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Development through the Creative Economy in China

This Newton Fund funding call is for joint UK-China research projects exploring the potential of the creative economy to drive sustainable and inclusive growth in China.

The Creative Economy is of central and increasing importance to prosperity and growth in both the UK and China and a major opportunity exists to build a new era of collaborative research and innovation partnerships in the field. Co-ordinated by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) in co-operation with the UNESCO Creative City (Shanghai) Promotion Office, this funding call aims to provide a catalyst for joint UK-China research in the creative economy that will facilitate collaboration between academics, businesses, policy professionals, community groups and other organisations. By supporting collaborative UK-China research projects, it will develop the significant potential of the creative economy as a means of driving sustainable economic growth and social welfare in China.

Proposals should address one of the following three thematic areas:

  • Design
  • The Creative and Performing Arts
  • Heritage.


  1. Proposals must be collaborative, involving researchers from both the UK and China. A Principal Investigator (PI) must be named in both the UK and China
  2. Projects should include collaboration and knowledge exchange with the non-academic creative industries sector
  3. As the funding for the UK budget comes from the Newton Fund, UK applicants must be able to demonstrate the project’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) compliance. Funding for Chinese partners can be applied for from the Shanghai Cultural and Creative Fund or matched effort and resources can be provided from their employing institution or other sources.

Who can apply

The research community in the UK and China. UK applicants must meet standard AHRC eligibility requirements, as detailed in section three of our Research Funding Guide. Eligibility for applicants from China will depend on the source of support for their involvement in the project.