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AHRC welcomes boost to UK creative industries through new sector deal

Date: 28/03/2018


The Arts and Humanities Research Council has welcomed the Government’s commitment to Creative Industries through the newly announced Creative Industries Sector Deal which was launched today.

The Government is to invest £33 million through UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), via the Arts and Humanities Research Council and Innovate UK, as part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. The programme will challenge industry working in partnership with research organisations to create new immersive experiences, products, and services to capture the attention of the public worldwide and ensure that the UK remains at the forefront of creative content production.

New immersive technologies such as virtual, augmented and mixed reality are changing how we experience the world around us – from entertainment to art, to shops and classrooms. They will fundamentally change products and services in the next 20 years, and transform how we experience our world.

The Audience of the Future challenge will be delivered in partnership by AHRC, Innovate UK, EPSRC and ESRC as UK Research and Innovation. It will include funding for an Industry Centre of Excellence, aligned with AHRC’s Creative Industries Clusters Programme (CICP),  as well as a £16 million demonstrator programme that will fund industry-led consortia in the creative industries to create new immersive experiences and test them with large-scale audiences.

Alex Vincent, Associate Director at AHRC, said: “The Audience of the Future challenge will bring creative businesses, researchers and technology experts together to create striking new experiences to captivate the public ensuring that the UK keeps its world-leading position.

“Those funded through the challenge will create new products and services by adopting, exploiting and developing immersive technologies. We are delighted that AHRC will be working together with our colleagues at Innovate UK to combine our expertise and sector knowledge in the delivery of this exciting programme.”

The Creative Industries Sector Deal also highlighted the importance of AHRC’s Creative Industries Clusters Programme (CICP) in creating partnerships between industry and universities to address challenges identified by the Creative Industries in their cluster. 

Announced by the Digital and Culture Secretary Matt Hancock, Business Secretary Greg Clark and Co-Chair of the Creative Industries Council Nicola Mendelsohn the Creative Industries Sector deal will see more than £150 million to be jointly invested by government and industry to help the country’s world-lead creative industries.



Notes to Editors

For further information, please contact:

Toby Shergold, Communications Manager at the Arts and Humanities Research Council, on 01793 416082 or t.shergold@ahrc.ac.uk

The Arts and Humanities Research Council funds world-class, independent researchers in a wide range of subjects: history, archaeology, digital content, philosophy, languages, design, heritage, area studies, the creative and performing arts, and much more. This financial year the AHRC will spend approximately £98 million to fund research and postgraduate training, in collaboration with a number of partners. The quality and range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides social and cultural benefits and contributes to the economic success of the UK but also to the culture and welfare of societies around the globe. You can find out more information via www.ahrc.ac.uk or following us on Twitter at @ahrcpress, on Facebook at Arts and Humanities Research Council, or Instagram at @ahrcpress.


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