In 2018, Edinburgh Napier was part of a consortium awarded a portion of the the largest-ever single investment in the creative industries sector. We reflect on the work and successes thus far…
The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) allocated £80 million to fund the nationwide Creative Industries Clusters Programme. Administered by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), nine new creative research and development partnerships were funded to support the definition, design and development of new, creative products and services. The Creative Clusters Programme has united researchers and businesses to make the most of the commercial opportunities and secure the UK’s leading position in the global creative economy. It will further grow the creative economy by unlocking emerging fields and adapting new technologies that will open up exciting ways to create, distribute, and participate in products and experiences.
The Creative Informatics Project
A consortium, led by the University of Edinburgh which includes Edinburgh Napier and 25 other organisations such as the Edinburgh International Festival, the Fruitmarket Gallery and the BBC, submitted an application for a five year project focusing on Creative Informatics and Data Driven Innovation. At least 60 submissions were received and the Creative Informatics Project was one of 22 shortlisted and 12 interviewed. In September 2018, the team were informed that they had been successful and the Creative Informatics Project began in October 2018. The project is led by Professor Chris Speed from the University of Edinburgh’s College of Art.
Over the next five years, the Creative Informatics Project seeks to bring the city’s world-class creative industries and tech sector together, utilising innovative data-driven technologies to develop ground-breaking new products, businesses and experiences. It hopes to create more than 60 new businesses and through its six research and development initiatives, it will enable creatives and cultural organisations to explore and better understand how data-driven technologies can be used to enhance their work.
There are six different programmes (some of which are currently open for applications) that are funding smaller projects which feed into the overall project objectives. These include: Challenge Projects, Resident Entrepreneurs, Creative Bridges, CI Labs and Studios, Connected Innovators and Horizon Projects. All funding information can be viewed here under the ‘Our Programmes’ section.
Edinburgh Napier’s Team
Edinburgh Napier’s Dr Michael Smyth, Associate Professor in the Interaction Design and Creativity Group, is a Co-Director on the project and involved in activities across the board. He is supported by Dr Ingi Helgason, Senior Research Fellow, who is focusing on the project’s Creative Choices in a Data-Driven World elements and Inge Panneels, Research Fellow, who is focusing on developing the project’s Digital Tools For Small Creative Businesses. All team members are from Edinburgh Napier’s School of Computing’s Centre for Information Design and are working closely with the rest of the Creative Informatics project team and partners who comprise this exciting Creative Cluster.
Edinburgh Napier was awarded more than £1mil to complete their exciting activities. An exceptionally impressive achievement!