The North West Development Agency has approved a funding package for a research project to be run by Salford University at the Peel-owned site.
The NWDA said today the research project will be led by Salford University under the name Framework for Innovation and Research in Media City.
FIRM will 'provide the mechanism that connects the BBC and the digital and creative industries sector in the North West to international academic and industry research specialists and funding mechanisms.'
The FIRM funding package includes:
- £630,000 from NWDA
- £2.72m from Arts and Humanities Research Council and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
The NWDA kick-started Peel's Media City development with a £30m grant in 2007 when the BBC signed its bumper prelet. Since then there has been a steady flow of grant wins for the scheme, most recently £8m at the end of last year for a Media Enterprise Centre in the south tower of the studio block.
FIRM is designed to deliver 18 major research collaborations between industry and higher education, employing 30 researchers in the North West and 180 across the UK. In addition, FIRM aims to generate or lever £25m of research investment from the private sector over the next eight years.
The core partners in FIRM are the BBC, Cambridge University, Goldsmiths University of London, Lancaster University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northwest Vision & Media and Salford University.
Steven Broomhead, chief executive of the NWDA, said: "The NWDA is already investing over £30m in the physical development of MediaCityUK. This additional investment in FIRM, based within the NWDA-funded Media Enterprise Centre, has already helped to unlock millions of pounds of national research funding and the project will go on to generate over £20m of private investment in research over the next 8 years. FIRM will help bring the BBC and other MediaCityUK tenants together with Higher Education and by utilising the recently announced NorthernNet technology we can spread the benefits of MediaCityUK and collaboration across the North. "