Who is Ike Picone?

  • Assistant professor Journalism and Media Studies at the VUB
  • Co-author of the Media Clusters Brussels study, an interdisciplinary research project of the VUB, the ULB and the USL-B
  • Works in Brussels, lives in the Flemish fringe
  • Passionate about media, new media consumption patterns and the impact of new technology on journalism

Keyword

Ike Picone is a “bridge-builder”. As a researcher, he tries to reconcile different worlds, with the aim of creating a common language, from a societal perspective.

A job at the heart of innovation

The media are in a constant state of flux. Highly dependent on technological innovation, the sector has undergone some major transformations in recent decades, with a real digital disruption in written and audiovisual media. mediapark.brussels, the future, dedicated media business park in the city, aims to provide support for innovation and the industry’s development, by gathering the existing forces and through a multidisciplinary collaboration in a favourable environment.

Project in the spotlight

Originally, mediapark.brussels was primarily an urban development project. The idea was to build a dedicated site for the media industry in the Reyers neighbourhood.

Our research analyses this industry from a social-economic perspective, with its specific dynamics and structures: who are the people who work in this industry, what are their expectations, what are the different professional communities, how can we provide physical or virtual support for innovation? Creating a framework that promotes the development of the media and the industry’s creativity is a major challenge, which must take a mix of factors into account. Besides buildings, you also need a real programme, an interface that actively gathers individuals. This includes platforms that facilitate exchanges, assistance to obtain financing, support for start-ups, technological facilities and much more.

Brussels, City of Innovators

As the capital of Belgium and Europe, Brussels is a real media city. In addition to being home to various media organisations, there is  a strong national and international connection. Brussels is closely involved in European projects aimed at developing the media industry, and this proximity is vital for supporting innovation.

What he likes about his job…

Ike appreciates the societal value of his work, the impact it has, offering support to an industry that carries economic and cultural weight. The Media Clusters Brussels research gave him the opportunity to collaborate with a wide range of profiles and people with different backgrounds– Brussels universities (VUB, ULB and USL-B), the Urban Development Corporation (SAU-MSI), screen.brussels, VRT, RTBF, and so on. -  Finally, Ike appreciatesd the cultural diversity that is so typical of Brussels. He hopes that the creation of this new business park will also enrich the media industry in this regard.

Career

Ike studied communication and European affairs at the VUB. After a PhD on innovation in journalism, which he defended in 2010, he was offered a postdoctoral position with a main focus on innovation in the media and privacy. Since 2015, Ike has been teaching journalism and media studies in the VUB’s faculty of communication sciences. He is also employed as a senior researcher by imec-SMIT-VUB.

3 tips to Brussels innovators

1)  Keep an open mind and learn the language of others, i.e., look beyond your own discipline.
2)  Know how to listen to these languages and understand them.
3)  Look around you and be aware of the major support for innovation that is available in Brussels: institutional programmes, networks, incubators, start-ups, laboratories, and so on.

Figures

The media industry in Brussels generates a net value added of 1,699 million euros, accounting for 2.4% of the capital’s economy.
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