Transmedia Lab (Orange) join forces to the Annenberg Innovation Lab (USC)


by Morgan Bouchet, published on 1.03.2012

Keen to build on their transmedia innovation strategy, our colleagues at Orange Silicon Valley and the Orange Content Division have just established a partnership with the Annenberg Innovation Lab at USC (University of Southern California). The laboratory and its leading light Henry Jenkins will share expertise with the Orange teams, challenging them on various projects.This partnership will progress analysis and experimentation in an area of activity that is destined to step up from being a trend to acting as a powerful lever.



It was the decision to commit to a marriage between technology and creativity that led to Orange founding its Transmedia Lab in 2009. The Lab is dedicated to supporting creators, producers, and broadcasters through the gestation of their projects and to experimenting with new narrative formats.

In the context of new projects and international perspectives, Orange has just established a partnership with the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Innovation Lab. Best known for its Film School, founded in 1929, USC has educated some of the biggest names in American cinema, such as Ron Howard and George Lucas. The Annenberg Innovation Lab is recognised in the United States for its contributions to the fields of transmedia, journalism, social media and Social TV. Its reputation is owed to its professors (alumni of Stanford, MIT, etc.) and researchers Jonathan Taplin and Henry Jenkins (formerly of MIT), who are authorities in the field.

Henry Jenkins is identified as the originator of Transmedia as a concept, first described in 2002 at an Electronic Arts conference. After 20 years with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Medialab, he recently joined the Annenberg Innovation Lab, which is known for the crucial creative editorial role it plays in the realisation of projects launched at MIT, in turn famous for its “technological” prowess.

The partnership will last a year, giving Orange access to various works of analysis as well as the results of the University’s research. The idea is to work with the Annenberg Innovation Lab researchers to lay fundamental groundwork, pushing forward all transmedia experimentation and building a powerful tool to meet consumer expectations.

The partnership will also give Orange an opportunity to work with academics from USC and put the Orange teams to the test against its students on projects focusing on transmedia and the socialisation of content. According to Jean-François Rodriguez (Director for Gaming and Transmedia at Orange) this will enable them “to work together with students and researchers on Orange’s flagship transmedia project, due in October 2012”.

The partnership marks the next level of Orange’s 2009 commitment to exploring the rapid expansion of these new creative formats. The company is acting on its strategy of innovation in content, gaming and new forms of creativity.


- Henry Jenkins will be in Paris in May!

- The next San Francisco Transmedia Meetup will be held at the end of March at Orange’s premises.

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author Morgan Bouchet

VP Transmedia & Social Media - Content Division, Born into a family of professional TV and music producers, he has over 15 years’ experience in integrated communications, marketing & content with digital expertise. In 1997 he joined FKGB agency (TBWA group), a French leader in 360° entertainment communication, brand and content marketing and became manager of the New Media division in 1998. He joined Orange/France Telecom in August 2000 to develop content-related activities as product manager and new content experiences. A member of Xavier Couture’s team since 2008, he develops new business & content activities.