Funding to support creative regional growth

  • Date

    Thu 1 Mar 18

Man at desk drawing

We’re one step closer to winning funding for an innovative collaborative project which will help creative entrepreneurs in our region harness new technologies to succeed and grow.

Our University is leading one of 22 successful bids shortlisted by the Arts and Humanities Research Council for its hotly-contested £80m Creative Industries Clusters Programme.

The Programme will fund creative research and development innovation partnerships to boost productivity and deliver economic growth through creative industries.

Our successful proposal offers a distinctive research and development (R&D) project applying digital communications and technological innovations to overcome barriers to growth for creative businesses.

Project lead and Director of Research at East 15 Acting School Professor Rosie Klich said: “We’re thrilled to be shortlisted, and excited about the possibilities our proposal opens up for our region.

“Our partnership will enable researchers to work with freelancers and microbusinesses across Essex and Kent to develop and test innovative technologies, techniques and practices that will help businesses grow, develop new products and services, and reach new audiences in the UK and overseas.

“By enabling small-scale producers to exploit untapped global markets, our proposal will support job creation, increase the success rate of start-ups and stimulate sustainable economic growth in UK creative industries.”

The proposal has been informed by sustained collaboration with businesses and sector organisations across the South East Creative Economy Network (SECEN); through our local hubs in Colchester and Southend; and through our partners at the University of Kent.

Essex’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor Designate, and Co-Chair of SECEN, Professor Lorna Fox O’Mahony said: “This is a truly exciting opportunity to build on our collective understanding of regional sector challenges, creating innovative solutions that meet industry needs, and realising our shared vision for creative industries growth in our region.

“The programme builds on SECEN’s successful record of bringing together partners including private, public and third sector support, local, regional, national and international organisations, large industry partners, and microbusinesses.

“The Universities of Essex and Kent have extensive experience in delivering major infrastructure investments, and the partnership will draw on our expertise in areas including digital communications, intelligent technologies, human-digital interface, the psychology of immersive environments, and creative arts practices in performing arts, heritage and architecture, sound and music technology and visual arts.”

The Creative Industries Clusters Programme aims to improve collaboration between the country’s internationally-renowned creative industries and UK universities to help catalyse economic growth and provide the skills necessary for the creative jobs of the future.

The programme will support up to eight research and development partnerships to be announced in July 2018.