Partnership Development Grants for UK-China Collaborations in the Creative Industries

Date: 02/11/2018

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) is set to launch a call for Partnership Development Grants focused on building new research-industry partnerships between the UK and China in the creative industries.

The awards will be part of a major new programme that will invest £5m on the UK side, plus co-funding from Chinese partners, over 4 years. It will be delivered in partnership with the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council; Innovate UK; the Shanghai Theatre Academy; and the Shanghai Economic and Information Technology Commission. The overarching aim of the programme is to enable a rapid scaling-up of engagements between the UK and China – with a specific focus on Shanghai – in order to facilitate new collaborations in the creative industries that deliver sustained economic, cultural and intellectual benefits in both countries.

The development grants will be the first stage in a suite of funding activity. They are intended to provide a platform for the initiation / enhancement of research-industry partnerships between the UK and China with a view to larger, longer-term collaboration. The awards will enable partners to scope new ideas for research and development activity, identify industry challenges and opportunities, interrogate key themes and shape priorities.

It is anticipated that projects will explore areas including, but not limited to: the screen industries; theatre / performing arts (particularly in relation to mixed reality experiences); gaming (particularly in relation to mobile devices); and creative design. These themes, and wider issues, will be discussed and refined at a workshop taking place in Shanghai from 6-7 November prior to issuing the full call. Please note that attendance at this workshop is not a condition of application.

Applicants will be able to request £10-15k from the AHRC. All projects will need to demonstrate matched resource from Chinese partners, either cash or in-kind. Projects will be expected to start by 1 February 2019 and run for a period of 3-6 months. Funding could support a broad range of activity such as travel for partnership development, scoping workshops and other networking activity. All projects will need to demonstrate a research-industry balance.

The call is expected to launch week commencing 12 November and close week commencing 14 January.

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