We have prepared answers to frequently asked questions in this document. We will continue to update the FAQs whilst the funding call is open.
To apply for Sandbox you must meet all of the following criteria:
Applicants can apply if they have already received MyWorld funding. If the funding would run in parallel, we will need clear evidence that you have the capacity to participate in multiple projects and there is no risk of double funding the same activity. We would not expect to fund you again if you have already received funding as part of Playable City Sandbox.
Please get in touch with on firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss if you have any questions.
Applicants can be based anywhere. Where the company is not based in the West of England they will need to have a clear justification of the long term benefit (economic, social and cultural) of the work to this region.
If you are selected for the Sandbox you will need to spend some time at the Pervasive Media Studio in Watershed during the production period (May – July 2024).
If you are applying from outside the West of England please get in touch for a conversation to discuss.
The West of England includes: Bristol, South Gloucestershire, Bath & North East Somerset
This funding is for industry. Universities and named academics can be partners on proposals but cannot lead. Some university costs can be included in the budget, including making costs, expenses and consultative costs for time. However, we will not fund full economic costings for universities (ie. contribution to academic salaries, estates and indirects).
The Sandbox theme is around artificial intelligence and networks of intelligence.
We are keen to breakaway from the notion of artificial intelligence as tools and explore how we might collaborate with diverse networks of intelligence.
We have a series of design questions for the More than AI sandbox, those are:
Below are a selection projects that have inspired our thinking towards this sandbox theme whilst also demonstrating a variety of ways technology has been creatively used:
James Bridle Autonomous Trap
Holly Herndon, Holly+
Stephanie Dinkins Secret Garden
Birgitte Aga and Coral Manton Women Reclaiming AI
Atsushi Tero mapping Tokyo’s subway system in slime mould
Tomás Saraceno In Collaboration: Web(s) of Life
Annali Grimes with KWMC and Paul Granjon: Garden Lab Whispers Grow.
Karen Palmer: Riot
Jake Elwes, Zizi – Queering the Data Set (also A.I Interprets A.I Interpreting ‘Against Interpretation’ (Sontag, 1966)
Allison Parrish, Solar-Powered Dawn Poems
Everest Pipkin, Shell Song
Lauren McCarthy LAUREN
There is already a lot of funding programmes out there for innovation around Artificial Intelligence. More Than AI sandbox is a space to experiment and explore more speculative concepts and prototypes that otherwise might not be funded .
We are looking for ideas that use technology in a creative way and draw between intelligence, technology and ecology. The proposed idea does not have to be an entirely new proposal and can be informed by previous projects*. We are open to experimental ideas and works that critically and creatively engage with the theme.
* Whilst we are open to works being informed by previous works, we will not fund work which has already received funding for the same proposed development for example if the proposal has receive previous funds for the same development.
A prototype is a work in progress and not a finished product. Prototypes can take a variety of shapes, these could be new methods, toolkits, repeatable events, tourable installations, performances, products, services or more.
Yes! We will be opening bookable surgeries from 30 October, every Monday 14:00 – 16:00. These sessions are ideal if you would like to talk through your idea, find out more about sandbox, or ask any questions before applying. Booking link can be found in the brief.
If you are unable to make the surgery times, contact Emma Boulton via email@example.com
If there are other ways in which we can support you during application please let us know.
Please share the name and a short biography for yourself and each team member.
This can be a working title – we anticipate project names may change
This can be a written document (2 pages max), audio file or a video (5 minutes max). We want to know about your idea and what you might prototype, please refer to the Assessment Criteria in the brief, we will be looking for how your proposal responds to these.
You can include visual material (images/diagrams/illustrations) and external links – we recommend.
Applications will be assessed against the following criteria:
We intend to curate to a selection of projects that creatively and critically explore the More Than AI theme, and our research questions stated above.
Based on previous sandboxes we imagine teams will be somewhere between 3-6 people with different time commitments, but this is an estimate for guidance only. This will be dependent on the specific skills and experience needed for your prototype. You may also be sub-contracting others for small, specific tasks along the way.
You can only lead one application (either as an individual or a business). You are more than welcome to be named in multiple applications for different ideas with different collaborations, however we will not fund the same person or business twice in this sandbox. This is because we are looking to build a diverse cohort and we want to engage with and fund a wide cross-section of people and businesses. An exception to this would be if you are doing some minor consultancy or sub-contractor work for a different prototype and are not a core part of their team. We define ‘minor’ as five days or less (or equivalent).
The BECTU rate cards might be a useful reference for some roles: https://bectu.org.uk/get-involved-in-the-union/ratecards/ this is from 2018.
The A-N’s ‘Guidance on fees and day rates for visual artists document is useful to establish freelance rates. They update it each year: https://static.a-n.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/Guidance_on_fees_and_day_rates_for_visual_artists_2022.pdf this is from 2022.
VAT is included in our £45,000 investment; you will need to factor this into your budget. We encourage teams to budget for the full amount.
MyWorld has received government funding though UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) flagship Strength in Places Fund to build on the research, technology and production strengths of the Bristol & Bath creative cluster across industry and its universities. https://www.myworld-creates.com
Eligibility to apply for this funding is dependent on the UK Subsidy Control Framework which states that businesses may receive financial assistance of up to £315,000 over any period of three fiscal years under the Minimum Financial Assistance exemption. As part of your application to the Sandbox call you will be required to fill in an online form managed and monitored by the University of Bristol. Once you have submitted your form, they will respond to you within five working days to confirm whether or not you are eligible to receive the funding available. If you are eligible you will receive confirmation of the cash equivalent value of any support provided.
Visit Subsidy Control on Gov.UK for further background information.
Contracting, payments and invoicing for the grant will be administered through the University of Bristol (MyWorld Lead) with the Sandbox producer supporting. The Sandbox award is a grant payment issued by University of Bristol.
During contracting, the lead applicant will be set up as suppliers with the university. The grant will be paid in 3 installments, we anticipate these will be:
We expect successful applicants to commit to delivering the prototype they are proposing within the outlined timeframe, ready for a sharing event by September 2024. As part of this process, we also expect you to fully engage in the Sandbox process. This will include three day-long workshops, one-to-ones with a producer and support from mentors.
Sandbox teams are expected to work from the Pervaise Media Studio – dates and times can be agreed with the Sandbox producer and Studio lead.
We expect you to budget to pay yourselves to attend the Sandbox workshops and the Pervasive Media Studio with our investment.
During this time we will be setting you up as suppliers with the University of Bristol and manage contracting with University of Bristol to ensure everything is ready to go from the start of May. Watershed will during this time collect and prepare material ready to publicly announce the selected projects in April 2024.
We will also be available should you wish to chat to us about your prototype before the Sandbox officially starts.
We have copied and pasted the IP clause from the template contract between Sandbox lead applicants and the University of Bristol:
Watershed is recognised for its internationally distinctive programme of invention and talent development; as a leading centre for film culture and as Bristol’s city centre cultural meeting and debating place of choice. As a registered charity and social enterprise, Watershed has well established brand values. We have spent the last year working with our staff, audiences and partners to update our values and behaviours to reflect the organisation we want to be. We apply our values in everything we do, and ask partners, suppliers, collaborators and audiences to do the same. These values are:
The Pervasive Media Studio hosts a brilliant community of over 180 artists, creative companies, technologists and academics exploring experience design and creative technology. It is a collaboration between Watershed, University of Bristol and UWE Bristol. Our projects can be cultural or commercial and span play, robotics, location-based media, food, connected objects, interactive documentary and new forms of performance. We test our projects as early as possible and iterate.
When spending time at Pervasive Media Studio, we ask that you enact our inclusive behaviours.
You can read more about these here https://www.watershed.co.uk/studio/about/visit-access
Over the next four years Watershed’s Pervasive Media Studio is part of a programme called MyWorld which will showcase the latest advances in digital production and research. Led by the University of Bristol, the aim of MyWorld is to position the West of England as an international trailblazer in screen-based media, forge dynamic collaborations to progress technological innovation, deliver creative excellence, establish and operate state of the art facilities, offer skills training and drive inward investment, raising the region’s profile on the global stage.
MyWorld will embed a culture of research and development, at scale, across the creative technology sector in the West of England region. It will do this by sharing facilities and knowledge between academia and industry: providing access to organisations and researchers to extraordinary facilities and experts.
Find out more: https://www.myworld-creates.com/
MyWorld is funded through UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) ‘Strength in Places fund’. Main Delivery partners: University of Bristol, University of the West of England, University of Bath, Bath Spa University, Digital Catapult, Aardman Animations, BDH, Esprit Film and Television, Bristol Old Vic and Opposable Games.
More than AI Sandbox is part of the MyWorld IDEAS programme, led by Watershed.
The IDEAS programme provides small-medium enterprise businesses, freelancers and the public the opportunity to experiment with new technologies, creating meaningful experiences for audiences. It also offers the opportunity to test and question how these technologies are or could be applied, thereby placing people, arts and culture at the heart of new, innovative technologies. The IDEAS programme encourages responsible forms of innovation and actively explores points of crossover and connection.