Challenge in London. Photo via Eamonn Power

In a move that could spark interest from digital-technology start-ups, the Irish music series Other Voices has launched a digital innovation challenge to find new technology ideas to blend into its TV and online series. Other Voices is teaming up with the Derry digital music festival CultureTECH to launch the challenge, which will have a €10,000 prize fund for the two eventual winners.

The Other Voices music series is filmed each winter in the atmospheric setting of the tiny 200-year-old St James’ Church in Dingle, Co Kerry. Irish and international bands and musicians record interviews and perform live sets in front of audiences before the series is broadcast on RTÉ and online.

The series already attracts a global audience, but the aim of the new challenge is to seek out new digital technologies in order to broaden the programme’s reach, according to Philip King, Other Voices’ series editor.

Individuals or start-ups with ideas from across Ireland and the UK can submit their ideas for new digital products and services for Other Voices via CultureTECH. Six ideas will then be selected to showcase as part of the digital technology, music and media festival that will take place in Derry this September.

CultureTECH’s festival director Mark Nagurski said anyone can submit an idea, irrespective of whether it is already being developed or not.

“We’ll bring the top 6 to Derry to tell us more in front of a live audience. Other Voices will then pick two overall winners,” he said.

The two winners will each receive €5,000 and the opportunity to work with Other Voices to develop their ideas further.

Nagurski said the chance to get access to world-class artists and showcase their technology to a global audience would be a real incentive for a start-up or anybody with a smart idea to enter the digital challenge.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic