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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 creative industry news.

**BEYOND 2022** In-person Early Bird tickets to BEYOND in Cardiff are on sale now at 40% off the standard rate. Plus first speakers & partners unveiled. 

Read on for all of this and more...

 Creative Enterprise & Ukie Games Programmes **Apply by 15 Aug**
 $150,000 USD p/year Sony Research Awards **Apply by 15 Sept**
 BEYOND Early Bird Tickets - Save 40% + Speakers & Partners Announced
 Showcase Your Project or Research at BEYOND **Get Involved**
 Clwstwr article welcomes BEYOND to Cardiff with key insights on theme  
 Impulse Programme: Opportunities for Tech SMEs, Academics, & Creators
 National Gallery & StoryFutures Release Family Immersive Experience
 Near-Life Deliver Project to Support the Humanitarian Response in Ukraine
 VR experience Kindred @ Venice International Film Festival Immersive
 Read the Healthy Ageing Challenge Report 2022 Developed by CET
 Bristol + Bath Creative R&D Release a Creative Climate Action Toolkit
 XR Stories Awards £25k Each to Immersive Climate Change Projects
 UNBOXED StoryTrails UK-Wide Summer Tour: From Omagh to Lewisham
 Watch the Future Fashion Factory Virtual Showcase Recordings
 StoryFutures Announces Virtual Production R&D Call Winners
 SXSW 2023 Registration is Now Open for the Lowest Rates of the Season


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

Sony Research Award Program
Open to Universities & Research Institutions in the UK, USA, Canada, India & some of Europe, awards of up to $150k will provide funds for cutting-edge academic research across emerging & innovative tech. Closes on 15 September.
 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
Apply Now to the Sony Research Award Program

The Sony Research Award Program is open to Universities and research institutes in the United Kingdom, U.S., Canada, India and selected countries in Europe, with awards of up to $150,000 USD per year for each accepted proposal across emerging and innovative technologies. Universities can apply for funding to engage in cutting-edge research across three broad subject categories including Information Technology, Devices & Materials and Life Sciences. Applications are open until 15 September.

 More info & apply 

BEYOND First Keynote and MC Revealed

BEYOND conference has announced TV and Radio Presenter, Jason Mohammad as this year's conference MC and Sophie Howe, Future Generations Commissioner for Wales, as its first keynote speaker. Together they will bring energy, experience and expert insights to the 2022 programme. BEYOND is a conference where thinkers, makers, investors and researchers across the creative industries come together to explore the relationship between creative research and business innovation - subscribe for updates.

 Read more

Clwstwr Offer a Warm Welcome from Wales 

Speaking from the heart of the Welsh capital, Professor Justin Lewis, Director at Clwstwr shares his reflections on this year’s BEYOND conference theme and how Cardiff is leading the charge for a more sustainable and inclusive creative economy. ''This year’s conference takes its lead from another Welsh first – the Welsh Government’s Wellbeing of Future Generations Act. It’s a simple idea: everything the Government does should be mindful of – and geared towards - the health and happiness of generations to come.'' 

 Read article

What Part Should the Creative Industries Play in Designing a Zero-Carbon Future?

For its 5th year, the BEYOND conference (in-person & online, 18 - 20 October) offers a carefully curated programme that will address questions crucial to our future creative industries. Convening industry leaders, researchers, policy makers, creators and artists, the conference will address questions crucial to our future creative industries, focused on understanding what part the creative industries should play in designing a zero-carbon future?

 Read more

Become Part of BEYOND 2022 - Get involved!

BEYOND offers a range of opportunities for individuals and organisations to showcase their projects and research, host discussions and workshops, as well as meet new partners, funders and collaborators. You can showcase your cutting-edge prototype projects and R&D in the Immersive Futures Lab (apply by 30 August), feature a workshop, short talk or demo in the Partner Programme (apply by 19 August), and submit abstracts that align to the conference themes in the online Poster Exhibition (apply by 22 August).

 Get Involved (full details)

Save 40% - Early Bird Tickets to BEYOND 2022

On sale now - grab your In-Person Early Bird ticket to the 5th annual BEYOND conference in Cardiff for just £299 (+VAT). Availability is limited, so buy now and save 40% off the standard rate. In-person Early Bird tickets include unlimited access to BEYOND in Cardiff (18 - 19 October), BEYOND Online programme (20 October), with exclusive online-only sessions plus discounted access to a Speakers + Delegates dinner (17 October) ticket bundle. 

 Early Bird tickets



VR Experience 'Kindred' Selected for Venice International Film Festival Immersive

Electric Skies’ virtual reality experience, Kindred, one of nine VR prototype experiences commissioned through StoryFutures, has been selected to feature in Venice Immersive 2022, the XR - Extended Reality section of the 79th Venice International Film Festival of La Biennale di Venezia. The experience is also currently screening across the nation along with several other of the VR experiences as part of the UNBOXED 2022 StoryTrails event - a unique immersive storytelling experience led by StoryFutures Academy and run by Royal Holloway University / National Film and Television School.

 Find out more

Climate Action Toolkit for Creative Industry SME's

Zoe Rasbash, Watershed's Climate Action Researcher from Bristol + Bath Creative R&D, has released a Creative Climate Action Toolkit for SME’s and freelancers. This work creates a bespoke understanding for individual business needs and capabilities in working towards more sustainable business practices. The toolkit is split into three parts: a video, a checklist and a worksheet.

 Access toolkit
🎬 Watch Back: Future Fashion Factory Virtual Showcase Recordings

Future Fashion Factory has released recordings of its 2022 Virtual Showcase, featuring panel discussions, in-depth conversations exploring the future of the fashion industry and highlighting innovative projects driving change. Topics included: Skills for a futureproof fashion industry; Sustainability and the shift towards viable circular economies; and Digital fashion and virtual worlds.

 Watch now

Funding for Immersive Climate Change Projects 

XR Stories has awarded funding to Field Studio, Live Cinema, SAIL and Megaverse to create R&D projects that use immersive storytelling and cutting-edge technology to address key climate change topics. The grants of £25,000 per project will be used to create extended reality (XR) experiences, based on academic research on climate change.

 Read more

Winners of Virtual Production R&D Call Announced

Four creative businesses will spend three months developing new ideas in Virtual Production (VP) methods, in collaboration with academic experts at Royal Holloway, University of London. VP and AI technologies are taking the sector by storm, creating a revolution in how content is made, and requiring new ways of thinking about skills, collaboration methods, workflows and approaches to story building. Creative businesses taking part in the programme will benefit from research insight, support from the StoryFutures team, input from industry advisors, and £8,000 in R&D funding for each project.

 Read more

Bath Challenge Report: An Artist-led Research Project to Reinvigorate Bath’s Creative Ecology 

Commissioned by the Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded Bristol + Bath Creative R&D partnership, The Studio in Bath has released the The Bath Challenge Report. The Bath Challenge ran between July 2021 and March 2022, engaging more than a hundred stakeholders from the creative industries, wider partners and local communities. The report includes key findings from the research, with insights into how an artist-led research project has reinvigorated Bath’s creative ecologies, commissioning two artists with different approaches.

 Read report


UK-Wide Immersive Storytelling Event Series

StoryTrails is a unique immersive storytelling experience, led by StoryFutures Academy (run by Royal Holloway, University of London and the National Film and Television School). The StoryTrails UK tour continues through the Summer, with plenty of dates and locations coming to a town near you! As part of the UK's largest immersive project, see and experience towns across the UK in a different way. Town squares, local libraries, streets and cinemas are being transformed into virtual portals, through which to explore stories of historical change in 15 locations across the UK.

 More info & dates

National Gallery Immersive Experience for Families

As recently reported in The Times, The Keeper Council is a new Roblox adventure game for children in which they learn about paintings and curate their own collection whilst being mentored by the Keeper of Paintings from the National Gallery. The Keeper Council was commissioned by the National Gallery, London and StoryFutures, Royal Holloway, University of London as part of StoryFutures China, a research and development project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. 

 Read more 

Near-Life Support Norwegian Refugee Council’s Ukrainian Response Efforts 

Working in partnership with the Norwegian Refugee Council and the Humanitarian Leadership Academy, Near-Life has helped deliver a new, interactive learning project to support the humanitarian response to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. The project is designed to promote a grounding in Humanitarian access and principles for the NRC’s agency partners on the ground in Romania.

 Watch video


Creative Enterprise Games Programmes Deadline Extended to 15 August

Are you part of a Gaming Business? The application deadline for the Creative Enterprise and Ukie Games Programmes has now been extended until Monday 15 August at 10:00. The prestigious programmes have been devised with industry leaders for games businesses who are looking to develop and grow their business. They are looking to recruit a total of up to 45 participants across the three programmes. Applicants must demonstrate that their work in some way promotes the art, creativity and storytelling power of game making.

 More info

Healthy Ageing Challenge Report 2022

This new report, developed for UKRI by the Creative Economy Team, looks at how the healthy ageing challenge has impacted on academia, social enterprise and industry, including first-hand testimony from funded projects. It looks at how these areas have created innovative ways of tackling the challenges, and opportunities, of an ageing population. 

 Read report

IMPULSE PROGRAMME: The European XR Accelerator

Alongside IFFR Pro, XR4Europe, Laval Virtual, Stereopsia EUROPE and VRDays Europe, have teamed up to foster growth for entrepreneurs, creatives, and academics. Together they are creating an environment for development and facilitating the matching of high-potential projects with their scaling counterpart. It is dedicated to three verticals: Content, SMEs, and Research. For each one, there are scouting, training, access to market, and nurturing phases involved in the Programme, for a holistic engagement with each selected project. Follow the link below for details including dates and deadlines.

➤ Find out more

SXSW 2023 Registration is now open!

Registration is now open for SXSW 2023. March might seem far away, but as SXSW point out, it’s just a short 5,304 hours away. You can now buy your badge and take advantage of the lowest rates of the season, as well as the best deals on hotels through SXSW Housing & Travel. An essential destination for global professionals, the annual March event features Conference sessions, Film & TV Festival screenings, Music Festival showcases, world-class Exhibitions, competitions, Awards ceremonies, and much 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

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

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

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


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