The IMI is a consortium of academic, public and private partners that was created in January 2018 in an effort to support and develop innovation in the media sector, both through information technology and in relation to human and social sciences. The aim of this alliance is to initiate research projects with partner universities and to conduct activities to support and promote innovation, by gathering and interacting with a wider community that involves researchers, media professionals and investors.
To this end, the IMI founding members which are EPFL, SRG, Ringier and Triangle Azur—a cooperation network between the Universities of Geneva, Lausanne and Neuchâtel—as well as the IMI affiliate members such as the partnership between ESH Médias and HES-SO Valais-Wallis, maintain an innovation support fund with an annual budget of CHF 700,000. The Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM) is also supporting projects under this initiative. The IMI is open to all private and public organizations, in Switzerland or abroad, who wish to join and are active in the relevant fields.
Topics of interest include fake news, content recommendation and personalization, conversational interfaces, immersive experiences, artificial intelligence, and also new business models, as well as the cultural and social aspects of media. The partners’ goal behind this initiative is to build a bridge between creativity and technology, between the world of media and that of academic research, on the basis that an interdisciplinary approach is one of the keys to innovation.
The Media Center, which is hosted by EPFL, was created as an interface between academia and industry, and serves as the operational arm of the Initiative.