Cardiff University has led on a successful bid to the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), which today announced an unprecedented multi-million pound research investment into the UK’s creative economy. The Creative Industries Clusters Programme, which is part of the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy, will bring together world-class research talent from leading UK universities with companies and organisations from across the creative sector.
Working in partnership with the University of South Wales and Cardiff Metropolitan University, as well as the Welsh Government, Cardiff Council, all major Welsh broadcasters and more than 60 screen industry businesses, Clwstwr Creadigol is one of nine projects in the UK to be chosen for the five-year funding stream.
With a focus on screen industries – film and television production and their supply chains – academics from Cardiff’s three universities will collaborate to provide research that can help the already thriving scene in South Wales reach its full potential.
Through a Screen Innovation System (SIS) and a News Innovation Lab (NIL) – the Research and Development (R&D) programme will also allow broadcasters, businesses and freelancers to apply for funding to develop innovative products, services and experiences in a drive to create economic uplift in South Wales.
These R&D initiatives will be designed to respond to changing technologies, shifting patterns of consumption and the benefits of creative fusion and collaboration.
Clwstwr Creadigol Director Professor Justin Lewis, who is based at Cardiff University’s School of Journalism, Media and Culture, said:
“I am proud of our team’s hard work to secure this award for Wales. It’s a fantastic opportunity to boost Cardiff’s profile as an internationally recognised centre for creative production.
“The foundations for success have been laid by some of our brilliant companies in the screen industry and wider creative economy. But to really thrive, we must invest in research and development to create a culture of innovation – that’s what Clwstwr Creadigol is all about.” – Justin Lewis
A powerhouse for growth, the creative industries in the UK contribute more than £90bn to the economy each year. Each of the partnership bids was required to show how it will deliver renewed commercial success for the benefit of the UK as a whole, and bring new products, services and experiences to market.
Lewis also started that:
“Many of our screen companies are independent SMEs and so, if we’re to compete with the global players, we need to work together. That’s why we will be working with a range of partners in the creative industries and in local and national government to create new products, services and experiences to deliver economic uplift for South Wales.”
The work driven by these partnerships will help protect and enhance the UK’s leading global position in the creative industries, which export an estimated £46bn in goods and services annually and are the fastest-growing sector of the UK economy.
A new Policy and Evidence Centre for the sector led by global innovation foundation Nesta, with partners across the UK, will connect organisations in the creative industries, research communities, and policy-makers to develop independent evidence and analysis that can inform decision-making across the industry and underpin future policy decisions.
The nine Creative clusters will be showcased at the Beyond Conference, which will mark the start of a new chapter in the UK’s creative industries.