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RTÉ and Science Foundation Ireland announce joint initiative

Grant funding available to develop more science programming on RTÉ One

RTÉ and Science Foundation Ireland have today announced a pilot initiative to provide grant funding for the development of additional television programming related to science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) that has broad audience appeal. 

This joint initiative will see Science Foundation Ireland provide €500,000 in grant funding to RTÉ television over the next 12 months for the development of prime time programming on RTÉ One. This programming, which is additional to science related programming already planned across RTÉ One, RTÉ2, RTÉjr and RTÉ Radio1 and ongoing news and feature coverage from RTÉ Science Correspondent, Will Goodbody, will help both organisations achieve their shared objectives of making science and technology more relevant to Irish audiences.

 

Pictured (L-R): Adrian Lynch, RTÉ One, Channel Controller, Glen Killane, Managing Director, RTÉ Television, Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General, Science Foundation Ireland and Head of Education and Margaret McCarthy, Public Engagement, Science Foundation Ireland

 Adrian Lynch, RTÉ One, Channel Controller, Glen Killane, Managing Director, RTÉ Television, Prof Mark Ferguson, Director General, Science Foundation Ireland and Margie McCarthy, Head of Education and Public Engagement, Science Foundation Ireland

As part of this initiative, RTÉ and Science Foundation Ireland are now seeking proposals - either one-off or multi-part documentary projects - that have strong science themes at heart, dealing especially in the areas of technology, engineering and maths. All proposals should be suitable for transmission in the prime-time schedules on RTÉ One, should have strong, popular appeal and be relevant to Irish audiences. Proposals can be authored or presenter- led, but not personal profiles or science history pieces.

In addition, RTÉ and Science Foundation Ireland are looking for one large-scale, event-based science and technology related project to play on RTÉ One during the first half of 2016.  Proposals for this project will, in the first instance, be supported in the BAI Sound And Vision round in July 2015. In the case that this project is unsuccessful under the BAI funding round, RTÉ and SFI will use that capital to support this project or other projects directly.

Both projects should engage people through real stories that relate to science, engineering or technology and have broad appeal. Further details of the Call can be found at http://www.rte.ie/commissioning/rtegaeilge.html

Welcoming the announcement, Colm O’Callaghan, Ceannasaí Cláracha Gaeilge, Education and Science, RTÉ Television said, “Both education and science have been identified by RTÉ in our Five Year Strategy as being strategically important to the organisation and to the Irish people. It is important for RTÉ to find ways to inform and engage Irish audiences around science-themed content and thanks to this joint initiative with Science Foundation Ireland we can fund additional programming around real life human stories.“

Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General, Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government, commented, “Science and engineering play an ever increasing role in addressing the societal and economic challenges we face on a daily basis.  A key objective of Science Foundation Ireland’s strategy – Agenda 2020 - is to increase the level of public engagement and understanding of science and engineering. It is with this in mind that Science Foundation Ireland is pleased to be collaborating on this new pilot initiative with RTÉ to support a range of broadcast initiatives related to science, technology and engineering to engage Irish audiences.Grant funding available to develop more science programming on RTÉ One

According to Adrian Lynch, RTÉ One Channel Controller, “This joint initiative with Science Foundation Ireland will enable us to increase our science-themed output on the channel, not just during Science Week, but throughout the year. It is important for Ireland’s most popular channel to be in a position to build on some of the really strong, accessible and popular science-related programming we’ve had on air in recent years, such as ‘Joe Brolly – Perfect Match’, ‘Power In The Blood’, ‘Unbreakable – The Mark Pollock Story’ and ‘Tommy Bowe’s Body check’, all of which were really well received by our viewers.”

The SFI Discover Fund which provides funding for projects that engage the public with STEM and/or support STEM education and which has supported a number of RTÉ projects will not be open to RTÉ during this period. Projects proposed in partnership with other broadcasters, independent film producers or animators may apply under this call. 

Proposals for the July BAI Sound & Vision Round should be submitted to RTÉ for consideration not later than 12 noon on Friday 12th June, 2015 (strict deadline). In the first instance, producers should submit ideas into the RTÉ eCommissioning system 

https://e-commissioning.rte.ie/SWIFT.Web/skins/rte/login.aspx - under the programme category - Cláracha Gaeilge Education & Science "Science/BAI".

All other proposals should be submitted to RTÉ for consideration not later than 5pm on Friday, 19th June (strict deadline).  In the first instance, producers should submit ideas into the RTÉ eCommissioning system https://e-commissioning.rte.ie/SWIFT.Web/skins/rte/login.aspx - under the programme category - Cláracha Gaeilge Education & Science "Science".