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Major event today highlights global success of the UK's Creative Economy

Date: 12/03/2014

Around 450 delegates are gathering this morning at King's Place in London for the start of the first AHRC Creative Economy showcase. The event is being held to highlight the successes of the UK's Creative Economy, its considerable contribution to the economy as a whole and to showcase some of the key initiatives and projects funded by the AHRC.

Keynote speakers include the Rt Hon David Willetts, the Minister for Universities and Science and designer Sebastian Conran. Among the sectors within the Creative Economy to be highlighted are fashion, design, video games, architecture, broadcasting, archives, digital technologies and dance, while key initiatives funded by the AHRC that will be participating in the event include the Knowledge Exchange Hubs, the CREATe Copyright Centre, Brighton Fuse and the Digital RnD Fund for the Arts.

The event comes at a time of growing awareness of the contribution made by the Creative Economy to the UK's overall economic performance with recent figures suggesting that the UK's creative industries account for more than 5% of UK Gross Value Added (GVA), higher than Financial Services, Advanced Manufacturing and Construction, nearly 10% of the economy, and is estimated to be growing at a higher rate than any other sector.  

Professor Rick Rylance, Chief Executive of the AHRC, who will open the event today, said: It's becoming increasingly clear that the arts and humanities play a crucial role in our hugely successful Creative Economy which harnesses innovation, digital technologies and creativity. Today's event gives us the opportunity to celebrate the success of AHRC projects but also to spotlight the importance of collaborative and partnership working. The UK is blessed with outstanding arts and humanities researchers, but is also blessed with a wonderful cultural infrastructure, marvellous museums, galleries and other institutions, and adventurous and resourceful creative businesses. It is the combination that brings the energy and excitement.

Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said: The creative industries are a vibrant part of the UK economy. The Arts and Humanities Research Council is bringing together research, creative businesses and cultural organisations, playing an important role in nurturing new thinking on digital technologies, knowledge exchange, design and the creative economy.

Among the new developments and initiatives to be announced today are:

  • The CREATe Copyright Centre are launching a new website copyrightuser.org to support those working in the creative economy to better understand the complications of copyright law.
  • The Design in Action Hub will be launching their new website Design KIT which will support Small and Medium size businesses to apply design strategically within their businesses.
  • Qualia, a Digital R&D Fund project, has developed a new technology to enable the collection of audience profile information and live feedback. Qualia will be released as open source today at their website qualia.org.uk

The event is being live-streamed to the AHRC website: www.ahrc.ac.uk/ceshowcase

Twitter: #ceshowcase

For further information, please contact Danielle Moore-Chick on 01793 41 6021 or d.moore-chick@ahrc.ac.uk

Notes for editors

  • Centre for Copyright and New Business Models in the Creative Economy: The AHRC, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), through the Digital Economy Programme, launched a new initiative in Copyright and New Business Models in the Creative Economy in 2011. £4M (£5M Full Economic Cost (FEC)) was made available to support one multidisciplinary research centre over a four year period focussing on real research challenges in the creative economy, relating to new digital technologies and issues of copyright and new business models.Find out more on the CREATe website.
  • Design in Action is a Knowledge Exchange Hub funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council. It aims to ensure that Scotland can maximise its capacity to operate effectively and meet the imperatives of building new economies for future world markets. Unique innovation events, Chiasmas, offer creative spaces where entrepreneurs, businesses, academics and designers meet to apply new thinking to persistent issues, and to compete for funding of up to £20,000 per project to assist new start-up ventures. Find out more on the Design in Action website.
  • The Digital R&D Fund for the Arts is a £7 million fund from Arts Council England, the Arts and Humanities Research Council and Nesta to support collaboration between arts projects, technology providers and researchers to explore the potential of increasing audience engagement or find new business models. Find out more on the Digital R&D Fund website
  • The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funds world-class, independent researchers in a wide range of subjects: ancient history, modern dance, archaeology, digital content, philosophy, English literature, design, the creative and performing arts, and much more. This financial year the AHRC will spend approximately £98m 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 but also contributes to the economic success of the UK. www.ahrc.ac.uk


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