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Speakers announced for Creative Clusters engagement events

Date: 29/09/2017


Leading figures from the creative industries will speak at eight high-profile events to promote game-changing collaboration between academics and the creative sector as part of the “largest ever” single investment in arts and humanities-led research and innovation.

These Creative Clusters events will take place across the UK from Belfast to Bristol this autumn, providing delegates with information about how to get involved with the £80 million AHRC-led Creative Industries Clusters (CIC) programme. The events include Briefing events and bid writing workshops.

Speakers confirmed include:

  • Rosie Millard, Deputy CEO, Creative Industries Federation
  • Prof Frances Corner OBE, Head of College, London College of Fashion
  • Sara Pepper, Director of Creative Economy, Cardiff University
  • Caroline Norbury MBE, CEO of Creative England
  • Alex McDowell, Founder & Creative Director, Experimental Design
  • Graham Jack, Chief Technical Officer, Double Negative
  • Dick Penny, Managing Director of the Watershed

The £80 million programme, which will be rolled out in 2018, will support eight research and development partnerships between industry and a group of universities to respond to the challenges identified by the creative industries in their cluster and a new Policy and Evidence Centre.

Andrew Chitty, AHRC's Creative Economy Champion, said: “It’s a sign of how different this programme is that we’ve got Oscar winning film makers and creative leaders from the advertising, fashion, tv, design and games sectors to stand alongside world class researchers and regional policymakers to help us launch the scheme across the UK. Because this is how we want the creative R&D partnerships to work, as a collaboration between industry, creative practitioners, and researchers to drive growth and innovation in the UK’s creative clusters. This isn't going to be easy so we want our speakers to spark thought-provoking debates at the events about how the individual bids can start to take shape.”

Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, said that this will: “Deliver a further boost to our creative industries, helping to spread prosperity and grow the creative skills base across the UK.”

The agenda at the events will include a briefing from the CIC programme team followed by a Q&A session, keynotes and panel discussions with creative industry practitioners, followed by a networking lunch.

The Creative Clusters will be of interest to all prospective academic leads from universities and Independent Research Organisations, as well as prospective private sector partners and representatives from regional or cultural and creative third sector and public organisations.

Mike Collins, Head of Communications at the AHRC, added: “The line-up of high profile speakers from both higher education and the creative industries for these exciting events across the UK reflects the energy and potential for amazing collaborations to power this important part of the economy. We think our speakers will spark thought-provoking debates at the events about how this can take shape.”


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