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London's creative economy gets a boost with new entrepreneurial hub

Date: 24/09/2012

Award-winning games developer and inventor, Kam Star of Digital Shoreditch will speak at the official launch of Creativeworks London at City Hall on Monday 24 September.

This new £4m-hub for academic knowledge and entrepreneurial skill will support small to medium-sized businesses in the capital in creative fields such as digital media, fashion and the visual arts.

These Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) will benefit from free access to academic expertise to help them grow and succeed thanks to the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded project, led by Queen Mary, University of London.

The ‘Creative Economy’, which comprises artistic industries, museums, libraries, and other cultural institutions, contributes more than £50bn to the economy every year. However, London faces distinctive challenges as it attempts to sustain global competitiveness in the 'Creative Economy', particularly in terms of digital innovation, explains Professor Evelyn Welch, the new Hub Director.

SMEs are often responsible for driving innovation and competition,so whether an SME has already identified a problem that needs solving or would like to explore emerging markets or opportunities, Creativeworks London will have ways to support to carry out these activities, adds Professor Welch, who is also Vice-Principal for Research and International Affairs at Queen Mary.

Creativeworks London will be running a four year programme of activities to support new forms of exchange and collaborative research. It will run several key initiatives to support access to and support from the research community. In addition to networking events these include Creative Vouchers where SMEs can access high quality arts and humanities researchers to develop project ideas to grow their business, also PhDs in residence and Entrepreneurs in residence schemes where both communities can come together to foster entrepreneurial talent and stimulate innovation. We believe that Business plus Knowledge equals Innovation. Says Sally Taylor, Executive Director of The Culture Capital Exchange and Knowledge Exchange Director of the Hub.

Over the next four years, Creativeworks London will build new partnerships and commercial opportunities between academia and the creative industry sector. The Hub will liaise with numerous industry partners including IBM and Digital Shoreditch, alongside major cultural institutions such as the V&A, BBC, the British Museum and the British Library.

For further information, please contact: Philip Pothen, AHRC: 01793 41 6022 or email: p.pothen@ahrc.ac.uk

Emma Lowry, Queen Mary, University of London: 02078825378 or email: e.lowry@qmul.ac.uk

Notes for editors

Creativeworks London Launches on Monday 24 September at City Hall.

Venue: London's Living Room, City Hall, SE1 2AA

Time: 6.30pmto 8.30pm (Speeches at 7.15pm)

  • Speakers include: Munira Mirza, Deputy Mayor of London for Education and Culture; Professor Evelyn Welch, Director of Creativeworks London; and Kam Star of Digital Shoreditch and games company, Playgen.
  • The Creativeworks London is one of four Knowledge Exchange Hubs for the Creative Economy funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to develop strategic partnerships with creative businesses and cultural organisations, to strengthen and diversify their collaborative research activities and increase the number of arts and humanities researchers actively engaged in research-based knowledge exchange. The website will be launched at the event at 6.30pm for further details please see www.cwlondon.org.uk.
  • Creativeworks London comprises: Arts Council England, BBC, Barbican, Belle Media, Bfi, Birkbeck, University of London, The British Library, The British Museum, Central School of Speech and Drama, City University London, Courtauld Institute, University of London, Creative and Cultural Skills Council, Digital Shoreditch, Furtherfield, The Geffrye Museum, GLA, Goldsmiths, University of London, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, IBM, Institute of Education, University of London, King's College, London, Kingston Museum, Kingston University, Lion Television, London First, London Sinfonietta, Mediaclarity, The National Archives, Queen Mary, University of London, Playgen, Roehampton University, Royal Geographical Society, Royal Holloway, University of London, Scenepool, SOAS, University of London, Tate, Tech City Investment Organisation, University of the Arts, London, University of London, Victoria and Albert Museum. For further information see: www.cwlondon.org.uk
  • 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.
  • Queen Mary, University of London is one of the UK's leading research-focused higher education institutions with some 16,900 undergraduate and postgraduate students. A member of the Russell Group, it is amongst the largest of the colleges of the University of London. Queen Mary's 3,800 staff deliver world class degree programmes and research across 21 academic departments and institutes, within three sectors: Science and Engineering; Humanities, Social Sciences and Laws; and the School of Medicine and Dentistry. Queen Mary is ranked 11th in the UK according to the Guardian analysis of the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, and has been described as ‘the biggest star among the research-intensive institutions’ by the Times Higher Education. The College has a strong international reputation, with around 20 per cent of students coming from over 100 countries. Queen Mary has an annual turnover of £300m, research income worth £70m, and generates employment and output worth £600m to the UK economy each year. The College is unique amongst London's universities in being able to offer a completely integrated residential campus, with a 2,000-bed award-winning Student Village on its Mile End campus.
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