A project worth £6.5 million is being launched across the South West to expand the use of digital technologies throughout the region’s creative, health and manufacturing sectors.
The new Creative Technology Network will bring together universities and industrial partners, pooling their research and innovation expertise to develop cutting-edge practices, techniques and products in creative digital technologies.
Supported by a grant from RESEARCH ENGLAND, and led by the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol), the three-year project is a partnership with Watershed in Bristol, Kaleider in Exeter, Bath Spa University, the University of Plymouth and Falmouth University.
As new technology, including automation and big data, raises new challenges and opportunities for businesses, this partnership is designed to respond to industry needs across the health and manufacturing sectors and the creative industries, driving productivity and resilience.
The grant is part of RESEARCH ENGLAND’s Connecting Capabilities Fund, which supports university collaboration and encourages commercialisation of products made through partnerships with industry. The funding will kick-start the project, which begins in April.
Professor Martin Boddy, who is Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Business Engagement at UWE Bristol, said: “We are immensely proud to be taking the lead on this exciting project which builds on UWE Bristol’s vision to work with partners to enhance innovation across the region and nationally.
“This new network will stimulate the regional economy and will undoubtedly lead to new products and new ways of working, all thanks to shared research experience and technical expertise.”
Professor Kate Pullinger, Director of the Centre for Culture and Creative Industries at Bath Spa University, said, “The creative industries – from the smallest micro-businesses to the larger players – are a hugely important asset for our region and the UK as a whole.
“This collaborative project is going to generate new opportunities that will transform how we engage with ideas and digital technology across the sector. We are delighted to be working with colleagues across the south west on a project which plays to our region’s world-leading strengths.”