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ACMI announces RMIT as Major Research Partner

15 October 2019

ACMI and RMIT University are delighted to announce an expanded four-year partnership. The partnership will build upon the successful relationship established in 2016, with RMIT becoming ACMI’s Major Research Partner. ACMI and RMIT will continue to provide new and innovative pathways for students, academics and alumni to deliver collaborative research outcomes, while leveraging the expertise of both institutions to support Melbourne's creative community.

A cornerstone of the new partnership is the new ACMI + RMIT Audience Lab, an innovative programming initiative where moving image creators can prototype and test their ideas while gaining crucial audience feedback.

Open to videogame developers, film and TV makers, mixed reality as well as moving image artists, Audience Lab will launch in mid-2020, upon the completion of ACMI’s major redevelopment project, and will be housed across the museum’s transformed exhibition and public spaces. This innovative programming initiative will give makers access to audience testing methodologies including contextual play, biometrics, new media experiences, beta testing, and usability, while giving museum visitors the chance to engage directly with creatives.

As part of the renewed ACMI + RMIT research partnership, the 2020 class of RMIT students from Videogames, Animation and Digital Design programs will have the opportunity to showcase their videogames through Audience Lab. From this pool of students, ACMI and RMIT will award a $5,000 prize to one promising graduate to help develop their game and prepare it for commercial release. In addition, the prize recipient will receive their own dedicated Audience Lab where they can take advantage of valuable audience testing to refine their game prior to its release.

ACMI Director & CEO, Katrina Sedgwick, is thrilled that ACMI will continue its successful relationship with RMIT.

“Through this exciting collaboration, ACMI and RMIT are fostering the next generation of local digital and moving image makers. Audience Lab will utilise the expertise of both institutions to benefit this thriving sector across Australia. The $5,000 prize is an invaluable opportunity for a bourgeoning game creator to make their mark on the global stage. Preparing makers to be leaders in the digital creative economy is at the heart of what ACMI does,” she said.

Professor Laurene Vaughan, Dean of RMIT School of Design, is delighted with the opportunities this partnership offers researchers, students and alumni.

“The ACMI + RMIT Audience Lab collaboration is a great example of how the partnership will result in world leading research that extends our understandings of audience participation and experience in the digital realm.

“The broader ACMI + RMIT partnership will continue to be a critical pathway of industry rich learning and development for our creative and entrepreneurial students as well as advancing knowledge within the moving image sector, through applied practice-based research,” she said.

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