SWCTN Funding calls on Immersion, Automation & Data

The South West Creative Technology Network (SWCTN) is a £6.5 million project to expand the use of creative technologies across the south west of England. The network is offering three one-year funded programmes around the themes of Immersion, Automation and Data.

About the Network

The project will develop a new, networked model of Knowledge Exchange for creative technologies innovation. It will do this by harnessing the expertise in creative technology research across the SW region to deliver a series of interdisciplinary R&D programmes that grow the capabilities and connections between the participating HEI and industry partners.

The collaboration will invest in interdisciplinary R&D fellowships and prototype production across three challenge areas: ImmersionAutomation and Data. Our focus on creative technology brings together arts, design, computer sciences, engineering and business development to deliver new products and services.

The Partners

This new network is led by the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol), in partnership with Watershed in Bristol, Kaleider in Exeter, Bath Spa University, the University of Plymouth and Falmouth University.

The grant is part of Research England’s Connecting Capabilities Fund, which supports university collaboration and encourages commercialisation for products made through partnership with industry.

The Process

Over three years (2018-2020) the partnership will recruit three cohorts of fellows (academic, industry and new talent). Each cohort will run for twelve months and focus on one of three challenge areas: Immersion, Automation and Data.

The cohort will engage in an initial period of three months deep thinking around the challenge area exploring what’s new, what’s good, where the gaps in the market are, what the challenges are, and what the potentials are. The cohorts will receive facilitation, producer support, and have time for individual research. Fellows will be expected to share their learning outwardly at the end of this period.

Following this deep research phase the partnership will invest £240k in making prototypes in response to the research findings. Fellows are encouraged to bid for this prototype investment. All fellows will be expected to continue through to the end of the scheme as part of the cohort.

The Impact

As a partnership we are excited about innovative uses of technologies that engage users in hybrid experiences that are ethical, promote wellbeing, connect us to one another and create value. The network is rooted in the creative industries but aims to make connections into other sectors. We will build creative capacity, generate shared knowledge and maximise potential for specific commercial impact.

A key focus will be to facilitate in-roads for creative technology and creative practices into other sectors. Together, we will produce commercial and social impacts across the challenge areas in a range of sectors including the creative industries, health and manufacturing.

Our opportunities are open to anyone, any discipline and background, and whose work has explored aspects of creative technology. We feel that creating the conditions for amazing work to thrive is to bring together people who are different from one another.

We welcome applications from BAME, LGBTQI, Deaf and disabled practitioners, because they are under represented in the sector. Please contact Charlie Tapp if you would like a conversation around our support.

The Themes . . .

Immersion 2018 - 2019 Closed

From spatialised sound to augmented reality overlays, emerging technologies give developers, creatives and performers new ways to blend physical and virtual worlds. However, to fulfil their potential in terms of use, design and implementation, we need to explore immersive experiences from multiple perspectives and in different domains.

The Immersion call is now closed and fellows have been selected, you can read about their projects here.

Automation 2019 - 2020 OPEN NOW

Automation is changing the way we live. It is increasingly important within the creative industries as well as manufacturing, retail, financial services, and healthcare, to name just a few sectors. Automation could be seen as the ‘quiet’ revolution - working in the background to assist in creative processes, gradually transforming agriculture through robotics, or re-imagining how we search the internet. 

This call is open now and they are looking to invest in prototypes that use creative technologies to deliver original processes, experiences, products, services or platforms within the field of automation.

SWCTN are looking to fund ideas that are brave and distinctive, that open up the field of automation to new voices and challenge the status quo within the field.  We anticipate awarding grants of between £20k and £40k.

Applications will open on 29 July and close on 16 September.  The making phase will run from February 2020 with an industry showcase in June 2020.

You can find the full call here. 

Data 2020 - 2021 Coming soon!

Keep your eyes peeled for the call for Data fellows that will be coming soon - we'll keep you updated!