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JULY 2022


Hello <<First Name>>,

Welcome to the Creative Economy Digest, with the latest news from the Creative Industries Clusters and Audience of the Future challenge programmes, funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), plus creative industry news.

DON'T MISS... Dates and location for BEYOND 2022 announced. Sign up for access to Super Early Bird tickets, to be released very soon.

Read on for all of this and more...

 XR Stories Masterclasses - Key XR tech Insights for Businesses in Leeds
➤ AHRC & Design Museum Launch £25m Future Observatory Fund
 BFI Invests £1.1m in 15 Animation Projects with StoryFutures Academy
 PEC Launch Levelling Up Creative Industries Resource for Local Authorities 
 New Survey on Covid-19, Brexit & Climate Change from BFTT & FFF
BEYOND 2022 in Cardiff - Sign up for access to Super Early Bird tickets
 Mapping the Immersive Economy in the UK - Complete the Survey 
 Blog: How Research & Innovation Can Help Level-up the Creative Industries
 Climate Run - A Race To Save The Planet Through Gaming by Xplorealms
 Uni of Bristol & MyWorld Co-Design New Immersive Master's Programmes 
 Audience of the Future Creative Immersive Content Lifecycle Report 
 Future Screens NI Awardee Makematic Post Production Role - Apply 
 Canada-NI Incentive for Audio-Visual Projects **apply by 31 Aug**
 BEYOND 2021 in Belfast Sizzle Reel - A Taster of What's in Store for 2022


First Game Support from The Pixel Mill
The Pixel Mill is for calling video game studios in NI that are working towards developing their first game to apply for MiniGame. Apply by 4 August.
➤ More information

Funded Internships Scheme from XR Stories
Internship scheme open to creative industry SMEs in Yorkshire and the Humber, who work in emerging technologies (or aspire to do so). Closes 31 August.
  More information

Canada-NI Co-Development Incentive Open
Funds TV projects in drama, documentary, animation, entertainment & education, or digital media content made for other platforms. Closes 31 August.
  More information

Arts Council NI’s Small Grants Programme
Access grants between £500-£10k for professional arts organisations and community groups to support projects in any art form. Closes 31 March 2023.
 More information

Future Foundation Mentee Opportunities
Applications open for Future Screens NI mentoring programme, to match experienced practitioners to artists / creative freelancers in need of help and support.
 More information

€144.5m Horizon Europe Funding 

This European research and innovation funding is for research into cultural heritage and the creative industries, with a budget of €95.5 billion it runs until 2027. Includes the Horizon Europe Framework Programme (HORIZON), open to UK businesses.  
 More information
 BEYOND Heads to Cardiff for 2022 Conference

Save the dates! BEYOND 2022 is heading to Cardiff. For its 5th year, BEYOND will be right in the heart of the Welsh capital for delegates to enjoy a range of additional spaces for showcasing, dinners and networking at the iconic Cardiff City Hall and National Museum Cardiff. This year's R&D conference for the creative industries will span three days from 18 - 20 October, including online sessions. Delegates can look forward to a hybrid programme of workshops, talks, innovation showcases and more. A limited number of Super Early Bird tickets will be released later this month to subscribers - register for access.

 Access Super Early Bird Tickets


Levelling Up Resources for Local Authorities 

The PEC has published a collection of new resources designed to help local authorities across the UK who are considering investing in their Creative Industries and writing bids for the Shared Prosperity Fund (due 1 August). This new bank of materials includes advice, information and guidance on investing in the sector, also helping to incentivise others. Access key stats on sector size, as well as guides, blogs and innovation focused case studies from InGame, Clwstwr, XR Stories and Future Fashion Factory (projects funded by the UKRI's funded Creative Industries Clusters Programme).

Intended as a living resource, if you have any questions or would like to add research or share a case study - please contact

 Find out more

How Research & Innovation Can Help Level-up the Creative Industries

As part of the PEC's of new collection of 'Levelling Up' resources, this blog from Professor Andrew Chitty (Challenge Director, UKRI) looks at 'How Research and Innovation Can Help Level-up the Creative Industries', exploring innovation as a key characteristic of a creative industries cluster. The blog outlines key components of the Creative Clusters model, offering insights that will "help guide towns, cities and regions who see investment in innovation and the Creative Industries as a driver of future growth."

 Read blog

XR Tech Masterclasses for Leeds Businesses 

New masterclasses from XR Stories are offering businesses based in the Leeds City Region, the chance to master key areas in XR technology used for digital storytelling, as well as the opportunity to learn how to effectively pitch for funding opportunities - all for free. Held in their new state-of-the-art facility in York’s Guildhall, participants will hear from industry leaders and receive interactive training in digital storytelling equipment. The following subjects will be covered: Motion Capture on 27 July, Pitching Ideas on 21 September, 3D Capture on 19 October, and 360 Filmmaking on 16 November.

 More info & eligibility

Canada-Northern Ireland Co-Development Incentive for Audio-Visual Projects Now Open!

The Canada Media Fund and Future Screens NI partners Northern Ireland Screen have reopened their funding incentive, for the development of screen-based projects between Canadian and Northern Ireland producers. Now in its 5th year, the incentive funds the co-development of TV projects in drama, documentary, animation, entertainment & education, or digital media content made for other platforms. Producers interested can apply by 31 August.

 More info & apply

OpenXR Films Highlight Seven Unique R&D Projects

XR Stories has produced a series of films about the projects funded and supported through the OpenXR funding call. The films showcase how XR Stories’ approach to R&D has helped creative companies in Yorkshire and the Humber to thrive. Watch the highlights film to discover how the seven projects use immersive techniques and tools to push the boundaries of digital storytelling. 

 Watch now

New Survey on Covid-19, Brexit & Climate Change

Business of Fashion, Textiles and Technology and Future Fashion Factory have launched a joint survey targeting micro and small enterprises in the UK. The survey aims to find out the present state of affairs and the attitudes towards the future of UK companies, entrepreneurs and professionals in the fashion, textiles and technology sectors against the current political, social and economic background, which is characterised by the impact of COVID-19 and Brexit, and by the climate emergency.

 Take survey (max 15 minutes)

The Role of the Audience in Media

Michael Armstrong shares 12 months of research with Bristol + Bath Creative R&D, Pervasive Media Studio and the Digital Cultures Research Centre in this white paper for BBC R&D looking at The Role of the Audience in Media. 

 Read paper

Makematic Seek Post Production Supervisor

Future Screens NI awardee Makematic is hiring a Post Production Supervisor. The successful applicant will be working alongside an established and growing team of creatives – both staff and freelance – to develop fun, engaging and slick motion graphics and animated educational content.

 More info & apply


StoryFutures Academy Supports BFI Investing Over £1m in 15 New Animation Projects

The BFI is investing £1.1 million in 15 new, bold and ambitious animation projects as it announced the recipients of the latest round of the BFI Short Form Animation Fund. For the second iteration of the Fund, the BFI partnered with StoryFutures Academy, the National Centre for Immersive Storytelling, to support two immersive virtual or augmented reality projects from the slate of 15. Ten projects received awards of up to £120k for production, and an additional five projects were awarded up to £10k to support development.

 More info 

Climate Run - A Race To Save The Planet Through Gaming!

Following the successful delivery of the Audience of the Future funded Human Centred R&D feasibility project to explore building a Climate Game, Xplorealms has developed a low cost prototype: Climate Run has been playtested with local Westway communities, Bevington and Wetherby Schools. What started as a small R&D project supported by Rt Hon Jim Knight and CEO of Sustainability & Environmental Education CEO Ann Finlayson, has snowballed into an exciting and ground breaking project with a range of attendees, partners and future opportunities.

 Read more 

StoryFutures Academy Celebrates Three Funded Projects at Tribeca Film Festival 2022

StoryFutures Academy is delighted to announce that three projects supported by their Development Funding will be participating in the Tribeca Film Festival 2022 programme. Two of the three projects, GLIMPSE and INTRAVENE, have been nominated for awards; whilst the Wilder Films Production Fireworks will be celebrating its US premiere. 

 Read more

AHRC & Design Museum Launch Future Observatory: Design the Green Transition

The Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Design Museum in London, have launched a multi-million-pound fund bringing UK researchers, universities and businesses together to use the power of design to catalyse the transition to net zero and a green economy. The £25m Future Observatory: Design the Green Transition programme will directly fund and benefit over 100 higher education institutions and 75 industry and local authority partners across the nation. It is the largest publicly funded design research and innovation programme in the UK.

➤ Read more

Complete the UK Immersive Economy Survey 

Immerse UK and Oxford Insights are collaborating to create the 2022 UK Immersive Economy Report. This report will follow on from the The Immersive Economy in the UK report (2018), and The Immersive Economy in the UK and Beyond report (2019). This project will map the current Immersive Economy in the UK and help policymakers, investors, educators and businesses make better decisions driving the sector’s success. The survey should take 20-30 minutes to complete, ideally by a senior staff member who understands the full range of immersive technology activities in the organisation they represent. 

 Complete survey

Enter the BIMA Awards 2022 

The BIMA Awards are the UK’s longest standing and most prestigious digital and tech awards. Established in 1985, the awards exist to set a gold standard in digital-awarding, the work in the British digital sector that is truly pushing the limits of what is possible, making a difference in business, culture and society. Submit your work for BIMA Awards. The market sector, channel or technology used doesn’t matter. They are interested in what you made happen, how you did it, and that what you did not only works but makes others wish they’d done it. Submit by 22 July.

➤ More info and enter

🎬 Watch: BEYOND 2021 in Belfast Sizzle Reel 

In case you missed it, last year's conference took the theme of place to look at how the Creative Industries are forming the heart of new vibrant cultural and creative economies. Hosted in the brilliant city of Belfast, with an inspiring programme of unique speakers, demos, showcases and more, watch the reel for a flavour of what's to come in Wales at BEYOND 2022. 

 Watch now 

MyWorld & Uni of Bristol Launch New Immersive Master's Programmes

Two brand new Immersive Master’s programmes have been co-designed between MyWorld and the University of Bristol. The Msc Immersive Technologies and MA Immersive Arts will equip students with the creative technical skills and knowledge to become an expert in the field of Virtual and Augmented Reality. Both programmes offer a very flexible structure with the option of full-time or part-time study across two or three years.

 Find out more


DRHA Conference 2022
 04.09.2022 - 07.09.2022
Creatives, academics and industry explore Digital Sustainability in light of challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic and longer-term climate catastrophe.

 More info

BEYOND 2022 in Cardiff  
 18.10 - 20.10.2022
For its 5th year, BEYOND will be right in the heart of the Welsh capital for delegates to enjoy a range of additional spaces for showcasing, dinners and networking at the iconic Cardiff City Hall and National Museum Cardiff.

 More info

UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK 
 March - October 2022
Celebrating creativity in the UK, this once-in-a-lifetime festival is taking place across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and online from March to October 2022.

 More info


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