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Digital Research and Development Fund for the Arts

The Digital Research & Development Fund for the Arts is a partnership between, Arts Council England, the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts (NESTA). The £7 million fund supports collaboration between organisations with arts projects, technology providers, and researchers.

Awards of up to £125k for projects that use digital technology to enhance audience reach and/or develop new business models for the arts sector. With a dedicated researcher or research team as part of the three-way collaboration, learning from the project can be captured and disseminated to the wider arts sector.

A short video, available on YouTube, explains more about the fund.

The Digital R&D Fund for the Arts is looking for innovative projects under one or more of our key themes:

  • user generated content and social media
  • distribution and exhibition
  • mobile, location and games
  • data and archives
  • resources
  • education and learning

Research +

The Digital R&D Fund for the Arts was created to fund experiments with new technologies that enhance audience engagement and test new business models. For this, a rigorous research proposition is essential.

We are aware that in some cases digital experimentation is already taking place, in the arts, with these same objectives but where research is not integral to the project. We feel that the addition of research can be usefully undertaken to capture data and insights that would not only benefit the project but that can be captured and shared with the wider arts sector.

For this reason we are creating an opportunity for existing projects, or projects that are due to start very soon, that are NOT funded through the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts, to apply for a grant to support a researcher to work on the project. As well as benefiting the project during its progress, the research must provide insights that will be of value to the wider arts sector through the outcomes of the project, through quantitative and qualitative data capture and analysis.