This week sees the Technology Strategy Board launch its three-year strategic programme to accelerate growth in the UK’s creative industries.
The Creative Industries Strategy (pdf) is an important milestone for the Technology Strategy Board as it outlines the focus of its investment in the sector up to 2016. The creative industries are a well-known success story in the UK, employing 1.4 million and worth more than 5% of GDP. As well as their direct economic value these industries play an important role in catalysing innovation across the wider economy, through new ideas, products, services and ways of working.
The new Creative Industries Strategy identifies three key themes as offering the main challenges and opportunities where the Technology Strategy Board can most provide support for the sector.
Convergence: emergence of new platforms and services, and the need to deliver content across a range of devices and environments
Transaction: disintermediation and fragmentation of markets, with new ways to capture value
Data: the opportunities provided by data find and retrieve content, and to analyses and understand audience and consumers
Cross-Cutting Themes include:
Alongside these key themes are four cross-cutting themes that represent the unique opportunities the creative industries have in working together and with other sectors.
Knowledge-sharing: the knowledge the sector brings to the wider economy
Cross-sector innovation: embedding innovation within other sectors
Design: applying creative skills and processes
Sustainability: stimulating creative applications of technology for sustainability in order to enhance UK competitiveness
A number of funding competitions will take place over the coming months, starting with a brand new fund for Cross-Platform Production in Digital Media which is now open for up to £15 million available for projects that stimulate innovation in the UK digital media sector!
This is part of a new, groundbreaking programme of work, with in excess of £25 million of investment will be pumped into the UK’s creative industries over the next two years, in order to encourage businesses to experiment and enable the UK to to retain its position as a global leader in digital technologies.
This competition will fund business-led R&D projects within these industries to develop new applications, tools, devices and software that will sustain creative and commercial success on a global stage. Successful applications to this competition will address the technical challenges of producing creative content across a range of media, devices and platforms.
Of the £15 million:
- up to £1 will be made available for feasibility studies. Typically, feasibility study projects will range in size from £100k to £120k and last between six and 12 months.
- up to £14 will be made available for collaborative R&D projects. Projects of two or more partners will attract up to 50% public funding of their eligible project costs (60% for SMEs). It is expected that collaborative R&D projects will range in size from £300k to £2m, though larger projects may also be considered. Projects should last between 12 and 24 months and must be business-led.
The deadline for registration for both is 6 November 2013, and the deadline for completed feasibility studies applications and collaborative R&D expressions of interest is noon on 13 November 2013. A briefing event for both strands will take place on 30 September 2013. This event will be filmed and turned into a webinar for applicants to refer to. For more information, go to the Technology Strategy Board website.