The government-funded Technology Strategy Board is to invest £7m million in thirteen major innovative collaborative research and development projects that will exploit digital technologies to increase the competitiveness of the UK’s creative industries sector. Involving nearly fifty companies, both large and small, and academic institutions, the projects will see research and development take place in areas such as:
- Personal motion sensing systems
- Interactive 3D methods for live-action media
- Computer-Aided Game Design
A further eleven short-term, fast-track, research and development projects – involving over forty SMEs and universities – are each to receive up to £50,000 funding, while seventy five SMEs have received £15,000 each to carry out feasibility studies, exploring and developing initial ideas with a view to engaging in further innovative research and development. The Fast Track and Feasibility Study schemes remain open for further applications.
Commenting on the new programme of investment, Science and Innovation Minister Ian Pearson said: “The UK is a global leader across the creative industries, which now contribute nearly 8% of the country’s Gross Value Added, and technology has a significant role to play in the development of the creative sector.
“If the UK is to maintain and extend its role as the world’s creative hub, we need to both exploit well-established technologies in new ways and develop the new and innovative technologies that will support the sector in the years to come. This is the first time that the Technology Strategy Board has provided support to the creative industries sector and I am delighted that it has been a resounding success.”
Turning to the new schemes to support small companies, the Technology Strategy Board’s Chief Executive, Iain Gray, said: “Small and micro companies make a significant contribution to the creative industries sector, but they face challenges in finding both the time and resources to explore and develop new ideas. The two pilot programmes we introduced last year – Fast-Track Projects and Feasibility Studies – have proved to be enormously popular, attracting over 350 applications so far.”