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News March 13, 2016

Adelaide’s Musitec announces first international deal

Senior Journalist, B2B

Adelaide based music industry cluster Musitec – set up by the South Australian Government two years ago to develop local and global opportunities for the state’s music, technology and creative sectors – has signed an agreement with America’s Berklee Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship (BerkleeICE) to develop a new program.

It was formalised yesterday at South By Southwest in Austin, where Musitec Managing Director David Grice was looking for more opportunities at the music, movie and interactive media meet. Initial talks on the BerkleeICE partnership began at last year’s SXSW.

BerkleeICE is housed within the Berklee College of Music in Boston and prepares graduates for careers as entrepreneurs in the music business.

The deal is the first of five global agreements to be unveiled shortly by the not-for-profit Musitec, which is based in St Paul’s Creative Centre. These will create jobs and strengthen SA Premier Jay Weatherill’s vision to turn the state into an innovative investment hub.

BerkleeICE and South Australian university students will develop and commercialise their ideas through international research and collaboration.

“The first program will focus on opportunities in music and health,” Grice told TMN. “Studies done on their interaction are inspirational, whether it’s therapy for those with Alzheimer’s with how music boosts brain activity, or children suffering from asthma being encouraged to take up the clarinet.

“The intention is to find innovative ways to use music as a mechanism to assist in prevention and patient management – with a focus on neurological disorders, respiratory illness and ageing.”

The research program will be chosen by the students only, and end with the partners using their networks to commercialise the inventions. Aside from jobs and future collaborations, it could make millions of dollars of sales from resultant products and services (Grice declined to suggest a target figure) and includes student exchanges, mentorship programs and internships.

BerkleeICE founding Managing Director Panos Panay said the faculty had been impressed with Musitec’s new approach to develop ideas and revenue sources.

“We recognise that Musitec is leading global thinking in the development of new business models that will contribute to, and shape the future of, the business of music,” he said.

“We are extremely excited to be working with Musitec and to offer Berklee students the ability to work together with their South Australian counterparts to explore exciting new products and services in the area of music and health.”

SA Premier Weatherill was also at SXSW, and said of the new agreement, “The State Government supported the establishment of industry clusters like Musitec to encourage collaboration and drive industry innovation.”

The other four deals were struck in the UK, Germany, Canada and Spain.

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