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Hello <<First Name>>,

Welcome to the Creative Economy Digest from the Creative Economy Team. We'll bring you the latest news from across the creative industries - the low down on funding calls, the latest research and reports, and upcoming events.

In this edition discover the upcoming Immersive Futures Lab at SXSW produced by CET plus funding calls from Digital Catapult, Media Cymru and British Council.

We've also added some of CET's recent client projects to our website including info on the services we offer, fostering collaborations between industry, the research community and government. Get in touch to find out more.

Read on for all this and more...

➤ Discover the Immersive Futures Lab @ SXSW 2023 
➤ Pathway launches £2m virtual production innovation incubator
➤ Cutting-edge immersive storytelling @ BFI Expanded: 6-12 Feb *FREE*
➤ £120k New Landscapes: Fashion, Textiles & Tech fund. Closes 6 Feb 2023
➤ Blog from UKRI: Updates on CoSTAR & what to expect in 2023
➤ £10k Media Cymru seed funding open now. Closes 17 Feb 2023
➤ Attend the launch of StoryFutures' VP Skills Report, 23 Feb 2023
➤ Digital Catapult launches £50k MyWorld Challenge CallCloses 13 March
➤ Discover Factory42's UnEarthed: part of the Official Selection for SXSW 
➤ Creative PEC briefing: 3 ways to support growth in the Creative Industries



£75.6m AHRC CoSTAR Funding 
For researchers and creative industries professionals to apply to host a new creative facility for the UK’s renowned screen and performance sectors. Closes 2 Feb 2023.
 More information

£120k Fashion, Textiles & Tech Grant Scheme
The New Landscapes Grant Scheme will provide five grants of up to £6k cash and up to £15k in-kind support. Closes 6 Feb 2023.
 More information

£60k Support for game IPs in NI 
Platform' will support up to four companies to develop their business and build their teams. Closes 5pm on Friday 10 Feb 2023.
 More information

£10k Media Cymru Seed Fund
Media Cymru’s Seed Fund offers freelancer or business based in the Cardiff Capital Region/Wales up to £10k to carry out R&D. Closes 17 Feb 2023.
 More information

£2m VP Innovation Incubator
Pathway has launched a £2.06m incubator, Pathway Indie, for new ideas in the virtual production space. Interested applicants can now join the waiting list.

Digital Catapult: £50k MyWorld Challenge Call
'Catalysts & Connectors' challenge call aims to build prototypes that demonstrate clear advancements in tech & novel applications of existing tools. Closes 13 March.
 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

Horizon Europe Gov Safety Net

The UK government provides financial support to successful Horizon Europe applicants from the UK, to ensure that eligible, successful UK applicants will continue to be guaranteed funding. 
 More information

Featured Story:
SXSW 2023

In March the Creative Economy Team is heading to Austin, Texas, taking the Immersive Futures Lab to SXSW. The Lab will showcase early-stage prototypes of world-leading immersive experiences from games, healthcare, heritage, ground-breaking uses of audio with projects from Creative Informatics, InGAME and XR Stories.

The Lab is part of a wider programme of UK activities at SXSW, supported by partners including Innovate UK, the Arts Council, Design Council and the Department for International Trade.

If you're heading to SXSW sign up for email updates from the Immersive Futures Lab and partners. See you in Austin!

➤ Register for Immersive Futures Lab / SXSW email alerts

Creative Informatics are presenting Ray InteractivePlayable Technology, Black Goblin, and SENSEcity as part the Immersive Future Lab at SXSW 2023. Creative Informatics has worked closely with these creative businesses providing funding, mentoring, support and advice and we can’t wait to bring them to the stage to showcase their exciting innovations with sound, audio and data.

InGAME are part of the IFL delegation at SXSW. They will be showcasing two projects: Nesta Playbox, an immersive policy playground where policy designers and decision-makers can prototype, simulate and test radical responses to the UK obesity crisis; and SmARtview, a unique R&D collaboration bringing together dairy farmers, vets, Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, and video game design techniques.

XR Stories are also participating in the Immersive Futures Lab at SXSW, showcasing their eXtended Reality experiences arising from partnerships with businesses in the North of England. The XR Stories team will also be sharing new research and exploring the innovations, issues and future impact of immersive technologies via a series of short talks and panel events.

Register for SXSW Updates

Creative Industry News

Digital Catapult launches MyWorld Challenge Call

On 23 January, Digital Catapult launched the MyWorld Challenge Call, titled 'Catalysts and Connectors: Tools for the Creative Industries', funded by the UKRI, Strength in Places Fund. The call aims to build prototypes that demonstrate clear advancements in technology and novel applications of existing tools. Closes 13 March 2023.

➤ More info & apply

Pathway launches £2m VP innovation incubator

Virtual production studio Pathway has launched a £2.06m incubator, Pathway Indie, for new ideas in the virtual production space. It will invest resources over the next five years, with applicants receiving in-kind access to develop their ideas or in-kind studio time and art department services to offset their virtual production costs. Interested applicants can now join the waiting list.

➤ Read more

CoSTAR: A network with partnership at its core

This blog from UKRI reflects on the launch of CoSTAR and what to expect from the funding programme in 2023.

"Looking towards 2023, we can build on that engagement and really begin to visualise CoSTAR – how it might function, where it could be located, how and who it might be accessed by to accelerate innovation, competitiveness and ambition in the screen and performance industries..."

Laura Partridge, Strategic Lead, CoSTAR programme, AHRC

➤ Read more

£10k Media Cymru funding open now

Are you a creative freelancer or business based in the Cardiff Capital Region or in Wales? Do you have an idea for a new product, service or experience in the media sector? Media Cymru’s Seed Fund offers applicants up to £10,000 to carry out Research and Development activities. Closes 17 Feb 2023.

➤ More info & apply

Fashion, Textiles & Tech Catalyst Grant Scheme

The New Landscapes: Fashion, Textiles and Technology Catalyst R&D Grant Scheme will provide five collaborative grants of up to £6,000 cash and up to £15,000 in-kind support to proposals that: Grow global networks; Support SMEs to exchange methods; and support young designers to become advocates for sustainable textiles technologies. Closes 6 Feb 2023.

➤ More info & apply

Support for self-publishing game IPs in NI 

Pixel Mill's video game accelerator programme 'Platform' will support up to four companies to develop their business and build their teams with a maximum fund of £60,000. Closes 5pm on Friday 10th February. 

➤ More info & apply

6-12 Feb BFI Expanded: Free to Attend

Explore cutting-edge immersive storytelling, created by the most inspiring female and non-binary artists from all over the world. Attend 6 to 12 February, daily 2pm to 9pm in the NFT2 Foyer and Atrium at BFI Southbank. Free entry, no booking required.

➤ Find out more

23 Feb: StoryFutures VP Skills Report launch 

StoryFutures: The National Centre for Immersive Storytelling has released the new findings of a report providing a map of the VP skills needed across the Film, TV and Games Industries. Attend the launch and webinar, hosted by Head of Virtual Production Prof. Peter Richardson; with report insights delivered by Dr Claude Heath, Senior Research Fellow at StoryFutures. 

➤ More info

12-14 March: Factory42 at SXSW 2023

Factory42's UnEarthed is part of the Official Selection for the SXSW Film & TV Festival in Austin. UnEarthed, created in partnership with Meta Immersive Learning, is a multi-story adventure where the player gathers research and learns about biodiversity. Festival goers will be able to try sequences from UnEarthed in the XR Festival area at the Fairmont Hotels & Resorts Austin, 12-14 March. The full experience will be released in later this year.

➤ View teaser

Developing a just, sustainable & profitable global creative economy

Creativity, Culture & Capital is a collaborative project between Arts & Culture Finance (UK)Upstart Co-Lab (US) and Fundación Compromiso (Argentina), three women-led non-profit organisations, working at the intersection of impact investment and the creative economy. They have released a volume sharing examples of the ways in which the visual arts, film, music, fashion and other creative industries can tackle problems from healthcare to indigenous rights, from prisoner rehabilitation to smart cities.

➤ Read more

Three ways to support growth in the Creative Industries

The Creative Industries are a significant economic force in the UK, generating £115.9bn GVA and providing 2.2 million jobs. The sector is diverse and encompasses sub-sectors such as performing arts, computer games, and graphic design. The Creative Industries have the potential to support the UK's economy and provide a productivity boost. This briefing from Creative PEC aims to inform the incoming prime minister about three important areas where investment is needed for growth in the coming years.

➤ Read more

Bamstick brings Cuhullin to life with VP

Belfast-based film production company Bamstick have brought to life Ulster’s mythological warrior, Cuhullin, using Virtual Production technologies. Developed through Future Screens NI R&D fund and utilising Ulster University’s Virtual Production studio, the project is currently partnering with potential stakeholders and attaching world class talent. 

➤ Read more

Poetry & meditation power new data analysis

Combining poetry and meditation may help to discover new angles on the world, by enabling researchers to take an unorthodox approach to data collection and analysis. A new study reveals that ‘poetic meditation’ can enhance qualitative data analysis by offering researchers improved sensory experience and an ability to approach data analysis from new directions.\

➤ Read more

UTO develop AR opera for young people

Ulster Touring Opera completed a Future Screens NI Narrative Futures funded project seeking to introduce opera to young people through the medium of augmented reality - a key step in empowering the next generation to enjoy music in all of its forms, regardless of cultural stereotypes. 

➤ Read more

More innovation stories:
Liz Cullinane's Many Threads explores scenography model box filming 
➤ Belfast filmmaker develops MR project exploring daily life of autistic person 


Creative Coalition Festival
 28.02.2023 - 03.03.2023
This hybrid event brings together the UK's finest creators, innovators, leaders and emerging talent to reimagine  the future of our world-leading Creative Industries
 More info

StoryFutures VP Skills Report launch 
StoryFutures: The National Centre for Immersive Storytelling will release the new findings of a report providing a map of the VP skills needed across the Film, TV and Games Industries. 

 More info

BFI Expanded
 06.02.2023 - 12.02.2023
Explore cutting-edge immersive storytelling, created by the most inspiring female and non-binary artists from all over the world. Free entry, no booking required.

 More info

SXSW 2023
 10.03.2023 - 19.03.2023
The SXSW® Conference & Festivals celebrate the convergence of the tech, film, and music industries. Located deep in the heart of Austin, Texas and online.

 More info


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