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Driving creative growth and innovation through international collaboration

Date: 06/03/2020

AHRC is announcing two new international research collaborations, building partnerships between researchers, the creative industries and cultural institutions with both China and the United States.

8 new UK-China Research-Industry Creative Partnerships, delivered in partnership with Innovate UK and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), will form the second phase of AHRC’s UK-China Creative Industries Collaboration programme.  This programme is focused on the growing importance of the Creative Industries in both countries, and the great potential enhanced collaboration in the sector offers as a means of delivering sustained economic, cultural and intellectual benefits.

The projects cover a range of areas across the Creative Industries, including story-telling and animation; theatre and the performing arts; the use of interactive and immersive technologies in museums and cultural institutions; gaming; and fashion. They will bring together researchers and creative industries organisations from the UK and China to develop a foundation for longer-term collaboration, create the conditions for growth and innovation, and catalyse a broad range of economic, cultural and intellectual benefits in both countries.

In addition, 10 UK-US collaborative research projects will launch the second phase of funding under AHRC’s ‘UK-US Collaboration for Digital Scholarship in Cultural Institutions’ programme, which aims to achieve a transformational impact on digital methods and digital research in cultural institutions such as museums, libraries and archives, through enhanced transatlantic collaboration.

These projects will support research and development activities between teams in the UK and US in areas such as machine learning and AI; digitally-enabled participation; developing enhanced information on museum and cultural institution visitors; and the automatic creation and interrogation of all document types and unlocking of new data. Each project will run for 12 months and provide a foundation for larger, longer-term collaboration.

AHRC is currently working with partners in the US to plan the next phase of this programme, with new calls expected to go live on 1st April.

AHRC Executive Chair Professor Andrew Thompson said: “In bringing together world-leading researchers with the outstanding quality of creative businesses and cultural heritage institutions in the UK, China and US, these new international programmes are an exceptional opportunity to drive growth and innovation in sectors that are vital to our mutual prosperity and well-being.

“From world-renowned museums and brands to leading-edge SMEs and start-ups, these programmes will broker new research partnerships across sectors and disciples and create a platform for sustained collaboration.”

Both programmes are supported through the UKRI Fund for International Collaboration. This fund aims to enhance the UK’s excellence in research and innovation through global engagement, forging new bilateral and multilateral research and innovation programmes with global partners.

For more information on UKRI’s Fund for International Collaboration see:

UK-China Research-Industry Creative Partnerships projects

Bridging the Gaps: Mixed reality performance of Chinese Opera in rural and urban Shanghai
Haili Ma, University of Leeds

StoryFutures China: UK-China Transnational Strategic Partnership for Immersive Storytelling in Museums and Cultural Institutions
Vanja Garaj, Brunel University London

Content creation for Mixed-Reality Particle Based Display Exhibitions
Diego Martinez Plasencia, University of Sussex

InGAME International
Robin Sloan, Abertay University

Immersive, Innovative, and Interactive Experience (IIIE): A Technology Driven London-Shanghai Partnership in Mixed Realities and Performing Arts
Xueni Pan, Goldsmiths College

Augmented Fashion: Immersive Interactions for Sustainable Heritage in Fashion and Textiles
Yang Jiang, Robert Gordon University

Shaun the Sheep: Immersive Experience
Richard Koeck, University of Liverpool

Shaping the Connected Museum II
Steve Benford, University of Nottingham

UK-US Collaboration for Digital Scholarship in Cultural Institutions Partnership Development Grants

2 by 2: Structuring Museums to Deliver New Digital Experiences
Professor Ross Parry, University of Leicester                 

Linked Art II: Developing Community, Practice, and Scholarship
Dr Kevin Page, University of Oxford                     

AI for DIGILAB: A New Concept in Digital Infrastructure for Heritage Materials Research
Professor Haida Liang, Nottingham Trent University      

Creative AI: machine learning as a medium in artistic and curatorial practice
Dr Mercedes Bunz, King's College London                  

Linked Conservation Data - phase 2
Dr Athanasios Velios, University of the Arts London     

Historicizing the dot.com bubble and contextualizing email archives
Professor Stephanie Decker, University of Bristol                      

From crowdsourcing to digitally-enabled participation: the state of the art in collaboration, access, and inclusion for cultural heritage institutions
Dr Mia Ridge, British Library                                

Legacies of Catalogue Descriptions and Curatorial Voice: Opportunities for Digital Scholarship
Dr James Baker, University of Sussex                       

"Decolonising Digital Childhoods: A pilot study towards enhanced participation and diversification in historical children's literature collections"
Dr Zoe Jaques, University of Cambridge               

Digital Prospects for Inclusive Civic Historic Museums
Dr Lara Perry, University of Brighton                   

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