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Hello <<First Name>>,

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

**COSTAR BRIEFING EVENTS** Don't miss next week's briefings on the Arts and Humanities Research Council's £75.6m CoSTAR funding opportunity. The events in Manchester (1 Nov) and the Midlands (3 Nov) offer the chance for potential bidders to learn more about the programme and application process.

Read on for all of this and more...

➤ Julie's Bicycle & Creative PEC Report on Creative Industries & Net Zero
➤ XR Stories' £25k OpenXR 2 Funding Call Launches on 31 October
➤ AHRC £75.6m CoSTAR Briefings: Manchester (1 Nov) & Midlands (3 Nov)
➤ New Landscapes Catalyst R&D Scheme - First Report from UAL FTTI
➤ XR StoriesSIGN Explore Virtual Production in the Film & TV Industries
➤ New UK Crowdfunding Platform Supports Socially Conscious Projects
➤ Discover the XR Stories Showcase at BEYOND Conference 2022
➤ Future Tuesdays Event: 'Understanding Virtual Production' - 8 Nov
➤ Belfast XR Festival Showcases Best of Immersive Tech Content - 9 Nov
➤ Prof. Paul Moore Addresses Employment Scheme for Creatives in NI
➤ Hopeful Futures Event: Explore of the Future of Creative Tech - 10-11 Nov
➤ Attend the Creative Edinburgh 2022 Awards - 18 Nov
 AHRC New Strategic Delivery Plan 2022-25 webinar (23 Nov) - Register
 Sustainability and the future: learnings from Kulturkraft and BEYOND
➤ Creative Coalition Festival Returns in February 2023 - Reserve your Place


£25k Arts Council NI Funding for Organisations 
New funding programme to enable the widest possible range of organisations to commission new work. The maximum award is £25,000Apply by 31st October.
 More information

£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

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
AHRC £75.6m CoSTAR Briefing Events

The Arts and Humanities Research Council is calling on researchers and creative industries professionals to apply to host a new creative facility for the UK’s renowned screen and performance sectors. The Convergent Screen Technologies And performance in Realtime (CoSTAR) programme is a total investment of £75.6 million and will consist of a central hub and experimental studio fitted with real-time digital technologies. Applications close 2 Feb 2023.

As part of a series across the UK, next week's events in Manchester and the Midlands will offer more information on the programme and the application process, as well as a presentation, panel discussion, networking and Q&A:

 Tues 1 November, Manchester (10:00am - 1:00pm) - Register
 Thurs 3 November, Stratford-upon-Avon (10:00am - 1:00pm) - Register
 Tues 15 November, London (10:00am - 1:00pm) - Register


Landmark Report on the Creative Industries and Climate Emergency Heralded as ‘Call to Action’ 

Ahead of COP 27, the Creative PEC (funded by AHRC) and Julie's Bicycle have launched a landmark new report bringing together a sector by sector overview of the creative industries, and the huge amount of activity taking place to work towards net zero. The report unveils creative sector innovations in production, design and supply, highlights barriers to progress and identifies where further action is needed. It is hoped the report will highlight gaps in knowledge, demonstrate where sectors can learn from each other, and serve as a much needed call to action.

➤ Read report

New Landscapes Catalyst R&D Scheme Report

report published by UAL Fashion, Textiles and Technology Institute (FTTI) in partnership with British Council, share the findings and case studies from a first-of-its-kind programme nurturing international cooperation around ethically responsible and socially engaged fashion and textile design.

The New Landscapes: Fashion, Textiles and Technology Catalyst R&D Grant Scheme pilot programme brought together 5 UK fashion and textile SMEs and counterparts in Official Development Assistance countries, to work on mutually beneficial projects that promote the cultural, social and environmental values of a sustainable global fashion and textiles sector.

➤ Read more

£25k OpenXR 2 Funding Call Launches

XR Stories is launching OpenXR 2 on Monday 31 October, a funding call for SME businesses in the Yorkshire and Humber region, to develop R&D projects that focus on prototype immersive and interactive story experiences or storytelling tools and platforms. Applicants can bid for up to £25,000 to explore innovation in screen-based storytelling through technologies that fall under the extended-reality (XR) umbrella. 

➤ More info & apply

Research Exploring Virtual Production in Film & TV

Researchers from XR Stories and sister project, the Screen Industries Growth Network (SIGN) are exploring how virtual production is being adopted in the film and television industries and the implications this has for storytelling. Nina Willment and Jon Swords introduce the idea of virtual production and highlight productions that have adopted the approach.

➤ Read more

 Hopeful Futures: A Two-Day Exploration of the Future of Creative Technology

Join Bristol + Bath Creative R+D on the 10 & 11 November to explore the future of creative technologies. After four years of research and development they invite you to ask, what’s the future of creative tech for Bristol and Bath? Together with artists, technologists, academics and producers they will imagine collective futures, discuss how to build more equitable economies and consider how audiences can really be understood. 

➤ More info & register

 Belfast XR Festival Showcases the Best of Immersive Technology Content

The Belfast XR Festival kicks off its inaugural year on Weds 9 November at The Black Box in Belfast, dedicated to showcasing the best of local and international immersive technology content. The festival is part of the Belfast Film Festival and supported by NI Screen and Future Screens NI. Its ambition is to create an unmissable annual gathering for XR that inspires storytelling. 

➤ Find out more

Prof Paul Moore Addresses Employment Scheme for Creative Industries in Northern Ireland

Future Screens NI Director Professor Paul Moore, has published an article for the PEC on the recent Northern Ireland Creative Industries branch of an initiative by the Department of Communities. Titled “How a placed-based employment programme is bringing creative workers back to Northern Ireland”, the article addresses how the work done on behalf of the Creative Industries Clusters Programme laid the groundwork for Future Screens NI unique foundation to facilitate the Creative Industries DfC’s employment scheme.  

➤ Read more

Sustainability and the future: learnings from Kulturkraft and BEYOND conference

Katie Moffat, Head of Sector Engagement (Europe) at Subtrakt, recently attended two conferences - Kulturkraft in Copenhagen and BEYOND in Cardiff. Katie has written a short blog to share the key takeaways from both events. These were largely around the themes of sustainability and the future - and of course you can't avoid talks about the metaverse when looking ahead! You can register to be be notified when BEYOND conference sessions are available to view on demand. 

➤ Read article

XR Stories at Beyond Conference 2022

Many of the XR Stories team attended this month’s BEYOND conference in Cardiff to showcase work and introduce future plans including the EPSRC funded XR Network+ virtual production in the Digital Economy project, led by the University of York.

➤ Read more

Belfast-Based Company at Forefront of AI-Created Character Development

Belfast based AI developers Humain have designed new techniques to explore a machine learning approach to automatically create facial rigs for animation. The Future Screens NI awarded R&D project focused on developing techniques that have proven disruptive in other industries and applying these learnings to the media and entertainment industry. The Project Facsimile R&D project sought to create algorithms and cloud computing pipelines to establish a high-quality facial database to support training the algorithms. Once the project has been completed, the results will have far-reaching impact on how film, animation and video games’ computer-generated characters are created. 

➤ Read more

NI Game Developer Celebrates Disability Communities on Xbox Showcase

Disability-friendly game developers Soft Leaf Studios has been featured in a recent Xbox Accessibility Spotlight celebrating Disability communities and sharing some new updates. The showcase features a segment from their Future Screens NI project Stories of Blossom. 

➤ Watch now

 Future Tuesdays Event: Understanding Virtual Production & its Opportunities

The next 'Future Tuesdays' industry showcase event, 'Understanding Virtual Production and its Opportunities', from Future Screens NI will be held at Ulster University, Belfast Campus on the 8 November. The speakers, including Prof Declan Keeney, Prof Peter Richardson and Executive Producer, StoryFutures Academy Fiona Kilkelly, will discuss critical factors businesses should consider when making the leap into Virtual Production, and explore the knowledge, understanding and skills development needed to do this successfully. The event is sold out but register for the waiting list below. 

➤ More info & register

 Webinar: AHRC Strategic Delivery Plan 2022-25

Join the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) in this webinar on 23 Nov, to discuss their new Strategic Delivery Plan and what it means for people working in Independent Research Organisations, in the Creative Industries and in Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums. AHRC will introduce their plans for the next three years, and offer delegates the opportunity to share thoughts, ask questions and contribute to shaping AHRC's future activity. The webinar will be recorded and available to view.

➤ Register


 Creative Coalition Festival Returns for 2023

Join Creative UK (28 February - 3 March 2023) for this hybrid event that brings together the UK's finest and most interesting creators, innovators, leaders and emerging talent. The event aims to reimagine, redefine and reignite the future of our world-leading Creative Industries. Expect unexpected connections, metamorphic products and services and laser-sharp insights. 

➤ Find out more

Creative Edinburgh Awards 2022

The Creative Edinburgh Awards will be held in person at Summerhall on 18 November 2022. As well as showcasing all nominees and announcing the winners, the evening will celebrate 11 years of Creative Edinburgh and 10 years of Creative Edinburgh Awards. Expect dancing, a free welcome drink, performances and a live ceilidh band. 

➤ More info & tickets

Crowdfunding Platform Supports Creative Projects

Arkbound Foundation has recently launched a new crowdfunding site, Crowdbound. The initiative seeks to fund books and other creative projects which relate to social issues and sustainability - the site offers up to £500 in match funding for eligible projects, as well as dedicated support to ensure every campaign hits its target. Four projects have already been successful in reaching their goal, including Arkbound-published books "Invisible Schemes", "The Five Stages of Moria", and "Prickelus Gets Caught."

➤ Read more

Take Over: Festival of Art & Culture

Attend this free festival of art and culture over three weekends in October and November, in St Helens and Knowsley. Take Over is packed with performance, visual art, interactive experiences, workshops and films, all of which are free to attend, although booking is recommended.

➤ Details & booking


Understanding Virtual Production
Join speakers including Professor Declan Keeney, Professor Peter Richardson and Executive Producer Fiona Kilkelly at Ulster University, Belfast Campus. 

 More info

Belfast XR Festival  
The Belfast XR Festival is part of the Belfast Film Festival and aims to create an unmissable annual gathering for XR that inspires storytelling.

 More info

Creative Edinburgh Awards 2022
Taking place at Summerhall this event celebrate 11 years of Creative Edinburgh and 10 years of Creative Edinburgh Awards.


AHRC Strategic Delivery Plan Webinar

Join this webinar to hear about AHRC's 2022-2025 Strategic Delivery Plan and what it means for people working in Independent Research Organisations, in the Creative Industries and in Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums
 More info

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

SXSW 2023
 10 - 19 March 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
Delivered by UK Research and Innovation as part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, the Audience of the Future and Creative Industries Clusters challenge programmes represent the UK government's two largest investments of over £95m into world-leading research and development capabilities in the creative industries, an investment that is now worth £205m.

Audience of the Future focuses on the development of new immersive technologies such as virtual, augmented and mixed reality including the world-leading Demonstrator Programme with collaborations including the Royal Shakespeare Company and Aardman.

Creative Industries Clusters brings together world-class research talent with companies and organisations from across the UK, leading to massive positive impacts and ecosystems around nine clusters across the four UK nations.


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The Creative Economy Team

BEYOND 2022 Photos © Argyll Images
Copyright © 2022 Creative Economy Team, All rights reserved.

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