The Production Portal team at the THELMA awards
The Open University won the Digital Innovation of the Year award at the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards (THELMA) 2015.
The OU’s Production Portal project was recognised at the Awards for revolutionising how audio-visual content is both produced and used in the sector. The awards, now in their seventh year recognise outstanding leadership and management in the UK’s higher education institutions.
The cloud-based portal makes it easier to discover and re-use material, while also simplifying the workflow associated with re-use, such as costings and rights clearances. Approximately 200 production staff now use the portal to manage the vast body of audio/visual material available to students and the general public. Over 40 years’ worth of the OU’s archive material has now been migrated to the portal, and more than 2,000 projects and 38,000 third party clearances logged.
The judging panel was particularly impressed with the portal’s capabilities relating to rights management. They said: “It is great to see how The Open University has exploited technology to simplify its processes while also controlling the risk of litigation and reputational damage that might arise from inappropriate reuse of third-party material. The Production Portal has great potential for transferability, across higher and further education”.
The Vice-Chancellor of The Open University, Peter Horrocks, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have won the Digital Innovation of the Year award at this year’s THELMAs. This award recognises our position in the sector as a pioneer of innovation in the use of technology. The Production Portal, whilst being user-friendly, also enables us to ensure we adhere to our legal responsibilities around sharing our wealth of audio-video content. My congratulations go to the team behind its creation.”
The THELMAs Digital Innovation of the Year category celebrates excellent use of digital technology to improve the administration or management of an institution. The project was led by a small team in the university’s licensing and acquisitions department, headed up by the OU’s head of intellectual property, Alma Hales.