UK: £10M for digital technologies for creative industries

12 Feb 2008 | News

Funding opportunity

The UK Technology Strategy Board is putting £10 million into R&D projects that exploit digital technologies to increase the competitiveness of the country’s creative industries sector. There will be a particular focus on small and micro companies, with specially targeted schemes.

The output of the projects could be the development of new tools, techniques, processes or technologies that could be widely used in the creative industries.

The board previously announced funding programmes to support the creative sector in fields including electronics, pervasive computing, modelling and visualisation.  The latest funding will build on this investment and will be aimed at sectors including computer games developers and video, film, TV, radio, music, publishing and rich media companies; product and fashion design; architecture and interior design; broadcast, broadband and telecommunications service providers; culture, visitor attraction, events and tourism and Advertising, design services and marketing.

Of the money, £7 million will provide partial funding for projects that involve businesses working in collaboration with other businesses or with research organisations and academic institutions.

The remaining £3 million is set aside for SMEs only, to fund feasibility studies of up to £15,000 to allow small creative companies to explore initial ideas and to develop them into more tangible proposals that may secure further investment and fast-track projects of up to £50,000 for smaller projects over a shorter timescale than the usual collaborative R&D projects.

The board’s chief executive, Iain Gray, said creative industries now contribute over 8 per cent of the country’s GDP, and the sector is growing at twice the rate of the economy as a whole. “Technology has a significant role to play not only as an enabler but also in generating completely new ways of creating, engaging and communicating.” 

To apply for funding for collaborative research and development, where projects are typically 2 to 3 years long, companies must send expressions of interest by 3 May 2008, and their full proposal by the final closing date of 12 June 2008. Applications from SMEs for funding for feasibility studies will be accepted any time between 3 March 2008 and 18 August 2008, while applications under the fast-track scheme will be accepted anytime between 2 June 2008 and 17 November 2008.

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