July 19, 2023

Collaborating with VRT: the greatest stories are written together

VRT collaborates on a structural basis with other media organisations in order to deliver public value and strengthen the media ecosystem. Collaborations with the sector take on different forms and can be established between different partners, from broadcasters to written press.

NPO: capitalising on international collaborations

The Dutch and Flemish public broadcasters work together intensively. Here, they focus on creating and exchanging programmes, sharing technology and innovating together. More specifically, they collaborate on the development of techniques to detect (and counteract) disinformation, the joint production of educational material and exchanging strategic research. One of the first concepts that has already crossed over is Stip It. This VRT initiative against bullying made a successful appearance on NPO Zapp in early 2023. NPO Zapp, the Dutch public broadcaster's children's block, has also been working against bullying for years. Only, the reach and impact of their own anti-bullying campaign dropped somewhat in recent years. It is during a working visit to VRT that the Flemish initiative was brought back to the attention of the Dutch colleagues.

We see all kinds of parties around us operating internationally and benefiting from that. As public broadcasters, we can do the same by joining forces from our shared DNA in an even stronger collaboration between the Netherlands and Flanders. An exchange through which we can both serve our audiences even better and that can also have a positive impact on the entire media sector in both countries.
Martijn van Dam, NPO board member

RTBF: bringing talent and enthusiasm together

VRT collaborates intensively with the Walloon public broadcaster RTBF, for example in capturing events (such as the Queen Elisabeth Competion and sports competitions), co-producing (such as the 1985 fiction series and the Belgian Game Awards), jointly purchasing productions (such as Hoodie), sharing news between the broadcasters and organising events such as the More Weather/Quel Temps expo in Ostend.

Queen Elisabeth Competition 2023

RTBF and VRT had been talking to each other for a long time about a joint fiction series, but were waiting for the right content project. We have a great opportunity here to combine our talents and enthusiasm, and tell a strong and important story like no one else could. Every new Belgian fiction project is an adventure, a gamble, something that requires courage. It can only succeed with creativity, guts and ambition - and that is exactly what characterises the project '1985'.
Sandrine Graulich, network manager of La Une


Other media players: exchanging know-how, footage and TV personalities

Also in its media offering, VRT often collaborates with other players. These include co- productions such as De MIAs (with Proximus) and de Boon (with De Standaard). It also involves capturing soccer and cyclo-cross races (with DPG Media and Play Media), exchanging TV personalities, the initiative Ukraine 12-12 (with DPG Media and Play Media) and making archive footage available. This is also the case for our news offering, with the exchange of footage (including with Play Media for De tafel van vier), the fight against disinformation (such as deCheckers.be with Knack and Factcheck.Vlaanderen) and the deployment of regional correspondents. Since 2022, Flemish media and other companies can use the Open Media platform to purchase short-form video from VRT in a user-friendly way.

12-12 Turkey-Syria

VRT Sandbox: joining forces with start-ups

Since its launch, internal accelerator VRT Sandbox has already worked with more than 130 start-ups and scale-ups to stimulate and anchor innovation. Meanwhile, that offer is threefold: build and coach young promising Flemish media start-ups, develop new technologies together, and invest in Flemish growth companies. In addition, together with RTBF, VRT also leads the international network Future Media Hubs, aimed at cooperation and knowledge sharing, enabling start-ups to grow beyond borders.

VRT has a very strong reputation for innovation. It is great that the public broadcaster resolutely opts for a digital-first strategy. At the same time, this means that the demand for more and better subtitling will increase. Thanks in part to VRT Sandbox's investment, we were able to further develop automated subtitling.
Maarten Verwaest, CEO Limecraft (scale-up aiming to optimise its production processes)

Innovation projects: collaborating internationally on the future of media

VRT explores new technologies and applications to connect people to the future of media. To do so, VRT joins forces with European and Flemish partners, including start-ups, universities, research institutions, technology companies, public and private broadcasters, and other media organisations.

Within various subsidised projects, VRT explores, researches and develops new workflows, formats and media experiences. To put innovation into practice, VRT works closely with media makers and users.

For example, with the European project 'TITAN', VRT wants to make citizens and specifically students resilient to disinformation in an innovative way. We are doing this by exploring new applications with technology companies such as Engineering (Italy) and Athens Technology Center (Greece).

We are also joining forces for 'EDUmake'. Within this project, VRT's successful teaching packages will be adopted internationally, enabling teachers in the Netherlands and Croatia to also use EDUbox.