Without much of a ceremony Channel 4 launched 4IP yesterday. Launched as in they opened up a submission section on their website and finally got round to more clearly articulating what they’re after. In their words:
- 4iP is hunting for tiny, risky ideas as well as big, crunchy ideas.
- 4iP will help turn fabulous ideas into delightful running code quickly.
- 4iP will help products showing promise to deliver way more impact.
- 4iP won’t support products or projects on an ongoing basis
- 4iP wants proposals from as wide range of people and companies as possible. Nobody is too small, nobody too big. Nobody is too close, nobody is too far away.
- Your idea could make you a millionaire; your idea could earn you a knighthood for public service, but never turn a profit. Either way 4iP is interested in helping you get started.
- 4iP loves connecting people and organisations that otherwise would never get to work together.
Of course the idea is the thing but like all bids that need pulling together there’s some background reading to do as well. 4IP stems from the ‘Next on 4‘ document published earlier this year so you really need to get your head around that. I’d be asking: what’s Channel 4’s take on Public Service and does my project speak to that? And then Channel 4 also has its core values – Do it First, Make Trouble, Inspire Change. If you’re coming from a purely commercial background then bringing yourself up to date on the Public Service Broadcasting review that hangs over all this is worthwhile.
In terms of further reading, as well as the 4IP blog itself, you should get yourself subscribed to Tom Loosemore‘s and Ewan McIntosh‘s blogs. They are the Head of 4IP and Scotland & Northern Ireland Commissioner respectively. If you’re worried about protecting your idea then Martin Baker (Head of Commercial Affairs) has a take on this but it’s interesting to note that some people are already putting their ideas out there and calling for collaborators.
Finally, If you’re in the West Midlands you can probably hold fire for a while. There’s a regional launch next week and we’ll get our own C4 commissioner in due course. There’s no mad rush on this, 4IP has a couple of years to run at least so perhaps working up your idea, finding partners, having a chat to Screen West Midlands, are the things to be getting on with.