Digital Research and Development Fund for the Arts

The Digital Research & Development Fund for the Arts was a strategic partnership between Arts Council England, the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts (NESTA). In 2012, the £7 million fund supports collaborations between organisations with arts projects, technology providers, and researchers. In total, 52 collaborative projects were awarded funding of up to £125k for projects that explore the use of digital technologies to enhance audience reach and/or develop new business models for the arts sector.

The AHRC recruited a post-doctoral researcher, Dr Elizabeth Lomas, from University College London to examine the R&D processes across the entire portfolio of funded R&D projects. The aim of this research was to understand how R&D should be conceptualised for the arts and cultural knowledge domains, defined for policy purposes, measured and evaluated. The work has considered approaches to R&D from academia and practice. Full details of the research and its findings can be found here: Digital R&D Final Report. (PDF, 1.6MB) Hasan Bahkshi and Dr Elizabeth Lomas have subsequently authored a policy briefing (PDF, 156KB) based on the research.

The fund itself is now closed but you can access the free resources created as part of the programme of work, which includes a digital toolkit for the arts, research papers and a portal for exploring the results of the Digital Culture survey. The National Archives has also published an archive version of the website.

Digital Research and Development Fund for Arts and Culture in Scotland

The Digital Research and Development Fund for Arts and Culture in Scotland was a partnership between Creative Scotland, Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and Nesta. The programme ran from 2012 to 2014. With the £500,000 Fund, we supported collaborative partnerships between arts and cultural organisations and technology providers. A research consortium led by the University of Stirling worked with ten funded projects to refine and test their propositions.

A final report on the project Consortium for Research into Arts and Technology in Scotland CReATeS (PDF) on the Nesta website.

Research reports, case studies and short films on each of the projects are now available on the Nesta website.

Digital Research and Development Fund for the Arts in Wales

The Digital R&D Fund for the Arts in Wales was a partnership between Arts Council of Wales, Arts and Humanities Research Council and Nesta. The £400,000 fund supported collaborative projects between arts organisations and technology companies, allowing them to explore innovative ways of enhancing audience reach and engagement or to develop new business models through the use of digital technology.

A research consortium led by the University of South Wales supported six funded projects and results will be published in early 2015 on the Nesta website.