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Hello <<First Name>>,

It's a pleasure to bring you the latest news from the Creative Industries Clusters and Audience of the Future challenges, funded by UK Research and Innovation.

Read on for funding opportunities, events, launches, research, cutting-edge R&D projects and lots more from across the UK creative industries.

It's also a pleasure to announce that online tickets for BEYOND 2021 are on sale now for just £69 and include FIRST ACCESS + 10% OFF a limited number of in-person tickets (to be released very soon).

Read on for all of this and more...

 BEYOND Conference 2021 Online Tickets Available Now!
➤ £800k Design Foundations 2 Competition Briefing Webinar **16 Sept** 
➤ Applications Now Open for Rising Stars 4.0
 Women In Tech: Empowering Innovation - Funding Webinar **23 Sep**
 Immersive Arcade UK Tour Open This Month & Watch VR Showcase

 Win £7.5k to Create a Short Film Using Animotive with NI Screen
➤ 5G & the Creative Industries Webinar Series
 Creative Informatics - New Work From Ocean ARTic Artists Coming Soon
 SXSW Film Festival Submissions Open **Final deadline 19 Oct** 
 Future Screens NI host panel on the NI Politics of Breastfeeding
 Wallace & Gromit Fix Up The City AR Experience Now LIVE
 Deadline Approaching for Future Screens NI Open Calls **9 Sept* *
 Watch Horizon Europe for Cultural & Creative Sectors Webinar
 4 New Episodes from The BPI Music & Tech Springboard Programme



Up To $150k Sony Research Award Program 
Open to UK universities and other selected countries, awards up to $150USD per year for proposals across emerging and innovative technologies. Apply by 15 Sept.
 More information

£30K XRX Development Programme 
XRX is a new programme aimed at supporting companies working on innovative ideas within the XR industry. Apply by 16 September 2021.
 More information

Win £7.5k to Create a Short Film 
NI Screen & Future Screens NI launch animation/VR pitching competition for entry level filmmakers working in the animation and interactive sector. EOI by 17 Sept.
 More information

£300k BBC Research Fellowships 
The AHRC will fund two fellows to explore one of two themes with innovative and exciting engagement activities, as part of the BBC's 2022 centenary. Closes 22 Sept.
 More information

£800k For Human-Centred Design Projects 
Innovate UK is supporting early-stage projects to generate ideas that meet customer needs, using research & human-centred design principles. Join briefing webinar on 16 Sept & apply by 29 Sept.
 More information

£100k Future Fashion Factory Funding
Open to collaborative projects aligned with core research themes including sustainability / circular economies, data-driven design and more. Closes 30 Sept.
 More information

£3m Culture Recovery Fund 

Arts Council England fund for organisations at imminent risk of failure, particularly those who have not yet received Culture Recovery grants. Apply by 30 Sept.
 More information

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


 BEYOND: Online Tickets Available Now!

Online tickets for BEYOND 2021 are on sale now for just £69 - offering exceptional value for a lively two day conference programme. Online tickets purchased now include FIRST ACCESS and 10% OFF a limited number of in-person tickets to attend in Belfast, to be released early September, if you decide you’d like to join us in-person.  

In partnership with Future Screens NI and UKRI, this years BEYOND focuses on the theme of Creative Places, looking at how the Creative Industries are forming the heart of new vibrant cultural and creative economies. More news coming soon on speakers and schedule - follow @BeyondCnf for latest.

 BEYOND Online Tickets

Submit Your Film to SXSW 2022 Film Festival

SXSW provides the game-changing buzz every filmmaker dreams about for the premiere of their feature film, short, episodic or XR project in front of press, industry, and smart, enthusiastic audiences. The SXSW Film Festival is an unparalleled experience at the forefront of discovery, creativity, and innovation. For specific questions about submitting your film, look no further than the Film Submissions FAQ and if you have any questions, email

 More info & apply

 23 Sept: Women In Tech Funding Webinar   

This online event (23 Sept, 10:30 - 12:00) is part of The Women in Technology: Empowering Innovation Webinar series, which aims to bring women in enabling technologies together to discuss career challenges and share experiences.

Understanding funding opportunities and how to access them can be tricky. This session will help to dispel some of the myths and help to improve funding application skills. Enabling technology is helping to change our world, but how will the sector meet the needs of a diverse population if it is being shaped by a small section of society? 

 Register now

£50k Women In Innovation Awards Open Now

Women with exciting, innovative ideas who will inspire others can apply now for a £50,000 grant and bespoke business support. The £1m Innovate UK award fund is open to female founders, co-founders or senior decision makers within UK registered micro, small or medium-sized businesses.

 Find out more

Applications Now Open for Rising Stars 4.0

The UK's most exciting competition for innovative, early-stage tech companies has been designed to showcase the best the country has to offer, providing a platform for businesses from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Benefit from significant profile raising on both a national and international level, as well as the opportunity to put your business in front of leading investors, influencers and corporates. Deadline 20 October 2021.

➤ More info & apply

5G & the Creative Industries Webinar Series

As part of its mission to ensure the UK is at the forefront of global 5G development, UK5G, has developed a series of online events to explore how 5G could hold the key for the creative industries in developing new ways to connect with audiences. Check out four events announced so far: GamingArt, Tourism & HeritageProduction and Distribution and Sports, Events, & Performing Arts.

➤ More info & register

🎥 Horizon Europe for Cultural & Creative Sectors

Available now to watch back, this webinar, organised in collaboration with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and UKRI, introduces Horizon Europe opportunities for the cultural and creative sectors. 

 Watch now


The BPI Music & Tech Springboard Programme

In 2020, BPI and Music Ally launched The Music & Tech Springboard Programme, a new initiative designed to bring the music and tech startup communities closer together. The project began with a free eight-part video series, which offers initial tips, advice, and more for startups on how best to approach and work with the music industry.

Now, four brand new episodes are available, focusing on major labels, the classical sector, working with indies & self-releasing artists, and funding. Music-related tech startups are also invited to apply for free BPI membership, earning further access to resources, training, reports & events.

 Find out more


Design Foundations 2: £800k For Early-Stage, Human-Centred Design Projects 

Innovate UK as part of UKRI will invest up to £800,000 through the Audience of the Future Challenge Fund. This competition aims to support early-stage projects to generate ideas that meet customer needs, using research and human-centred design principles. Proposals (due 29 September) must deliver well-defined, user-validated ideas ready for further technical R&D and discover insights about the problem space, consumer motivations and behaviours.

An online briefing (16 September, 2pm) follows the initial briefing and will provide support to applicants preparing their applications.

 More info & Register for webinar 

Wallace & Gromit: Fix Up The City is Now LIVE

Business tycoon Bernard Grubb has commissioned the famous duo to spruce up the city in time for his festival. There's absolutely heaps to do and all manner of contraptions to discover - including the colossal cleaning robot, 'Big LAD'. But help is at hand from BERYL, a fussy yet friendly Artificial Intelligence - perhaps she can help find Gromit, who appears to have gone walkies...

Roll up your sleeves, switch on your smartphone and get fixing with Wallace & Gromit's augmented adventure playing out in the fair cities of Cardiff, Bristol and San Francisco.

 Find out more

Immersive Arcade UK Tour - September

The Immersive Arcade is on tour between 7 and 30 September, with demos held in a range of UK locations  (with dates in Brighton, Dundee, Cardiff and more) enabling creative industries stakeholders, researchers, VR enthusiasts and those keen to experience this unique British collection of VR. The tour also aims to provide first-time in-headset opportunities and Technology Skills access to 16-25 year olds (in particular women) around the UK to help close the gender gap in the tech industry. Plus a mentor scheme to help match young talent with mentors throughout the tour. 

 Find out more 

View the Immersive Arcade UK Tour in VR

The Immersive Arcade showcase is the first national collection of the best of British virtual reality (VR) and 360 experiences. You can now take a look at the original Immersive Arcade venue in VR. Commissioned by UKRI, as part of the Audience of the Future Challenge, explore these twelve splendid exhibition rooms without a VR headset! The VR showcase can be viewed on the exclusive Museum of Other Realities (MOR) web viewer.

 View VR Showcase 


Win £7.5k To Create Short Film Using Animotive

NI Screen in partnership with Future Screens NI have launched an animation / VR pitching competition for entry level filmmakers currently working in the animation and interactive sector. The competition will run in association with Retinize, the Belfast based immersive tech studio. The studio has developed and created Animotive, an innovative VR SaaS product set to disrupt the 3D animation production pipeline, making it completely intuitive.

NI Screen will be hosting four sessions in October 2021 as part of the pitching process. Dates for the sessions will be confirmed with the participants on successful selection. A maximum of five applicants will be selected to participate in the seminar series. Register interest by 17 September 2021.

 More info & apply

New Work from Ocean ARTic Artists Coming Soon

Composer Michael Begg and environmental artist Eve Mosher are currently working on two new pieces of work, commissioned through Creative Informatics Ocean ARTic partnership with Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland.

Michael Begg is collaborating with scientists to bring together an ‘ensemble’ of data sets to sonify an aural experience of the impact of glacier ice melt in the Arctic, whilst Eve Mosher is developing a multi-sensory experience that shares the climate change stories of marine researchers and coastal communities.

 Read more

Panel Discussing the NI Politics Of Breastfeeding

Last month Future Screens NI partnered with Breastival to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week, hosting a panel on the NI Politics of Breastfeeding with globally renowned author of The Politics of Breastfeeding Gabrielle Palmer and Paula Bradley, Chair of the NI Assembly Communities Committee and Deputy Leader of the DUP. The panel was attended by 100 breastfeeding families, health activists and health professionals. Following the discussion Breastival has partnered with Gabrielle Palmer to advance a transmedia solution to breastfeeding challenges.

 Watch panel

 23 Sept: Business Insight Report Launch Event

Hear from the authors behind StoryFutures’ new Business Insight Report on Thursday 23 September (2 - 4pm BST). Join a discussion on new business models in immersive, including the current landscape of the UK immersive market, the opportunities and challenges it presents, the ways companies monetise their creative and technical skills, and policy implications.

Panelists include Professor Andrew Chitty, Claudia Burger, Matt Sansam, Avril Furness, Simon Reveley, and Jamie Smith. The event is for new and existing companies in the VR/AR/MR market who want to compare their business thinking to others in the immersive field.

 More info & register

Future Screens NI Open Calls Close 9th Sept 

Future Screens NI Open Calls are targeted towards funding co-created collaborative partnerships between industry and academic research partners at Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University. Applications are welcome across the full spectrum of the creative industries undertaking research and development across new, immersive and emerging technologies.

There are two funding streams available for this current call: Proof of Concept, for up to £20,000 directed towards addressing R&D led challenges at the earliest stage of marketable product development and Pre-Commercialisation for up to £50,000 towards R&D led product development which is ready for market. Expressions of Interest due by Thursday 9 September.

 More info & apply


Apply For £30K XRX Development Programme 

XRX is a new programme aimed at supporting companies working on innovative ideas within the XR industry. The programme, delivered via a partnership between Northern Ireland Screen, Future Screens NI and Digital Catapult NI, is seeking 3 start-ups or established companies who have an ambition to make new innovative immersive content, products or services.

The programme will provide in-depth support and mentorship for companies that wish to secure seed investment or realise their ambitions to deploy new and emerging tech actively inside their business within the next 12-18 months. The deadline for applications is Thursday 16 September.

 More info & apply


Design Foundations 2 Competition Briefing
 16.09.2021 14:00 BST
To help applicants in preparing their submissions for a share of the £800k for early-stage, human-centred design projects in creative or immersive experiences.


Storylining for TV Drama Seminar
 11.09.2021 12:00 - 14:00 BST
Future Screens NI partner NI Screen are hosting an online seminar about Storylining in TV Drama with Vicki Bunce.

Business Insight Report Launch Event
 23.09.2021  | 14:00-16:00 BST

Hear from the authors behind StoryFutures’ new report & join the discussion on new business models in immersive, with Andrew Chitty, Claudia Burger, Matt
Sansam, Avril Furness, Simon Reveley, & Jamie Smith.

Women In Tech Funding Webinar
 23.09.2021 10:30 - 12:00 BST
Funding: What You Need To Know - online event for women in enabling technologies to discuss career challenges and share experiences.


 20 - 21.10.2021 (In person in Belfast & online)
To feature 50+ speakers with keynotes, panels, think pieces, Q&As, showcases and more - this year focusing on the theme of Creative Places. 

 Online Tickets


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