360 Production develops ground breaking app for BBC documentary

Invest NI's Vicky Kell with Antony Fraser from 360 Production

BELFAST-based 360 Production has developed an app which is being used as part of a ground-breaking documentary on BBC Four called 'Contagion: BBC 4 Pandemic'.

The app, developed using £42,000 of Invest NI research & development support, is being used as part of an unique citizen science experiment to see how quickly a devastating pandemic could spread across the country.

It will collect data on the travel habits of users over a 24-hour period with results to be revealed in a 90-minute landmark documentary to air in on February 27 on BBC Four.

For some time 360 Production has been working at the forefront of TV production, and as well as the BBC it also boasts clients including Smithsonian Channel, Discovery Channel, PBS, ARTE, Channel 4, Channel 5 and YouTube.

Antony Fraser from the company said: “Invest NI's ongoing advice and support has been invaluable in helping us to transform an initial concept into a viable product very quickly.

"We used the R&D support to work collaboratively with local company, Big Motive, to develop the BBC Pandemic app. The app will be used to collect data which will drive the content of the documentary.

“As well as securing this production contract with the BBC, we have also received interest from TV outlets in the US to produce a similar show. This is hugely encouraging and our next steps are to push the technology into Australia and Europe and raise our profile in these new markets.”

Dr Vicky Kell, Invest NI's director of innovation, research and development said: “360 Production has undertaken R&D for the first time and in turn it has opened up a whole new market for its business and increased its potential for export growth.

"This project demonstrates the wide range of areas that can be positively impacted by innovation of which research & development is part. It show that investing in innovation will give a business a great chance of success.”

The north's screen industry has seen considerable success in recent years with award winning content being produced locally.

Companies such as Big Mountain Productions in Newry, animation company Dog Ears in Derry and Waddell Media in Holywood are bringing content developed and produced in Northern Ireland to a global market, with support from Invest NI and NI Screen.

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