£400,000 Research Fund to Stimulate Digital Innovation in Welsh Arts and Culture

Arts Council of Wales,
27 June 2013, Wales

Arts and culture organisations of all sizes from across Wales are being asked to work with those with digital expertise to help them understand the potential offered by new technologies and together develop innovative project proposals for submission to the new research fund.

It is hoped that the research and development projects, supported by the Digital R&D Fund for Arts in Wales, will not only support Welsh cultural organisations to innovate to increase their audiences and revenues, but will also ultimately have the potential to produce new data and research insights that can be shared with, and benefit, other organisations in the arts and culture sector.

Jon Kingsbury, Nesta’s Director of Creative Economy programmes said: "The Fund is a great way for Wales’ world-renowned arts and culture sector to explore new digital opportunities and create useful evidence for the arts in Wales and beyond."

Lisa Matthews, Portfolio Manager, Arts Council of Wales, said: "We’re delighted to be working with Nesta and AHRC to help realise the potential digital brings to the arts in Wales. As well as directly supporting the successful projects the wider learning gained will inform for how we support our sector to adapt to an ever-changing technological world"

Professor Mark Llewellyn, Director of Research, Arts and Humanities Research Council, said, "Wales has a rich creative and cultural tradition, and we are delighted to be supporting current and future innovation in this sector. Facilitating researchers to undertake funded projects that enhance their disciplines and engage with the creative economy, this R&D fund is a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate how the arts and humanities can drive growth. The combination of intellectual leadership and digital innovation is vital."

The call for applications follows an online scoping exercise with the sector to determine the areas and themes of most importance. This exercise revealed several themes that the sector is keen to explore including:

Digital content distribution (delivering content in new ways)

Social media (using technology for interactive engagement),

Making the most of archives through digital technology,

Mobile and location-based services

Fundraising (using technology to generate giving, sponsorship and membership)