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Second call for applications now open: Digital R&D Fund for Arts and Culture in Scotland

Date: 02/10/2012

The £500,000 Digital R&D Fund for Arts and Culture in Scotland has opened for its second-round of applications to connect Scottish arts and culture organisations with technology providers. The fund, which has already provided support for six Scottish organisations this year, aims to harness digital technologies to reach wider audiences and develop new ways of working with the arts.

Through the fund, arts and cultural organisations of all sizes from across Scotland are being encouraged to work with technology providers to discover the potential for digital technology to increase their audience and revenues, generate sponsorship, membership and new forms of giving. The fund is a partnership between Nesta, Creative Scotland and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

In the first round of funding earlier this year, the fund supported six innovative projects from organisations including the National Piping School in Glasgow, Dundee Contemporary Arts and An Iodhlann on the Isle of Tiree. All the projects funded in the first round demonstrated the massive potential for Scottish cultural organisations to innovate in order to increase their audiences and revenues, as well as to produce new data and research insights that can be shared with, and benefit, other organisations in the arts and culture sector.

Nesta will be holding Digital Advisory Days on 27 and 28 November 2012 in Scotland - these will be run subject to location and demand. These days will give arts/cultural organisations and technology companies the opportunity to hear more about the Fund, encourage new collaborations and run ideas past digital experts to gain constructive feedback before submitting an application to the Fund. If you are interested in attending one of these events - please email us with your name, organisation name, and preferred location of workshop to rndscotland@nesta.org.uk and we will be in touch to confirm your place.

Jackie McKenzie, Head of Innovation Programmes in Scotland for Nesta said: The projects supported by the Digital R&D Fund for Arts and Culture in Scotland has so far have demonstrated the exciting new opportunities for Scotland's world-renowned arts and culture sector to reach new audiences and develop new models to reach wider audiences. Technology offers the potential for Scottish cultural organisations to expand their reach to a global audience, providing additional support for organisations and helping learn lessons that can be shared with the whole sector to develop and grow in Scotland. We are looking forward to receiving more high calibre applications in this second round.

Iain Munro, Director of Creative Development at Creative Scotland, said: Digital technologies can revolutionise cultural engagement, allowing organisations to share their work and promote activity to worldwide audiences. The projects selected in the first round are already demonstrating the benefits for arts and cultural organisations engaging with technology companies. We look forward to seeing a fresh round of ideas, innovations and approaches to collaborative working, each making a valuable contribution to Scotland's arts sector and growing the cultural economy.

Chief Executive of the AHRC Professor Rick Rylance said: We live in exciting times as we discover more about the interactions between the new digital technologies and the arts and the potential for innovation they bring. This joint project will enable us to understand these opportunities more fully and encourage their realisation. We are delighted to be working once more with Nesta and Creative Scotland in this area.

Applications to the Digital R&D Fund for Arts and Culture in Scotland are invited from all sizes of arts and cultural organisation based in Scotland until 1 February 2013 (midnight). To be eligible, organisations must be either predominately publically funded and/or registered charities and want to work with digital technologies.

For further information and to submit an application, visit: http://www.nesta.org.uk/digital_rnd_scotland

Email: rndscotland@nesta.org.uk

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