Creative Exchange Lab (CEL)

Lead Research Organisation: University of Ulster
Department Name: Sch of Art & Design

Abstract

Under the theme of 'People and Places', this research project will focus on the mechanisms for effective exchange within the Creative Industries, linking in particular, academic research in the creative sector with creative professional practitioners who operate as solo artists and micro-business enterprises.

Through a series of extended residencies located in disadvantaged communities across Northern Ireland, academic practitioners and postgraduates from the University of Ulster and Queen's University will work together with professional artists to explore ways in which contemporary digital and non-digital arts can have a transformative impact on liminal communities and districts.

Areas of specific interest include art and public art in local communities, the role of art in a post-conflict society, and the role that art can play in regenerating a region such as Northern Ireland. A key outcome from this work will be the potential to share ideas, activities and experiences with other international contexts which are already looking to Northern Ireland as an example of a post-conflict region.

The collaboration between Queen's and Ulster, established through a new Creative Exchange Lab (CEL),will enable projects in music, film, drama, creative writing, fine art, to be developed and delivered in communities across Northern Ireland. Each one will involve workshops, creative collaborative projects designed in association with the practitioners and conceived around local issues, histories and contexts.

The outcomes of the residencies will be presented in a major festival and exhibition hosted across both institutions at the end of 2013 which will showcase the creative outcomes of both practitioners and community participants. Individual projects will later be presented in regional venues for local communities to experience and they will be archived and made available on-line.

A longitudinal study running alongside the residencies will document and report on the creative practice landscape for lone artists and practitioners, creative clusters and networks, and the relationship of these activities to academic research. The study will be explored in a wider regional and national government context for the creative industries whereby funding and support is targeted at SMEs and 'close to market' activities and rarely identifying the needs of solo practitioners and and micro businesses.

In addition to the study, the residencies will also lead to the generation of new knowledge and working methods about artist and academic engagement in specific communities which are often historically remote from both contemporary arts practice and academia. The breadth creative activities available through both institutions will ensure a wide spread of community projects across Northern Ireland. The public engagement aspect of these residencies will also be beneficial to the participating postgraduate students.

Planned Impact

The context, subjects and methods for this KE research are 'close to market' and impact is therefore part of the currency and language of the proposal. The study will evaluate current delivery investments and will enhance the articulation and identification of impact in these SME contexts. There is potential to inform peer review and other assessments and for transferability of skills and knowledge to other disciplines.
A further impact will be driving culture change in local communities, particularly those which are the subject of this programme of research, and in a context where there is recognised under funding and the opening of opportunities for future support and KE.

The research will identify and make proposals to address the specific needs of innovative creative industries companies to strengthen their capacity to innovate and grow. In highlighting and exposing creative practice through residencies and it will also stimulate demand including interest from other sectors with a view to boosting the role of creative industries as a catalyst for SME, district, regional and national development.
The programme of research will achieve economic and societal impact by advancing knowledge, understanding and technology in knowledge exchange with creative SME. Build partnerships to enhance take up of KE and have impact upon the SME sector in so doing contributing to
UK Economic Competitiveness.

The research has support in the regional and national sector that will promote sustainability of the strategies identified. The research findings will inform the development of policy and of practice.
The collaboration on the use of existing data in order to research demand is evidence of sector support and will promote rapid strategic adoption of key findings. The research is timely - The lead researchers are in dialogue with Government
(http://www.niassembly.gov.uk/Assembly-Business/Committees/Culture-Arts-and-Leisure/ ), (insert Assembly aims or vision.)

Both institutions have delivered research that utilises engagement, public art and performance to generate thinking and action in order to harness opportunities or addressing seemingly intractable urban challenges. The 'people' and places' theme is directly linked to the emerging understanding of Creative Cities (Charles Landry 2008) The Rise of the Creative Class (Richard Florida 2002) and new approaches to the hyper local (NESTA) . The research will inform concurrent activity including

The CEL research methodolgies of participatory creative engagement in real locales will compliment the digital focus of AHRC Knowledge Exchange Hubs for the Creative Economy at CX and may contribute to material delivered by other Hubs, particularly REACT.

There is timely coincidence of the CEL research period (2013) with Derry hosting City of Culture that will ensure additional and distinctive potential for research interventions and and knowledge exchange. The CEL research will also compliment the recent EU call for research around creative districts in which the University of Ulster contributed to a Derry bid.

The existing hierarchical structures and segregated business sector operating environment may restrict ideas generation and rethinking required in emerging to thrive. There may be impact in new ideas arising for organisational culture to unleash the potential, resources and assets of a city or a cluster.

The research will address issues in creative leadership by:
1) taking a demand led approach to research which will involve users and stakeholders at all stages
2) establishing rigorous evidence (demand informed) data on the field
3) establishing networks for realised action
4) research transfer of regional case study for national and international application.
5) feeding directly into Policy
6) developing CPD programmes in response to research findings
7) creating an open source toolkit for creative practitioners

Publications

10 25 50
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Haughton M Hidden Histories: Performance as Commemoration and Critique in 2016 in Conference theme: Latitudes: Irish Studies in an International Context

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Maragiannis Anastasios (2014) Book of Abstracts Drha2014

 
Title CXNI case study : Echo Echo 
Description Echo Echo and Matt Jennings This project was a collaboration between Dr Matt Jennings (Lecturer in Drama, University of Ulster), Zoe Ramsey (ensemble member of Echo Echo Dance Theatre Company), and Antonina Sheina (ensemble member of Echo Echo Dance Theatre Company). Their intention was to develop methods of integrating text and devised movement, interpreting two-hander scenes from the theatrical canon. The project hosted a series of workshops with the University of Ulster's drama students and community participants from the Greater Shantallow area in Derry, Northern Ireland. 
Type Of Art Performance (Music, Dance, Drama, etc) 
Year Produced 2014 
Impact This knowledge exchange culminated in presentations of the development process at the University of Ulster's Magee campus, at Echo Echo Dance Centre, and the Amelia Earhart Festival. 
URL http://cxni.org
 
Title CXNI knowledge exchange case study :Sonorities and Emer Grant 
Description Sonorities and Emer Grant This project explored the role of the independent curator (Emer Grant) within the contemporary sound art festival, Sonorities. This event is directed and produced by researchers based at the Sonic Arts Research Centre (SARC) at Queen's University Belfast. The collaboration aimed to co-curate a live arts-based exploration of an abandoned music school in Belfast. The project emerged from an engagement with Dr Richard Brook from Manchester Metropolitan University's Architecture department on a Modernist tour of Belfast. He described the school as an "architectural gem" in the style of 'Dudok', a rare kind of Dutch Modernism that is now virtually extinct. Their initial proposal involved repurposing the building to become a satellite venue as part of Sonorities. 
Type Of Art Performance (Music, Dance, Drama, etc) 
Year Produced 2014 
Impact Gaining the necessary permissions to use the building proved challenging, which led to the project commissioning two sound practitioners to engage artistically with the building even though they could not exhibit in the space. The project team is also organizing a roundtable to discuss the challenges and opportunities afforded to artists by Northern Ireland's abandoned buildings. 
URL http://cxni.org
 
Description Creative Ulster Award Forming group to work on City Deal Submission New network of design policy and practice Presentation on Funding to CRAFT NI February 2017 Further PHD awards funded by Dept for Education on related research Question
First Year Of Impact 2013
Sector Creative Economy,Education,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Cultural,Economic,Policy & public services

 
Description CXNI knowledge exchange case study : Family Friendly Galleries
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact Family Friendly Galleries This project interrogated how galleries, museums, and project spaces perceive and are perceived in relation to 'families'. Building on previous research by the two PhD students involved, the project brought together representatives from Northern Ireland's creative institutions to develop new approaches to engage parents and children. Their departure point was the idea that for some these are familiar, inspiring, vibrant hubs central to the life of the city; while for others they are unknown, intimidating and difficult spaces. The researchers worked closely with Belfast-based Young At Art - an organisation that develops creative programs from children and young people - to design and deliver a workshop session that delivered useful outcomes that are in the process of being implemented. Young At Art, Oonagh Murphy, and Caragh O'Donnell
URL http://cxni.org
 
Description Creative Cluster - Future Screens NI
Amount £5,625,771 (GBP)
Funding ID AH/S002855/1 
Organisation Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2018 
End 04/2023
 
Title CXNI knowledge exchange case study: Support for Prison Memory Archives 
Description The knowledge exchange concerned how to make Prison Memory Archives accessible, not the research data ( films, interviews images, texts etc ) that comprises Prison Memory Archives.Maze3 is an interactive documentary prototype. This knowledge exchange collaboration occurred between academic researchers from the Prisons Memory Archive at Queen's University Belfast, and Belfast-based software development agency Elucidate. The prototype uses a 3D gaming engine to digitally reconstruct the Maze and Long Kesh Prison. This project team aimed for an "experience of spatial immersion" where "the 'user' is invited to explore the prison site in first-person." 
Type Of Material Data handling & control 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact The interactive documentary allows people to view video interviews of prisoners, prison staff, visitors, chaplains and artists who were filmed at the prison. Prisons Memory Archive (Maze3. The knowledge exchange archive is featured in a meeting with policy makers November 2014 
URL http://www.cxni.org
 
Description CXNI knowledge exchange case study : Open Arts 
Organisation Open Arts
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution CXNI supported the knowlede exchange, provided an academic partner, PhD researcher in sonic arts, Juan Manuel Loaiza.
Collaborator Contribution Open Arts is a Belfast-based arts and disability organisation who provided specialist knowledge and carried out the activity with their existing client group and new participants. An enacted case study of knowledge exchange between creative SME in NFP sector and aademia
Impact Open Arts and Juan Manuel Loaiza The objective of this project was to explore improvisation praxis with multidisciplinary arts practitioners who work for Open Arts, a Belfast-based arts and disability organisation. PhD researcher in sonic arts, Juan Manuel Loaiza, engaged small groups of artists in sessions that were loosely based on an artistic skill or discipline, to explore the theory and practice of improvisation. The project was based on the premise that the word 'knowledge' is not restricted to its commonly used propositional sense: the 'knowledge that' (...that night follows day, etc.). Instead, the activities were based on the idea that knowledge can also be shared and produced via action: the 'know how' of our everyday practices, an embodied type of knowledge.
Start Year 2013
 
Title CXNI case study Knowledge exchange : Open Curriculum -Chris Murphy ( academic) and Little Thunder( SME) 
Description #opencurriculum The #opencurriculum project was proposed and implemented by Chris Murphy, a multidisciplinary design educator at the University of Ulster, in collaboration with the Belfast-based web development agency, Little Thunder. This team set themselves the task of using GitHub - a web-based platform for managing and sharing software source code - to facilitate the co-creation and sharing of educational content. They were drawn to GitHub as it has unique features that track content as it changes over time and between users. Their high level objective was to build a user-friendly web interface - that utilised GitHub's version control features - for global, collaborative curriculum development. Chris Murphy and Little Thunder 
Type Of Technology Webtool/Application 
Year Produced 2014 
Impact They pitched #opencurriculum as a test case to the University of Ulster, who granted them permission to create an open curriculum planning process, through the sharing of their course materials via GitHub. 
URL http://www.cxni.org
 
Description 'Creative Collaborative Futures' 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Multidisciplinary networking event 'Creative Collaborative Futures' that
took place in December of 2013.
What are the catalysts for successful creative collaborations in Northern Ireland?
How are researchers and practitioners working together to reach beyond disciplinary
boundaries? How are these connections being sustained?
CXNI worked with leading creative practitioners and academics to examine
the dynamics of collaboration in the creative sector of Northern Ireland. Areas of
research included collaborative rapid prototyping and open curriculum
development.
The event brought these participants together to share their experience of knowledge exchange and collaborative strength with an international panel of researchers; Provocative discussion contributed to the development of improved collaborative practicesbetween academic research communities, artists, and creative businesses in Northern Ireland.


7 knowledge exchange case study projects delivered
The 'Collaboration Interchange' event in September 2014.
Meeting with Policy makers November 2014
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
URL http://www.cxni.org
 
Description AHRC Creative Clusters Award Holders 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact MONDAY 25TH

2.00pm - 5.00pm Belfast Tour
Royal Ulster Academy, St Anne's Court, 59 North St, Belfast BT1 1NB (map)
Starting at Royal Ulster Academy, the tour will include The Titanic Quarter, Pixel Mill, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast political murals and will end at the Academy for an immersive exhibition.

5.30pm Professor Anthony Lilley's Inaugural Lecture
Ulster University, 25-51 York St, Belfast BT15 1ED (map)
Anthony Lilley is Professor of Creative Industries at Ulster University.

7.30pm Networking Drinks & Award Holders Dinner
Academy Restaurant, Ulster University, York Street, Belfast, Co. Antrim, BT15 1ED (map).The networking drinks and Award Holders dinner is hosted by Ulster University with short welcome speeches, live music and entertainment.



TUESDAY 26TH

Award Holders Workshop at Ulster University
Ulster University, 25-51 York St, Belfast BT15 1ED (map)
Details of the workshop agenda are provided below along with a brief for the short presentation each cluster is required to give. Please register your attendance here or via the button below, by Friday 8th February.


Workshop Agenda

9.30am Registration
Workshop registration, coffee, tea and pastries served

10.00am Morning Sessions

Welcome and Introductions
Aims of the event, objectives and agenda for the workshops

Parallel Sessions
Session 1a: Introduce State Aid and how it will affect the Clusters
Facilitator: Emyr Lewis, Partner, Blake Morgan LLP

Session 1b: Building Diversity into Delivery Plans
Facilitator: Sukhy Johal MBE, Director for the Centre of Culture & Creativity, University of Lincoln and Arts Council Chair Midlands Area

Session 1c: IP Surgery to answer specific IP questions on a one-to-one basis

Parallel Sessions
Session 2a: CRM - Roundtable discussion on various models
Facilitators: Nicola Osborne, Programme Manager and Michaela Turner, Business Development Manager for Creative Informatics at the University of Edinburgh

Session 2b: Measuring Qualitative and Positive impact
Facilitators: Cathy Kerfoot, Strategic Lead, AHRC and Professor Andrew Higson, Greg Dyke Chair of Film and Television, York University and Professor Paul Moore, Director of Creative Industries Future Screens NI (CPI Model presentation)

Session 2c: IP Surgery to answer specific IP questions on a one-to-one basis

1.00pm Lunch and networking

2.00pm Afternoon Sessions

Creative R&D Partnership Presentations (6 mins per cluster)
As a follow-up on the success of the short presentations that everyone gave in Birmingham last year, we have allocated time in the February workshop programme to shine a spotlight on your plans and ambitions for 2019.

? Presentation Brief
Each Creative R&D partnership will have 6 minutes to share what they are most excited about in the upcoming year, in any format that they deem appropriate with or without audio visual (AV) support. All we ask is that if you plan to use AV we have a copy of your presentation in PowerPoint or as a PDF with all related video/audio files and links embedded no later than Wednesday 20th February, to allow time for these to be tested and loaded onto the event laptop.

Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre
Revisit to the FUSE+ research proposal

National Centre for Immersive Storytelling
Revisit to the London offer

Question & Answer Session

Closing Remarks
Andrew Chitty, Creative Economy Champion, AHRC Creative Economy Programme and Paul Meller, Associate Director at the AHRC and Senior Responsible Officer for the Creative Industries Clusters Programme

4.00pm Workshop Finish
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://ceprogramme.com/cicp
 
Description CXNI COLLABORATION INTERCHANGE: UNDERSTANDING NORTHERN IRELAND'S CREATIVE CONNECTIONS 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Ticketed event ( free) in National Museum ( Ulster Museum)
Our investigations of the catalysts for creative collaboration in Northern Ireland have
centred on seven case studies. These projects responded to our call to study
initiatives that were actively testing the boundaries of academic and practice-based
collaborations. They became involved in CXNI's research with the knowledge that the
collaborative aspects of their projects would be critiqued for the purposes of
identifying emergent challenges and opportunities in the region.
CXNI is a one-year project that will culminate in a half-day event titled 'Collaboration
Interchange: Understating Northern Ireland's Creative Connections'. This follows a
successful multidisciplinary networking event 'Creative Collaborative Futures' that
took place in December of 2013.

The case studies delivered their outcomes.
Maker Day drew in significant additional funding
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.cxni.org
 
Description CXNI Case Studies: Makerday Belfast 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Led by Michelle Douglas. Maker Day Belfast was a creative collaborative design weekend focusing on physical
and digital making. The weekend was developed by Michelle Douglas (design
consultant and PhD student) and supported by Stephen McGilloway (Big Small
Design) and Richard McElveen (University of Ulster). The organisers' rationale for
the event was to expose collaborative ways of working as a positive influence in the
production of innovative concepts and products.
The event encouraged a variety of creative practitioners and researchers to join
industry experts from the UK and Ireland to respond collaboratively to themes. These
provocative design briefs were simply key words and phrases such as "elderly,"
"rural," and "Northern Ireland." Four teams utilised soft modelling materials and digital
fabrication tools to co-design imaginative, working prototypes. At the end of the
weekend the teams showcased their design solutions.

Business to business networking. Engagement with community resources. Identification of differences in local and 'newcomer' engagement.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.cxni.org
 
Description CXNI advisory Board 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Participants in your research and patient groups
Results and Impact CXNI Advisory Meeting
An opportunity to gain knowledge and insights based on the experiences of the advisory committee. BOard members were not required to
make a formal presentation, but we did ask that them prepare some thoughts in
response to a provocation. Advisory committee members were sent different
provocations.
The advisory committee:
• CHAIR: Joanna Landsdowne, REACT Project Manager (Submitted apology, substitute: Professor Karen Fleming)
• Dr Leon Cruikshank, Reader in Design, Lancaster
• Rzuth Espinola Soriano De Mello, The Gênesis Institute, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro
• Julia Zardo, The Gênesis Institute, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro
• Philip Schlesinger, Professor of Cultural Policy, University of Glasgow

CXNI Key Findings - September 2014

1. New platforms for making and connecting - such as co-working spaces and social media - are delivering new opportunities for creative practitioners and researchers to have an impact on one other. Collaborations supported by these new platforms are often ad hoc in that they happen as needs arise or when opportunities appear. These are not new catalysts for collective work, however the ways in which these activities are performed are changing, particularly with regard to the speeds at which self-organisation can occur.

2. Researchers and practitioners, in many cases, have different evaluative frameworks. They may share interests and be working towards similar goals, but the ways in which things are measured and therefore valued and evaluated, is different. We have identified Stark's (2011) "productive friction" as an appropriate conceptual framework to further explore these dynamics.

3. 'Stability' has been identified as a productive area for further research, so that actors can negotiate different scales - such as the solo practitioner dealing with the large bureaucracy - and to transition between the different methods of evaluation that are an inherent part of knowledge exchange projects.

4. Those drawn to knowledge exchange projects welcome the challenges that come with interdisciplinary collaboration e.g. negotiating new contexts and having their own boundaries pushed. These people are also happy to reconcile that they can only be considered 'knowledgeable' in very specific contexts, and are open to being a 'beginner.'

5. Hierarchies of 'expertise' should be critiqued from within knowledge exchange projects, to avoid researchers using inappropriate theories or methodologies, and industry partners promoting certain expert points of view to control production processes.

6. In the case studies, broker roles were performed by both practitioners and researchers to manage the expectations of different actors.

7. In the case studies, opportunities to bridge divides between theory and practice - to develop praxis - were limited due to the short timescales of the projects.

8. In the case studies, the knowledge that was exchanged reflected the material qualities of creative and research practices, and can be categorized the following way:

• Embodied knowledge - learned through creative practice (dancers/musicians/designers/theatre makers)
• Networked knowledge - emergent and ad hoc (opencurriculum)
• Pragmatic knowledge - needs based, arrived at through industry experience or opportunities (Family Friendy Galleries)
• Contextual knowledge - prolonged engagement with specific subject matter (Prison Memory Archive)
• Curated knowledge - drawing together connections to facilitate new knowledge processes (Emer Grant /Sonorities)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.cxni.org
 
Description Creative Arts and Research and Business Alliance 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Creative Arts and Research and Business Alliance, Seminar in New Film Theatre 1 Dec. 14
As part of the Northern Ireland Strategic Action Plan 2014 - 2016 the Creative Businesses have been identified in the Executive's economic and innovation strategies as a key growth sector for the local economy. As government lead on the creative industries, the Minister for the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL) is bringing together industry leaders, educators and trade bodies with interests across the diverse range of sub-sectors within the creative industries to create a Ministerial Advisory Forum on the Creative Industries.

The Forum is also closely linked with Creative Skillset NI. Their new Advisory Board will be playing a leading role in identifying key areas where research is needed, promoting our programmes and activities to the wider industry and identifying new opportunities for engagement.
The Forum will set out the strategic direction of the sector but what can we do to support operationally?
The most successful model in the UK for integration with the creative sector and industry is REACT http://www.react-hub.org.uk/. At this seminar Jon Dovey, Professor of Screen Media on Dept. of Creative Industries and Director of REACT (Research & Enterprise for Arts and Creative Technologies) an AHRC Creative Economy Hub presented the REACT Model.

The seminar will explore the REACT model and how it could adapt to the NOrthern Ireland Creative Industry context . The seminar audience comprises business contacts, stakeholders and academics. The seminar was followed by meeting with Invest NI and other sector lead bodies.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://cxni.org
 
Description Creative Industries Institute 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Ulster University's Creative Industries Institute is an exciting new initiative that brings together our advanced research and teaching expertise in creative disciplines to collaborate with industry, government and communities, focusing on skills acquisition, job creation, policy development and future-led research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.ulster.ac.uk/cii
 
Description launch of Future Screen NI 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Cross sector creative partnership, Future Screens NI - a collaboration between Queen's, Ulster University and local industry partners - announces a £13m investment to secure the future of the creative industries in Northern Ireland.

The new Creative Industries R&D partnership has been established to accelerate growth through new product development, services and high value skills for jobs in a flourishing sector. With a multi-million pound investment from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and funding from industry, the £13 million Future Screens NI venture is the largest single investment in the creative industries in Northern Ireland.

This innovative partnership brings together Queen's, Ulster University and industrial partners, particularly NI Screen and RTÉ, who are at the forefront of the creative economy. The academic collaboration behind the venture is also behind significant project proposals for the Belfast Region City Deal.

Responding to industry needs, Future Screens NI will deliver expert technical skills, opportunity and growth across film and broadcast, animation, games and immersive technologies and industries. Through the partnership, Northern Ireland's creative companies will develop strategies to collaborate, grow productivity and maximise their global potential, delivering new jobs and a £400m increase in GVA to boost the local economy.

Addressing challenges and building on existing strengths in creative industries in the region, areas of focus will include narrative and storytelling in digital content, applications of VR/AR in health, tourism and engineering, development of a games nexus, expanding capacity for large scale film and TV production and enhancing the high level skills pipeline in 2D and 3D animation.

Welcoming the announcement Professor Ian Greer, President and Vice-Chancellor of Queen's, said: "At Queen's University Belfast we are delighted to collaborate with our colleagues at Ulster University and our key creative industries partners, who are crucial to the creative economy in the region, on this timely project supported by the AHRC.

"The Future Screens NI project brings together a wide range of complementary disciplines at both institutions in areas which are both industry-facing and world-leading in terms of their research and impact. Future Screens NI will provide a unique opportunity to grow the creative sector in Northern Ireland, nurturing the development of our SMEs, enhancing our economic prosperity, and celebrating the creative talents of our region and our local people."

Ulster University's Belfast campus, a long-standing creative hub for the city and region and home of the University's founding school of design, today hosted a showcase featuring the market promise of virtual reality and immersive technologies, the flair of animation and the thriving games industry.

Professor Paddy Nixon, Vice-Chancellor of Ulster University, said: "Future Screens NI is a unique opportunity to bring together our creativity with the expertise of industry partners to create a step change in the growth of a thriving sector with huge potential for our economy. The partnership will transform innovation and job creation across a range of exciting disciplines; and with creative industries hubs in Belfast, Newry, Coleraine and Derry~Londonderry, the impact will be region wide.

"This welcome and unprecedented level of investment recognises how powerfully our two local universities underpin economic growth, matching our talents to high growth sectors."

Professor Andrew Thompson, Executive Chair of the Arts and Humanities Research Council, commented: "Combining world-class arts and humanities researchers with our globally renowned creative industries will underpin growth in this vibrant and rapidly expanding sector within the UK economy.

"These pioneering partnerships between industry and universities are providing a huge vote of confidence for a sector that is vital to the future prosperity of the UK."

Future Screens NI will place Northern Ireland's creative industries in front of international markets and work with government and other agencies to create sustained growth.

The collaboration is one of nine research and development partnerships in the AHRC Creative Industries Cluster Programme, part of the Government's Industrial Strategy, bringing together dynamic creative industries with world-leading university research talent.

For media enquiries, please contact Queen's University Communications Office, +44 (0)28 9097 5845.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://gtr.ukri.org/projects?ref=AH%2FS002855%2F1