MyWorld is an engine of research, development and business growth for the West of England’s creative technology sector. Bringing together our region’s world-leading creative industry sector and globally recognised academic research from our four regional universities, we are producing new knowledge, products and processes to drive sustainable, inclusive growth in business revenues, new job creation and skills opportunities for our region.
In addition to providing funding and world-leading facilities, MyWorld will deliver support through mentoring and training to facilitate the creation of new products and processes ahead of the emerging market, as well as uncover and solve engineering challenges to build the platforms on which future media experiences will be based.
Over the next five years, MyWorld will operate five separate funding mechanisms, led by MyWorld partners, Watershed and Digital Catapult, funded by UK Research and Innovation, Strength in Places Fund. Each with unique target markets, audiences, challenges and outcomes.
MyWorld Open Calls, led by Digital Catapult
Digital Catapult calls support the next generation of B2B advanced digital technology within the Creative Industries to deliver innovation-led regional growth in the West of England.
Our Collaborative Research and Development (CR&D) and Challenge Calls will provide opportunities for organisations of all sizes including freelancers, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), corporates, communities and academics.
Projects will need to demonstrate clear advancements in technology and novel applications of existing technology to new and emerging challenges in the creative industries.
Participants will have access to a range of benefits:
- World-class mentorship: support from leading industry, business and technical experts
- Workshops: exclusive workshops that respond to the needs of the participants and the specific call challenge whilst offering shared cohort learnings
- Network access: get connected to the expertise of the MyWorld and Digital Catapult partner networks.
- Access to facilities – use of leading labs, facilitates, testbeds and resources to facilitate experimentation and growth
Collaborative Research and Development Open Call (CR&D)
£100-200k awards from a pot of £2m.
Call One: Now closed (See details below)
Call Two: October 2023
Pinpointing local expertise, forging vital connections and providing financial support.
CR&D calls are open to industry-led consortia that address the challenges facing creative industries from across the Creative Continuum.
Each project must demonstrate a high level of ambition to deliver technological advancement and its application to industry challenges. By partnering with research organisations in the region, projects will accelerate the adoption of research and development (R&D) and deliver innovations in the production of media in the UK and beyond.
Successful applicants will receive £100-200k in grant funding, and will have to provide match funding.
Innovate UK is delivering this competition on behalf of MyWorld, for details see the Innovation Funding Service.
Up to £50k awarded.
Call One: Now open for applications
Call Two: February 2024
Building demonstrations and minimum viable products with relevance to industry challenges
The Challenge Calls will see your business apply solutions directly to industry. These calls will be open to individual companies and will support innovation that has potential for imminent real-world application. Each call will focus on a challenge developed in partnership with Industry partners and local organisations, and will focus on building demonstrations and minimum viable products that illustrate how your tech solutions can solve creative technology industry challenges.
Successful projects will receive up to £50,000 in funding and will be supported by a tailored programme of technical and business support and mentoring.
Collaborative Research and Development (CR&D) Open Call update 2022
We’re delighted to announce that we have awarded six pioneering start-ups a share of £1million as part of the Collaborative Research and Development call. The chosen projects will be working with our globally recognised universities in the Bristol and Bath region to address the challenges facing the creative industries, further fuelling the West of England’s creative technology sector.
Please see the CR&D awarded projects webpage for further details.
MyWorld IDEAS programme, led by Watershed
Image credit: Jon Aitken
Supporting small companies with high-risk ideas through community building, research and development and audience engagement locally and internationally.
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.
An intensive short period of thinking and making around a specific theme
You will embed yourself within a relevant regional organisation as part of a cohort, accessing the wider network around the core MyWorld partnership, whilst working on a co-created research question.
You will receive residency benefits such as support from Pervasive Media Studio producers and a mentor (where appropriate). You will also have access to a brilliant community of artists, creative companies and researchers, all exploring ideas at the intersection of art, technology and society.
The Micro-residency call will launch in Spring 2023
Contact: MyWorld@watershed.co.uk for more information.
Fellowships in residence
6 – 10 months/£12 – £20k awards
You will join as a MyWorld Fellow in residence, embedding yourself within a relevant regional organisation to investigate an associated research theme.
As a Fellow in residence, you will create work that explores a specific idea connected to a MyWorld research theme and become an active part of an interdisciplinary community.
Fellowships in residence calls will launch throughout the next four years.
Contact: MyWorld@watershed.co.uk for more information.
Fellowship in Residence at Ultraleap
VR gaming at home: prototyping hand tracking gestures
This Fellowship involves spending ten months in residence at Ultraleap and the Pervasive Media Studio, prototyping hand tracking gestures for home VR gaming. This is a practical Fellowship that will create guidance and tooling for game developers through prototyping and experimentation. Applications for this opportunity closed on 14 November 2022.
This Fellowship is aimed at freelancers, practitioners, industry, and academics. It intended to be a period of collaborative thinking and experimentation, applying practice, expertise, or relevant experience. Ultraleap was formed when Leap Motion and Ultrahaptics came together in 2019. Ultraleap employs more than 170 people across Europe, North America and Asia and has a base in Bristol. It has become the first to offer the full vertical stack of software and hardware to enable spatial computing for the automotive, out of home, industrial, XR, entertainment and medical sectors.
£20,000 for 10 months at roughly 2.5 days/week.
Find out everything you need to know about the theme, the opportunity and FAQs here: Fellowship in residence at Ultraleap.
Fellowship in Residence at Bristol Old Vic
Digital audiences: liveness, immersion and connection
This Fellowship includes spending seven months in residence at Bristol Old Vic, embedded in the digital presentation of Complicité‘s forthcoming production. This is a practical Fellowship that will develop approaches to digital presentation of theatrical performance, focusing on liveness, immersion in digital formats and connecting live and digital audiences.
This Fellowship is aimed at freelancers, practitioners, industry, and academics. It is intended to be a period of collaborative thinking and experimentation, applying practice, expertise, or relevant experience.
The Fellow will work closely with the Experimental Productions Group, which is the storytelling heart of MyWorld. The EPG will bring big stories and storytellers together to test technologies developed by other areas of the MyWorld programme that aim to create new ways of delivering and telling stories. They work with relevant related fields, developing partnerships internationally. Aardman Animations, Lux Aeterna and Bristol Old Vic are the industry leads for the Experimental Productions Group, with Bath Spa and UWE leading on the production case studies and theme-led research.
£14,000 for seven months at roughly 2.5 days/week + £1,000 for expenses, with periods of more intensive engagement.
Find out everything you need to know about the theme, the opportunity and FAQs here: Fellowship in residence at Bristol Old Vic
Sandbox 1: Playable City
Playable City Sandbox 2022
Applications for the Playable City Sandbox 2022 closed on Friday 12 August.
The call was aimed at creative SMEs, artists, designers, architects, technologists and creative practitioners to propose new and distinctive ideas responding to the theme of Playable City.
“Playable city ideas are a human response to the coldness and anonymity of the urban environment. By encouraging activities that bring joy, we can create a happier, more cohesive urban future” The Guardian.
Six teams will be awarded up to £45k to develop a Playable City prototype that will reanimate our cities post-lockdown by inviting people to play and connect – person to person, person to city.
Sandbox is a methodology and facilitated space where teams will have the chance to take an experimental idea to a working prototype over three months of rapid research and development. Successful teams will be part a supported cohort embedded in the Pervasive Media Studio for an intensive 3-month period in Feb – April 2023, taking an idea to prototype stage and engaging in an iterative development process throughout the commission by:
- Accessing a strong peer network
- Getting support with brokering partnerships for your idea
- Collaborating with creative technologists
- Getting support from international advisors and mentors
- Accessing specialist workshops
- Getting support with creating an engaging experience for audiences through access to testing opportunities with established audiences
Watershed are interested in ideas that explore any kind of creative technology. They also have an exciting opportunity for two of the prototype teams to use a 5G nomadic node (a pop-up 5G network in a box). The network is developed by the University of Bristol’s Smart Internet Lab and will provide lower latency and higher location accuracy, as well as adapt mobile networks to better support video data. Developers have full control of the application through a local edge solution, which is a significant benefit that sets apart the capabilities from previous testbeds.
Find out everything you need to know about the theme, the opportunity, the application process and FAQs here: Playable City Sandbox
Sandbox 2: theme TBC, 6 teams, launching Autumn 2023
MyWorld Innovation Funding: The concept behind our approach
The excellence of the creative cluster across Bristol and Bath is underpinned by a continuum across disciplines and sectors, and across production, delivery and consumption.
The Creative Continuum
The research and development framework known as the Creative Continuum sits at the heart of MyWorld.
It is the Creative Continuum which underpins the programme’s ability to address some of the big creative technology challenges facing the sector. The Creative Continuum comprises of production, delivery and consumption, with investments being made at all levels, from basic interdisciplinary research, through R&D and experimental productions, to pre-production, prototyping and demonstration.
Alongside targeted research funding, we are running Open Innovation competitions, driven by strategic challenges, which will widen access to R&D funding for businesses and individuals.
MyWorld’s first five years will lay the foundations for growth and job creation across the West of England, raising the region’s profile on the global stage, yet it is its legacy that will be the real measure of its success.