ABC Innovation is a division of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation formed in early 2007 as an incubator for digital development across the ABC. The division took over many of the services previously managed by the New Media and Digital Services division, including ABC Online.
The ABC established its original Multimedia Unit in 1995, to manage the corporation's website (launched in August that year). Although the unit at first relied upon funding allocation to the corporation's television and radio operations, in subsequent budgets it began to receive its own. The ABC provided live, online election coverage for the first time in 1996, although it was not until 1997 that limited news content was provided.
ABC Multimedia was renamed ABC New Media and Digital Services in 2000, at the same time becoming an 'output division' similar to Television or Radio. The department continued to perform the same functions, in addition to taking control of the ABC's first digital television channels - Fly TV and the ABC Kids Channel. 'Broadband news' services were introduced in 2001.
In March, 2007 ABC Innovation led the corporation's establishment of an 'ABC Island' in virtual world Second Life, launched with a live simulcast of a Four Corners program on virtual worlds titled You Only Live Twice. The presence was vandalised soon after - an attack on the site resulted in significant damage that was later repaired. The division won a Content+Technology (C+T) Award on 18 July 2007 for the site. In September 2007, ABC Innovation created a mobile off-deck portal providing coverage of the Australian Federal Election which could be downloaded to mobile devices at http://www.abc.net.au/mobile.
In March 2012, Angela Clark was appointed head of the ABC Innovation unit.
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