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MARCH 2022


Hello <<First Name>>,

Dive in for the latest news from the Creative Industries Clusters and Audience of the Future challenges, funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

Pus, the Audience of the Future Live programme @ SXSW in Austin, Texas starts Monday, showcasing some of the UK's most cutting-edge creative R&D projects on a global stage. Subscribe for updates & follow @AudienceFuture.
Read on for the below and more...

Audience of the Future Live Programme @ SXSW - Schedule & Projects
UK Immersive Takeover day @ SXSW - Schedule **15 March**
UK-Canada Immersive Exchange @ SXSW - Projects **14-15 March**
£35k Immersive Experiences Design Prototype Fund **Closes 14 Mar**
£25k Fashion Sustainability Call **deadline extended to 16 Mar**
Clwstwr-Funded Agile Kinetic AI App Improves Musculoskeletal Health 
 BFI & StoryFutures Academy Laika VR experience Tour 
Clwstwr Article on Setting up for Success: Mitigating Risk in R&D 
 Future Screens NI Future Foundation: Become a Mentee 
 National Gallery & StoryFutures' Virtual Veronese is Open Now - Tickets
 Creative Informatics Challenge Holder Open **Apply by 21 Mar**
 Factory 42 ‘The Green Planet AR ExperienceShowcase @ SXSW 
 Near-Life Launch Immersive Learning Project with Manchester Police
 Future Fashion Factory Interview: Shaping the Future UK Textile Industry 
 Creation of On-Set VFX in Near Real-Time using Nuke: Sneak Peak
 Clwstwr Announce Wales to Pilot BFI & BAFTA Initiative for Sustainability
➤ PEC article on Transforming R&D Investment in the Creative Industries 
 £5k Creative Informatics Academic & Research Grants **Closes 25 April**



£25k Six-Month Sustainability Challenge
Future Fashion Factory is offering up to £25k toward the cost of short-term, high impact innovation projects focused on a more sustainable fashion and textiles industry. Deadline extended to 16 March.
 More information

Creative Informatics Challenge Holder
Last chance! Final call for creative organisations in Edinburgh and SE Scotland looking at overcome obstacles with a data-driven solution. Closes 21 March 2022. 
 More information

£35k Design for Immersive Experiences  
Prototype funding from StoryFutures Academy, to demonstrate the application of creative inclusive concepts within an immersive production. Closes 14 March.
 More information

EIT Culture & Creativity Call for Proposals 
Invitation for consortia of organisations and CCSI industry and sectoral leaders bringing together education, research and business to put forward their vision and strategy for EIT Culture & Creativity. Closes 24 March 2022.
 More information

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

£5k Small Research Grants
Creative Informatics' open call for small research grants aimed at academics and researchers at any stage of their career, including PhD students. Apply by 25 April.
 More information

€144.5m Horizon Europe Funding 

European research and innovation funding programme offering over 144.5m euros for research into cultural heritage and the cultural and creative industries. 
 More information


 13-15 Mar: Audience of the Future Live

Audience of the Future Live @ SXSW features a schedule of in-depth workshops and demos. Exploring ground-breaking technologies, the creators behind projects including The Big Fix Up, RSC's Dream, Interchange and more, will offer their experiences and insights into the projects. 

Whether you're at SXSW in Austin or not, sign up to email updates for all the action, including access to sessions available online soon after they take place. You can also stay tuned via @AudienceFuture.

 Email updates   

 13-15 Mar: Audience of the Future Live

Also as part of the programme, a UK Immersive Takeover day on Tuesday 15 March will include panel sessions, case studies and networking opportunities, presented by UK partners including Audience of the Future / UKRI, Arts Council England, British Council, British Underground, UNBOXED and the Department for International Trade.

UK Immersive Takeover Schedule


Four immersive media prototypes developed as part of the first-ever UK-Canada Immersive Exchange will have their first public preview at the SXSW XR Experience in Austin, Texas from 13 - 15 March. They include Acorn (an AR experience), Alone Together (combining AR, artificial intelligence and hologram production), Gloaming (immersive multi-site VR experience) and Radio Ghost (an app-based ghost-hunt).

The creators of these projects will participate in a 'UK & Canadian XR Project Pitching Power Hourpanel session at SXSW, in which they will discuss the creative and collaborative process behind their XR prototype projects, plus possible funding and collaboration opportunities.

Read more

 11-20 March: SXSW Festival & Conference 2022 

Starting today, SXSW celebrates the convergence of the tech, film, and music industries. Featuring conference sessions, film festival screenings, music festival, exhibitions, networking and much more. This year's SXSW is a hybrid event with live streamed online content from across the programme. 

 Read more


 From 1 March: UNBOXED - Creativity in the UK

UNBOXED, the UK-wide celebration of creativity and innovation, launched this month with About Us, a multimedia journey through 13.8 billion years of life, the universe and everything in it - from the big bang to the present day. Created by 59 Productions, Stemettes and The Poetry Society, About Us is free to attend. It kicked off in Paisley and will be touring four other cities in the UK. It’s the first of 10 large-scale creative projects commissioned by UNBOXED, via collaborations across science, technology, engineering, arts and maths. 

 Find out more

🎬 Show & Tell - Archiving Immersive Content 

As part of the Audience of the Future support programme, this recent 'Show & Tell' event focused on archiving immersive content, with Aki Jarvinen (Digital Catapult) together with Joanna Norman and Kate Bailey from the V&A. Once an XR piece has been distributed and toured - how do you archive it? Do you continuously update it or do you stockpile hardware? Who is in charge of archiving content? The session included a facilitated interactive discussion from which the key takeaways are highlighted here, along with more details on this event series hosted by Digital Catapult.     

 Read more and watch 

🎬 Show & Tell - Licensing Immersive Content

Another recent 'Show & Tell' event, as part of the Audience of the Future support programme, focused on licensing immersive content, with speakers including Alex Winterbotham (an experienced freelance producer) and Danielle Giroux (Head of Distribution at Astrea Immersive). There are no standardised processes around licensing XR content, so how can creators navigate this complex ecosystem? How can they make time to do this in the very beginning of the production? Who is best placed within the team to license it? Takeaways from the interactive discussion are highlighted here

 Read more and watch

£35k for Immersive Experience Design Prototype

StoryFutures Academy and InGAME are calling for creative companies to apply for £35k for prototype funding to demonstrate the application of creative inclusive concepts within an immersive production. The Inclusive Design for Immersive Experiences Challenge offers SMEs the chance to work directly with InGAMEStoryFutures AcademyOpen Inclusion and XR Access, to pilot an experimental Inclusive Innovation Process. Learn to apply innovative approaches and toolkits to design, test and deliver immersive content that provides better experiences. Applications close on 14 March.

 More info & apply

🎬 Creating On-Set VFX in Near Real-Time using Nuke

Take a sneak peek into a work in progress project, shot using a unique set comprising a LED wall and a water tank. A novel technique called Near Real-Time was developed in order to meet the constraints of the film project Comandante. The video dives into the use of Foundry’s AI and Unreal interop for live compositing, Cooke’s advanced lens calibration and metadata, visual effects assets from Bottleship and EDI, ICVFX consulting from Dublin’s High Res and DP by David Stump ASC—all working together to deliver the creative vision of feature’s VFX designer, Kevin Tod Haug.

 Watch now 

Pioneering Immersive Learning Project in Partnership with Greater Manchester Police

Near-Life, has successfully launched a ground-breaking immersive learning programme for Greater Manchester Police. The programme will support their work tackling Child Sexual Exploitation and protect some of the most vulnerable members of society. The pilot was awarded £24k in funding from Innovate UK in November 2020 to accelerate the development of an interactive learning programme tailored to complex investigations – an area of police training identified as challenging and of the greatest need.

 Read more


💡Creative Innovation: Wales to Develop a ‘Screen New Deal’ Production Sustainability Plan

The BFI and BAFTA albert has selected Wales to put environmental sustainability recommendations for screen production into action in the Screen New Deal: Transformation Plan. Through the plan, BFI, BAFTA albert and Arup are working with Creative Wales, Ffilm Cymru Wales and Clwstwr to conduct localised data collection and mapping. This will identify film and HETV-related services which already exist in the area, highlight service gaps and advance the creation of a location-based transformation plan to decarbonise TV and film production.

 Find out more

 From 12 March: Laika VR Immersive Tour 

#LaikaVR tells the true story of earth’s first space traveller, adapted from the eponymous graphic novel by Nick Abadzis. The ground-breaking immersive virtual reality experience is screening in venues around the UK, including a Q&A with Academy Award-Winning Director, Asif Kapadia. Book your exclusive virtual reality screening in Manchester (12 March) here and contact the venues to book directly for other dates: Chapter, Cardiff (19 Mar); Watershed, Bristol (20 Mar); Broadway, Nottingham (21 Apr); and Showroom, Sheffield (8 May). #LaikaVR is funded by BFI and StoryFutures Academy, in Association with Film4; a Passion Pictures/ Sheep Thief Films Production.  

 Tickets (Manchester - 12 Mar)

Transforming R&D Investment in the Creative Industries

Published as part of the PEC's campaign on R&D in the Creative Industries, Professor Andrew Chitty (Challenge Director at Innovate UK and UKRI), shares five crucial lessons from the UKRI's £95m investment into the Creative Industries via two major challenge programmes - Audience of the Future and Creative Industries Clusters. "The first thing we’ve learned is that public R&D funding can drive co-investment from industry and other partners – and to a scale we could hardly have imagined" says Professor Chitty. 

 Read article

Deadline Extended: Future Fashion Factory's Sustainability Challenge

Future Fashion Factory's Six-Month Sustainability Challenge funding call is now open. Businesses can apply for grants up to £25,000 to cover up to 50% of the costs in these short-term, high-impact, collaborative innovation projects, creating a more sustainable fashion industry and viable circular economies. Deadline extended to 16 March.

 More info & apply

Virtual Production Scheme for Film & TV 

XR Stories’ sister project, the Screen Industries Growth Network, is working in collaboration with Prox & Reverie and Screen Yorkshire on Remote Control, a new Virtual Production scheme. It will help established TV and film production companies to increase their knowledge and use of Virtual Production.

The scheme is open to SMEs in the Yorkshire and Humber region that have a TV or film project at development or early pre-production stage and who want to know more about how Virtual Production can be utilised on their production. 

 More info & apply (applications close 15 March)

Become a Future Foundation Mentee

Applications are now open for the Future Screens NI’s Future Foundation - a mentoring programme that aims to match experienced practitioners to artists and creative freelancers in need of help and support. Eligibility requirements include: Two years’ experience within the Creative and Cultural Industries; Not to be in full-time education; Primarily based in Northern Ireland; Be interested in developing/adapting new approaches.

 More info & apply

£5k Creative Informatics Small Research Grants

Creative Informatics has launched an open call for small research grants of £5,000 aimed at academics and researchers at any stage of their career, including PhD students. Project Principal Investigators (who can be PhD students) must be based at either the University of Edinburgh or Edinburgh Napier University. Proposed projects or activities should explore innovative uses or applications of data or digital technologies in the creative and cultural sectors. The aim is to fund at least 5 of these projects. Apply by 25 April.

 More info & apply

Challenge Holder Applications Open Now

Applications for the next round of Creative Informatics Challenge Holders are open now. The team are on the lookout for creative organisations in Edinburgh and South East Scotland that would like to power new ideas in their work or overcome obstacles with a data-driven solution. Once Challenge Holders have been selected, applications will open for Challenge Respondents, who can apply for funding of up to £20k to develop solutions to any of the challenges posed. Applications close on 21 March.

 More info & apply

Shaping the Textile Industry of the Future

For British Textile Week 2022, the UK Fashion and Textiles Association spoke to Director of Future Fashion Factory (FFF), Professor Stephen Russell, about the innovation taking place across the fashion industry today. Stephen describes how FFF is helping businesses to tackle the huge social, technical and environmental challenges facing the industry, as well as how companies can get involved with FFF and Leeds Institute of Textiles and Colour.

 Listen now

Improving the Nation’s Musculoskeletal Health Through AI

With an existing prototype app-based platform for patients, Agile Kinetic researched how to coach patients and develop a way of using gamification to encourage use. Peter Bishop, Founder of Agile Kinetic says "Clwstwr funding gave us the chance to explore options through R&D. By combining elements of both outcomes, we now know how to get people using the technology and we’re able to provide them with the equipment they need. We just closed a round of investment involving a medical company that’ll be joining our board, a big milestone for us. Our next milestone is getting the required UKCA marking to take this to market."

 Read full story

Setting up for Success: Mitigating Risk in R&D

Clwstwr Management Team member and digital innovation consultant Robin Moore shares his thoughts on approaching risk when doing research and development (R&D). "You can’t get away from risk in R&D, it is in its very nature. If there is no risk involved, nothing unknown, then you’re really not pushing the boundaries or innovating. If you’re already definite about the outcomes, then is it really an R&D project?"

 Read full article

Elevate Your Event: Toolkit for Online Events

In collaboration with Creative Edinburgh, Creative Informatics have produced a new toolkit for delivering digital events, drawing on their experience of moving Creative Informatics events, workshops and meet-ups online over the last two years. Elevate Your Event includes technical advice, top tips and questions you should ask yourself whether you are new to hosting events or a more seasoned pro, providing a structured journey through the event planning and delivery process. Free to use, download the toolkit here.

 Read more


 March 2022 Regional Workshops: Help Shape the Government's Creative Industries Sector Vision

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and UKRI are working with Design Council to explore how the creative industries create additional economic value for the wider economy. This research will feed into the government’s Creative Industries Sector Vision due to be published in summer 2022. Members of the UK creative industries are invited to participate in a 2-hour online co-design workshops, to help shape this vision and meet other creative sector leaders (participants working across hybrid sectors are particularly welcome) - remaining workshops include:

❏ Mon 14 March, 11am: West region (Wales, W England, West Midlands)
❏ Thurs 17 March, 10am: South region (London, SE England, SW England) 

 Register here (Microsoft form) or email


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

 More info

Virtual Veronese @ National Gallery
 07.03 - 03.04.2022 
A new VR experience: Discover how Veronese’s ‘The Consecration of Saint Nicholas’ would have looked in its original setting and discover the story of its creation. 


SXSW Conference & Festival 2022
 11.03.2022 - 20.03.2022
In person and online, featuring conference sessions, film screenings, music, exhibitions, networking opportunities, competitions, awards ceremonies & more.

 More info

Audience of the Future Live @ SXSW 2022
 13 - 15.03.2022
Workshops exploring ground breaking projects and creative technologies, plus networking and showcases co-hosted with Arts Council England’s Future Art & Culture, Unboxed and the DTI. Open to SXSW ticket holders.

 More info

Laika VR Immersive Tour 
 Multiple dates between 12 March - 8 May 2022
Laika VR tells the true story of earth’s first space traveller, adapted from the eponymous graphic novel by Nick Abadzis. Tickets below for Manchester (12 March).

Eureka! Innovation in Design, Research & Sustainability
 24.06.2022 - 03.07.2022
Exhibition and discussion forum showcasing 25+ leading universities at the forefront of research in design, sustainability and innovation. 

➤ Email Victoria Broackes to discuss participation


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