In 2010 Rona Fairhead, now Chairman of the BBC Trust, and Sir Christopher Snowden, now VC at Southampton chaired a Task Force for the National Centre on the fusion of the creative, digital and information technology (CDIT) industries.
The report, The Fuse, led to the Brighton Fuse review into the relationship between the universities in Brighton and CDIT innovation and graduate talent needs. This was followed up by London Fusion which was a major knowledge exchange programme with a thousand companies, and now the North East Creative Fusion. And now Nesta’s recent report “The Fusion Effect: The Economic Returns to Combining Arts and Science Skills” reviews the Fuse phenomena and its implications for skills and policy.
This recent report estimates that fused science and arts organisations employed over 3.5 million people and generated £500 billion turnover in 2011. In addition to this, they have shown show that they have six per cent higher employment growth, eight per cent higher sales growth, that they are three per cent more likely to innovate and are ten per cent more productive.
The Brighton Fuse project itself, was based on a belief that by connecting the arts, humanities and design with digital and ICT, then creativity and innovation can be enhanced. Recent reports have shown that as a result of the Brighton Fuse project, Brighton and Hove’s digital and creative economy is now worth more than £1 billion to the city each year, and it is exciting to see Nesta’s focus on companies which have focused on ‘fused’ Science and arts skills.
It is exciting to see our projects’ various offshoots highlighting the value of fusing skills in the workplace, and creating a knowledge-sharing culture that will withstand the test of time.
As we look to digital solutions like konfer to enhance this collaboration and an increasing focus on DASSH (Design, Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities) we can only hope for more of this exciting, organic growth of research and knowledge.