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UK-China Creative Industries Workshop and Showcase Reception

Date: 17/12/2019

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) – part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) - is supporting a programme of activity that is building new research-industry partnerships between the UK and China. This activity, supported through the UKRI Fund for International Collaboration, is focused on the growing importance of the Creative Industries in both countries and the great potential enhanced collaboration in the sector offers as a means of delivering sustained economic, cultural and intellectual benefits. The programme is being delivered in partnership with the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Innovate UK, the Shanghai Theatre Academy, the Shanghai Economy and Information Technology Commission and the Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality.

A recent workshop held in December as part of a UKRI visit to Shanghai showcased the creative industries work supported to date. It provided a high-level forum for the exploration of key opportunities and challenges and a platform to consolidate partnerships in preparation for future collaboration. The event brought together leading academics, creative businesses and representatives from funding agencies from both countries.

The event marked the latest point in AHRC’s developing programme of activity in China focused on the creative industries, building on a long-standing partnership with the Shanghai Theatre Academy.  In 2018 AHRC launched a call for Partnership Development Grants focused on building new research-industry partnerships between the UK and China in the creative industries, funding research in areas such as theatre and the performing arts to the use of interactive and immersive technologies in cultural institutions. These projects formed the basis of the showcase at the event in Shanghai.

Over 100 collaborative partners are involved in the 14 awards which include a project between Aardman Animations, Centre of Architecture and the Visual Arts, China Media Capital and the Shanghai Theatre Academy which aims to fuse the global entertainment brand, Shaun the Sheep, with a mixed reality cinema experience that takes immersive storytelling to a new level. The proposals which bring to together Chinese researchers with experts at the University of Liverpool, will build partnerships that form a new alliance between the UK and CCI/Media organisations in the Shanghai region.

Another key industry being explored as part of the Partnership Development Grants is the music industry. Researchers at Queen Mary, University of London are collaborating with China to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to change the creation, production, protection, distribution, and consumption of music. The music industry is a leading example of a creative industry sector embracing AI, and its use of AI will pave the way for substantial UK-China collaborations in the future.

Andrew Thompson, Executive chair of AHRC said “The rapid growth and vibrancy of the creative industries in the UK and China presents an unparalleled opportunity to build new research and innovation partnerships between our two countries. AHRC’s ongoing commitment to promoting R&D in this dynamic sector of the economy has demonstrated that by bringing together world-leading researchers and our pioneering creative businesses in both countries we can drive growth and innovation in a sector that is vital to mutual future prosperity.”

You can read more about the UK-China Creative Industries Workshop and Showcase Reception in our Brochure (PDF, 11.6MB).

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