Fernando Laguarda, vice president of external affairs and director of the Time Warner Cable research program on digital communications, says this effort will award reports that provide new information, insight and practical advice for the entertainment and media industries.
"It's an effort to have our own voice -- now that we are an independent company," he says. "We want to set ourselves apart." In 2009, Time Warner Cable spun off from its Time Warner Inc. parent.
Time Warner Cable says research will not necessarily support any of the company's business efforts. "We think it's a matter of adding new voices," Laguarda says. "It's to broaden involvement."
The papers will explore a broad range of issues. For example, video convergence, local programming, the future of set-top boxes, gaming and the role of network advertising are among possible topics, says Laguarda.
In keeping its promise to stir debate and conversation, Laguarda says, "we are not editing this content."
Time Warner Cable is offering a $20,000 stipend for efforts from professors, think tanks and any study from a scholarly background. It wants to complete around six such studies per year, aiming to get these papers published in the Federal Communications Commission's law journal.
As part of the overall effort to separately brand itself, Laguarda says the TWC program already commissioned a series of five essays from various academics.