As MyWorld continues its mission to embed a culture of Research and Development (R&D) in the creative sector within the West of England we are opening our latest funding calls for those exploring creative technology.
Due to the range of individuals and organisations within the sector we know it’s important to offer a choice of funding opportunities to reflect the different strengths and specialisms in the region.
This is why we are opening two different calls awarding from £45k-£200k, to ensure that the widest possible spread of ideas, readiness levels, organisational sizes and concepts are catered to.
Anyone suitable is able to apply for either or both calls however we would advise careful consideration of time and resources available before applying to both calls. We encourage applicants to consider if they have the capacity required if accepted by both funding calls.
The Open Calls
Both of the calls open the week commencing the 9 October with Collaborative Research & Development 2 (CR&D2), led by Digital Catapult, opening to applications on the 9 October and with Sandbox 2, led by Watershed, opening to applications on the 11 October.
Whilst the opportunity to conduct research and experiment with creative technologies exists within both calls, their suitability to you or your organisation will be different, so it is important to identify which is most closely aligned with you.
CR&D2 led by Digital Catapult
Who it’s for
- Businesses who work within the creative technology sector or intend to deliver a project in this sector
- UK registered businesses of any size, not-for-profit organisation or charity
- A lead organisation who will design a project which intends to exploit the results from or in the West of England Region. Note that the lead organisation can be based outside of the West of England.
- Researchers with industry contacts seeking a collaborative partnership
- Businesses that have the financial capacity to meet the match funding requirements, outlined in IUK’s ‘What steps are there before a project starts?‘ video
Project duration is 12-18 months. Projects must start by 1 July 2024 and end by 31 December 2025
What’s the Theme?
Your project must focus on screen based and immersive technologies within the creative sector industries including one or more of: Creating experiences, Delivering experiences, Measuring experiences
What You Get Beyond Funding
- Collaborative research and development with researchers from globally recognised universities
- A programme of support throughout the project lifetime from Digital Catapult which includes:
- Monitoring from InnovateUK to provide project support to deliver effective outcomes
- Mentoring to support your project
- Relevant showcasing opportunities that will allow you to physically promote your project outcomes to a relevant industrial audience.
- Application and knowledge transfer of cutting-edge academic research to industry challenges
- Connection to technology and business development expertise and other programmes and opportunities within the Digital Catapult and MyWorld networks
What Makes this Call Different?
- Proposals are a collaboration between the lead applicant and at least one of the four universities based in the West of England: University of Bath, Bath Spa University, University of Bristol, University of the West of England. Applicants can also work with Research & Technology Organisations (RTOs)
- Projects must demonstrate a high level of ambition to deliver technological advancement and its application to industry challenges
- Proposals must demonstrate a positive impact in the West of England area
- Projects must demonstrate a realistic potential to deliver business growth, scale-up, and job creation
Sandbox 2, led by Watershed
Who it’s for
- Freelancers and independent creative professionals (artists, designers, technologists, co-designers, action researchers etc.)
- Collectives and Organisations
- Micro and SMEs
- Those with a creative interest that centres on artificial intelligence and diverse networks of intelligence. This can be an established practice or adapting existing practices into this space.
Up to £45K
3 month production period, starting May 2024
What’s the theme?
More Than AI: AI as collaborators – possibility and potential to collaborate and learn from diverse networks of intelligence, including artificial intelligence, beyond our human centre experiences.
What you get beyond funding
- Dedicated support from a Watershed Producer, Industry Experts/Advisors, Business Mentor and Creative Technologist
- Access to facilities in the Pervasive Media Studio (including desk space, bookable rooms, time bank, Show & Test events etc.)
- Support with developing inclusive practices
- PR support from Ladbury, showcasing opportunities and feedback events
- Access support
- A short promotional film documenting prototype
What Makes this Call Different?
- Sandbox is for experimental, exploratory and speculative ideas – creative use of technology is key to this
- Transforming new concepts into a prototype with a view to seeing how these works could be developed further into experiences, products, or services
- It is not for finished pieces or one-off projects
- Prototypes can take a variety of shapes, these could be methods, toolkits, events, installations, performances, products, services or more
- Responsible innovation (social, cultural and environmental impact) and community building are key to Sandbox
- The theme is focused on AI
- Proposals must involve a collaboration between the lead applicant and a regional university. Applicants can also work with Research & Technology Organisations (RTOs).
- CR&D applicants can apply to develop feasibility studies and industrial research projects or experimental development projects which may be nearer to market than Sandbox applicants.
- Applicants to this call can focus on any challenge that focuses on screen based and immersive technologies within the creative sector including one or more of: Creating experiences, Delivering experiences, Measuring experiences, whereas Sandbox is AI-focused.
- CR&D requires a demonstrable impact in the West of England region, Sandbox champions responsible innovation.
- The time commitment of this call is higher than Sandbox of 12 – 18 months.
- Funding of £100k – 200K is available compared to a maximum of £45K for Sandbox.
- Competition Dates Monday 9th Oct – Thursday 23rd Nov
- With a focus on experimental, exploratory and speculative ideas, the applicants here can have ideas further from the market at a lower technology readiness level.
- The theme for this is focused on AI.
- Whilst both calls are open to companies of all sizes, Sandbox specialises in supporting freelancers and smaller organisations.
- Responsible innovation (social, cultural and environmental impact) and community building are key to Sandbox whereas CR&D2 focuses more on regional impact.
- Is a 3-month production period compared to the 12 – 18 month project length of CR&D2.
- The maximum funding available for applicants of Sandbox is £45K compared to the £100K – £200K of CR&D2.
- Competition Dates Wednesday 11th – Sunday 17th December
Another key difference is the partner organisations leading and supporting the calls. Digital Catapult and Watershed each have their specialities, much of which is reflected in the difference of the calls, but we advise conducting your own research to evaluate which you feel would be best suited to you.