New multimedia research group thinks outside the square

Thursday, 12 September 2002

A diverse range of people - including an economist, lawyer, English lecturer, and film and television producers - have joined together to form a new multimedia research group at the University of Adelaide.

The Convergent Communication Research Group (or CCRG) has been set up by the University's School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and will focus on the fast-emerging area of convergence in multimedia.

"Convergence is occurring as media content and personal telecommunications both go digital. This is opening up new possibilities, like adding interactivity to broadcasting or delivering television-like services over the Internet," says CCRG Head Dr Matthew Sorell, from the University's School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

Dr Sorell says the group's broad approach will be an exciting addition to current debates about convergence.

"We will be conducting research into the technical, commercial and regulatory issues linked to convergence," he says. "While there is a strong academic presence in the CCRG, we are entirely self-funded and our focus is on helping government and business respond effectively to convergence.

"Our cross-disciplinary approach is essential. Convergence is cutting across traditional boundaries: the old style of thinking, where Engineering, Economics and Law do their own thing, simply won't work in today's environment."

The CCRG has drawn on expertise from both inside and outside the University of Adelaide. Among those from outside the University are former industry economist Dr Paul Chapman, a senior adviser from the Australian Communications Authority Mr Peter Ramsey, and Ms Cate and Gabrielle Kelly, who have extensive experience in film and television production.

From within the University come Humanities lecturer Dr Chika Anyanwu, who specialises in media and culture, and Law School lecturer Mr Robert Chalmers, an expert in intellectual property and regulation.

Dr Sorell says through its mix of experience and independent thinking, the CCRG will add a voice of reason to a field which is prone to inflated claims.

"We will try to resist the hype which is all too common in the convergence field - we are a group with its feet on the ground," he says.


Contact Details

Dr Matthew Sorell
School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 3226
Mobile: 0410 432 762

Convergent Communication Research Group

Media Team
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 0814

Mr David Ellis
Deputy Director, Media and Corporate Relations
External Relations
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5414
Mobile: +61 (0)421 612 762