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AHRC Impact Report demonstrates the contribution of arts and humanities research on the UK economy and society

Date: 27/03/2017


The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) has today published its impact report for 2015/2016, demonstrating the impact that our investments have made on the UK economy, policy, and for society.

Spanning the development of new products in the creative and digital economies to influencing policy, the AHRC impact report highlights the impact of arts and humanities research on the UK's knowledge base and it's positive effect on the development of the UK's creative and digital economies.

AHRC Chief Executive, Professor Andrew Thompson, said, "As the only UK research funding organisation that supports both arts and humanities research, we play a leading role in nurturing and supporting highly skilled and talented academics in the higher education sector and the wider economy. By promoting collaborative research and encouraging partnerships across sectors, we help to show the importance and relevance of arts and humanities research to society and the economy.”

Read the full report (PDF, 2.7MB)

Impact Report Highlights

Stimulating the Creative Economy

AHRC funding has been successfully stimulating greater Higher Education and industry collaboration through its Knowledge Exchange Hubs for the Creative Economy. The AHRC’s four Knowledge Exchange Hubs for the Creative Economy (2012-16), which were based in Bristol, Dundee, London and Lancaster and in total involved 29 universities in twelve locations and more than 1,700 innovators. These have transformed the place of universities within local creative ecologies and had direct impact upgrading skills, leveraging investment, creating jobs, and forming new start-up companies. They supported 273 Creative Economy Research and Development collaborations drawing in 350 businesses, 320 academics and 171 third sector organisations. To date, they have created 208 new jobs, 17 new companies, leading to 192 innovative products and services including devices, software, hardware, platforms, methodologies and services. Small and micro-businesses have attracted approximately £4m further financing and HEIs have won £30.8m of additional funding for new university-based academic research and postgraduate training.

Research with global reach

AHRC-funded researchers and research have a global reach; from shaping new collaborations to supporting the Creative Economy in China to informing human rights policy and legislation in countries across the world - using the example of human rights parliamentary legislation in Georgia. Parliamentary protection of the rule of law and human rights has been strengthened in Georgia thanks to research facilitated by an AHRC-funded network bringing together academics, policy makers and civil society partners. This change in policy marks the Parliament of Georgia’s first engagement with international human rights mechanisms, a major step for the country. The research collaboration between the AHRC-funded Parliaments, the Rule of Law and Human Rights Project and the Westminster Foundation for Democracy continues to focus on strengthening parliamentary capacity to oversee governments’ responsibility in meeting its human rights obligations in five other democracies – Macedonia, Serbia, Uganda, Ukraine and Tunisia.


For further press information please contact Mike Collins, Head of Communications, at the Arts and Humanities Research Council, on 07590 463751 or

Notes for Editors

  • 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 or following us on Twitter at @ahrcpress, on Facebook at Arts and Humanities Research Council, or Instagram at @ahrcpress.
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