Knowledge exchange between arts researchers and creative companies (2)

Knowledge exchange between arts researchers and creative companies (2)
AHRC Knowledge Exchange Hubs

AHRC Knowledge Exchange Hubs


The AHRC’s four Knowledge Exchange Hubs bring together excellent research in the arts and humanities with businesses and public sector organisations, working in partnership to generate innovation in the creative and cultural sectors and beyond.

The UK’s Creative Economy

The UK’s Creative Economy – embracing the creative industries and the cultural sector – is a dynamic and vital part of our economy.

It accounts for more than 5% of UK Gross Value Added (higher than Financial Services, Advanced Manufacturing and Construction), nearly 10% of the economy, and is estimated to be growing at a higher rate than any other sector. It is increasingly clear, that the arts and humanities are a vital element of the Creative Economy, bringing further creativity, insight and knowledge to a rich, varied and innovative sector.

The Knowledge Exchange Hubs

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) is funding four Knowledge Exchange Hubs for the Creative Economy to catalyse and harness that creativity and understanding.

Working as consortia, the Hubs are connecting excellent research in the arts and humanities with a range of creative and cultural organisations, including SMEs in the creative sectors. The hubs are reaching new audiences in the academic and business sectors, the creative and cultural industries and have engaged with more than 1,000 SMEs since they were established in 2012.

REACT (Research and Enterprise in the Arts and Creative Technologies, ) an AHRC-funded Knowledge Exchange Hub for the Creative Economy, is led by the University of the West of England Bristol in
partnership with the University of Bristol, University of Exeter, University of Bath, University of Cardiff, and the Watershed Arts Trust. It has stimulated over £1 million in emergent HEI and creative economy collaborations enabling 27 companies to spend over 4,500 hours on KE projects. It is currently developing a follow-on funding mechanism to support micro-business/academic partnerships beyond the first successful collaboration. In 2013/14, REACT funded 21 projects through investment of £865,000 into collaborative R&D, that has directly contributed £270,000 to companies to facilitate collaborative work with researchers in partner HEIs.

REACT’s ‘sandbox’ is an innovation space that offers regular catch up, showcase and feedback events for participants, as well as access to a panel of leading industry advisers. Each REACT Sandbox is themed around emerging issues of interest to the creative economy, and where research in the arts and humanities can drive innovation.

The first four themes were Heritage, Books&Print, Future Documentaries and Objects the successful collaborations demonstrate the diversity of interests and approaches. For example, Bristol games company Slingshot and Dr Anthony Mandal of the University of Cardiff commercially produced a horror-maze game called Hyde. Another partnership between David Plans of the entertainment and healthcare startup Adaptive Media, the University of Bath’s Paul Leonard and Chris Clarke, and composer Joseph Hyde, has created Breathing Stone. This hand-sized stone senses heart rate and breath to generate music that reflects and adjusts the user’s physiological state.
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