Future Screens NI

Lead Research Organisation: University of Ulster
Department Name: Faculty of Arts

Abstract

Future Screens NI comprises the two higher education institutions (Ulster University and QUB) and a number of key industrial partners central to the creative economy in the region, including NI Screen, BBC, Belfast City Council, Belfast Harbour, Causeway Enterprise Agency, Digital Catapult, Catalyst Inc., RTE, Games NI, Kainos, Invest NI, Techstart NI, Matrix and Tourism NI.
The Northern Ireland Assembly defines the creative industries as 'those industries which have their origin in individual creativity, skill and talent and which have a potential for wealth and job creation through the generation and exploitation of intellectual property'. The Partnership has, from this, developed a definition of, and a working model for, the creative industries in NI which is focused on participation, cultural and economic growth, and social and economic regeneration placing the Partnership as a leading developmental catalyst in this NI sector.
In the context of Northern Ireland, the creative industries are more than just another key economic sector, generating, according to DCMS figures, £1.01 billion in gross added value of the NI economy, and employing 2.9% of the entire NI workforce. For a region emerging from a period of profound conflict, and social and cultural division and dysfunction, the creative industries sector has continued to offer an alternative and successful paradigm, a new model for cultural expression, personal growth, and economic attainment.
The cluster of organisations involved in Future Screens NI may be defined as:
(a) audiovisual-led, complemented by the strength of the digital sector and the impact of technology in other more traditional sectors, eg. in tourism, heritage, textiles and crafts;
(b) operating across NI as a region, driven by the Belfast travel-to-work-area (add ref to NESTA) but with a region-wide remit linking, in particular, to the North West of the province;
c) a spatially defined multi-industry cluster that is distinctive within the UK, shaped by the complexity of cultural space in the aftermath of 20th-century conflict, a plurality of commercial and cultural relationships including across the border with the Republic of Ireland, the role of economic development bodies such as Invest NI and Catalyst Inc., and the significant investment of the HEIs and FE colleges in the creative industries;
d) comprising emerging animation, games and immersive technologies industries, which although small by international standards, is one of the fastest growing sectors of the NI economy.

The overarching aim of Future Screens NI is to develop a new understanding of the role the creative industries can play in advancing the NI economy both in terms of financial growth and the creation of new employment opportunities. It will do this by researching new technologies and opportunities, developing appropriate educational and training models, placing NI creative businesses in front of international markets, and working with government and other key agencies to ensure sustained growth.
The importance of this intervention is that it establishes the creative industries in NI as a neutral space where contemporary and emerging industrial forms can be advanced in secure settings in a transitional period which is still informed by underlying political tensions. The role of the Cluster as a safe space for high-risk creative endeavour in a low-risk innovation environment, one that fosters experiment and cultural opportunity, cannot be overestimated. As Benedict Anderson (1991) has shown, communities interact through concepts of imagined connection and Future Screens NI will actively work as a hub to create new forms of imagined community which advance and normalise political stability while creating real employment and building economic growth.

Planned Impact

Developing at the 2015 rate identified in Bazalgette of 0.9% of UK, we forecast creative industries (CI) contribution to the economy in Northern Ireland to grow from £797million to £1.2billion by 2025 and to create 9,000 (20-30K forecast by INI) new jobs by 2030. However, as we detail elsewhere in this bid, we feel that an injection of support on the scale provided by the AHRC Creative R&D Partnership will drive growth from 0.9% to 2.7% of UK GVA in the sector generating £2.1 billion GVA and creating 20,000 new jobs in NI.

Specific impacts will include:
1. Enhancement and expansion of R&D capacity, knowledge and skills of CI businesses (micro and SMEs) and their owner/managers. The embedding of new knowledge and core technical/business enterprise skills will bring an in-depth understanding of the commercial reality of doing business in CI in a way that will foster collaboration and growth resulting in
improved productivity and efficiency at an individual firm level and, in turn across sub-sectors.
2. Commercialisation and exploitation of technical/expert knowledge leading to spin out companies, as well as the creation of new processes, products and services.
3. Development of the international commercial capabilities of CI business owners to aid the sector to attract R&D investment from global business.
4. Increased wealth generation and economic prosperity, evident in the creation and growth of companies and jobs, and the enhancement of business revenue and innovative capacity in high performing CI sub-sectors in NI.
5. Establishment of specialised physical Creative Innovation Hubs in Belfast, Newry, Derry and Coleraine.
6. Development of innovative hardware and software solutions for application in creative contexts.
7. Implementation of flexible, agile and bespoke training and accreditation for CPD and technical skills development.
8. Evidence-based and industry-informed recommendations to policy-makers (including Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive), building upon the draft NI Industrial Strategy 'Economy 2030' but also influencing development of future policy and strategy to create, develop and market NI's unique IP for the CI sector so the predicted growth of the sector is realised.
9. Increased productivity of individual high performing (or potential high growth) CI firms.
10. Increased number of ideas driven through to successful product development and commercialisation.
11. Improved efficiency, performance and sustainability of CI firms by targeted interventions that focus on the personal and professional development of their business leaders.
12. New frameworks of leadership development for the CI sector to facilitate collaboration between micro-businesses via HE, local authorities and enterprise agencies to ensure training, advice and mentoring that is fit for purpose.
13. Contribution to regeneration and economic development in the sub-regions of Belfast and areas of the North Coast and Derry/Londonderry by the development of local creative clusters and programme activity.
14. Connection of pockets of excellence across the region harnessing the opportunities afforded through the region's heritage and tourism product.
15. Testing of issues posed by BREXIT in Creative Industries and development of solutions in the cross border area of Derry.
16. Provision of investment and support at the later stages of innovation to translate and bring ideas into commercial reality and on a global platform.

Organisations

Publications

10 25 50

publication icon
Barrios-O'Neill D (2019) Invisible Belfast: Flat ontologies and remediation of the post-conflict city in Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies

publication icon
Mac Síthigh D (2019) The road to responsibilities: new attitudes towards Internet intermediaries in Information & Communications Technology Law

publication icon
Nelis JLD (2019) The end user sensor tree: An end-user friendly sensor database. in Biosensors & bioelectronics

 
Title AR 360 
Description AR360 - A Smart City Tourism Platform has been developed by the team at Yellow Design. As a means to gather real-time data, tourists using their smart phones can avail of Augmented Reality experiences, multi-lingual location-based-marketing and wayfinding that integrates within public transport systems. By providing an enhanced and customised experience to visitors as they navigate throughout city, all data, geo-locations and time-stamps are collated and visually presented with the AR360 dashboard. Development of powerful data visualisation will allow major city stakeholders to access real-time information that allows them to better protect their brand image, customise and refine their proposition and essentially become a smarter city. Major cities worldwide endeavour to become smarter in how they integrate information and communication technology and various physical devices connected to IoT networks to optimise the efficiency of city operations and services and connect to citizens and visitors. The measurement of traffic flow, air quality etc is achieved through a network of sensors and the gathering of metrics. AR360 provides access to real time and aggregated visitor behaviour data to address the challenge of the tourism industry which has tended to operate off data that is published 6-9 months after the event. AR360 works via a multi-lingual smartphone app, providing a series of AR experiences that can be tailored to different cities. In Belfast, visitors can design and race their own virtual DeLorean car while waiting for their bus to arrive, or they can see a full scale recreation of Titanic in its original dock and at the Belfast Peace Walls, they can use the app to walk along a virtual, interactive timeline to learn more about the city's history and the Good Friday Agreement. 
Type Of Art Artefact (including digital) 
Year Produced 2020 
Impact User engagement with objects and information Explain and interact with complex situations in simple visuals Drive increase in user engagement and dwell time Recovery platform for tourism in the context of the Covid-19 crisis 
URL https://creativeindustriesclusters.com/ar360-augmented-reality-for-tourism/
 
Title ART 
Description Covid-19 presents the opportunity for creatives to produce new content that can be accessed in a socially distant way but also increases the quality of user interaction for street art tourism. The impact of Covid-19 on tourism in Belfast city centre has been devastating. A survey conducted on 21 April 2020 by Tourism NI found that "79% of businesses stated that Covid-19 would have a severe impact on their business in the short term and 63% stated it would be severe in the longer term." There is enormous lack of clarity regarding changes to lockdown and when businesses will start to reopen; which businesses will open first; the pace at which this happens. For NI the tourism challenges are stark and further complicated with a huge dependence on airline connectivity. Over the past few years, street art around Belfast has been a huge draw in visitor numbers, footfall and tours and are featured in many blogs such as: Laurent Jacquet 7 January 2020 https://streetart360.net/2020/01/07/belfast-street-art-guideand-map/ Laurence Norah 8 September 2019 https://www.findingtheuniverse.com/street-art-tourbelfast/ One of the key companies to conduct the Belfast street art is Seedhead Arts run by Adam Turkington http://www.seedheadarts.com/street-art-walking-tour As the numbers of tourists have plummeted to the city, so have the number of visitors who experience street art in the Cathedral Quarter. However within this bleak picture there is an opportunity to prepare for the return to a new normality. ARtis a solution to the street art tourism drought that we are experiencing by fusing physical street art and digital 360 AR for iOS and Android developing new creative commercial opportunities creating new digital content; by enhancing existing physical art digitally using the new digital content for tourism marketing promotional purposes that will encourage virtual and online visitors to find and encounter new experiences; once tourism starts again ARt will encourage visitors to extend the length of time spent and enhance visitor experience at the street art itself; enabling the creation of an MVP with potential to scale across Belfast and other cities. 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2020 
Impact Impacts have included New creative commercial opportunities New digital content; Enhanced existing physical art digitally Virtual and online visitors have found new experiences Increased visitors to street art sites Cathedral Quarter in Belfast city centre. As a creative working with immersive technologies, ARt is a response that continues this artist's exploration and response to opportunities in the interplay of physical and digital spaces. ARt also enables the use of AR as a street art form medium which is beginning to be used more widely across the world. This is the first AR trail available with Belfast street art specifically. 
URL https://www.discoverneon.com/
 
Title Absurdity: A distributed performance using LiveSHOUT with members from the Female Laptop Orchestra (FL 
Description "Absurdity" is based around a short excerpt from of one of Portugal's most mysterious, elusive and peculiar writers, Fernando Pessoa. Pessoa's multiplicities and his ways of thinking about life, engendering ideas that can feel manic-depressive, filled with buckets of self-pity, while being able to scratch the innermost parts of one's soul, lie at the heart of this distributed performance. Members of FLO streamed sounds from several distributed places, including Crete, Italy, Brazil and the UK, while Franziska and Matilde delivered fragmented excerpts (in both English and Portuguese) alongside the LiveSHOUT streams. The idea of distributed creativity, where we combine sounds from several sites, inspired by Pessoa's plurality of thoughts and philosophies; his multiplicities, his fictionality and his self alienation, led to a performance that aimed to be absurd, dispersed, fragmented and multiple. "I've always belonged to what isn't where I am and to what I could never be". (Pessoa In: Ciuraru, 2012). 
Type Of Art Performance (Music, Dance, Drama, etc) 
Year Produced 2020 
Impact Prior to March 2020, 'telematic music performance' or 'networked music performance', was a niche area of music performance, mainly of interest to researchers at academic institutions with high-speed internet and hobbyist musicians who wanted to jam with other musicians from the comfort of their bedroom. Whilst researchers had access to technical know-how as well as resources necessary to stage fairly complex audio-visual networked performances, the regular bedroom musicians had very little control over their internet providers' upload/download speeds and just had to accept that poor sound quality, latency and network dropouts were a part of the deal. Cue in Covid-19 pandemic, closure of performance venues, cancellation of major music events, summer festivals and world tours and all of a sudden, playing music over the internet became a hot topic! A global and interdisciplinary network of researchers and musicians (initiated by Niels Chr. Hansen from the Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies & Center for Music in the Brain and Melanie Wald-Fuhrmann from the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics) aptly named Musicovid, was formed to support and facilitate research across the globe on the role of music during the COVID-19 pandemic. Video conferencing platforms that were usually reserved for daily meet-ups with remote teams (and considered as tools we only used for work purposes), become the tools used every day, for purposes of just about everything, from working from home during the lockdown, to socialising with our friends and families (who might be living down the road, but were not allowed to visit us in person due to lockdown) as well as for watching music performances that were played in places with no audience and streamed to audiences globally. The sudden spike in numbers of subscribers to one of the popular video conferencing platforms, Zoom, led to an even bigger global panic than the arrival of Covid-19, when the platforms' encryption, security, privacy etc. policies (which most of us didn't even bother to read through properly when we signed up) came to everyone's attention as being erm seriously flawed. In spite of this, in a matter of days, Zoom became a household name, even earning its own slang term Zoom fatigue (which relates to tiredness we all started to experience from countless video conference calls which, besides, washing our hands a thousand times a day and wearing a face mask (on public transport, in shops etc.) become the 'new normal'. Learning included the identification that any performance which involves remote performers needs longer 'tech-rider' and longer tech set-up (both of which the event organizers need to be aware of, well in advance!) and that this kind of performance needs a lot of testing with remote performers, who mostly performed using their home internet network or a mobile phone network (the reliability of which varies greatly from country to country). Learning also identified that the most satisfying performance experience was when participants felt like 'musicians', rather than 'technicians', and when the performance platforms used and the speed of the network allowed musicians to play synchronously (ie together) rather than asynchronously (ie one after another with varying degrees of delay and varying degrees of ability to monitor what was actually happening in the performance). Learning also identified new ways of enabling remote performers (playing laptops or instruments, streaming from a soundwalk, drawing VR visuals, doing movement etc.) to use different ways of connecting to co-located performers in the concert venue, also meant borrowing a lot of extra gear (computers, audio interfaces, mixing desks etc.) so this can be facilitated. 
URL https://www.federicovisi.com/physically-distant-2-more-online-talks-on-telematic-performance/
 
Title Alice Virtual Theme Park 
Description Big Telly have created a virtual theme park for families to visit which contains a mixture of live performance, interactive technology led experiences and the extension of the story world into the domestic space. The virtual adventures will be hosted within a website and use a number of platforms such as Zoom and Jitzi. Alice is a series of live interactive immersive experiences which replicate a family visits to a theme park and offers choice, agency and the feeling of being part of a community. Alice provided organisations and artists the opportunity to explore new ways of audience engagement. The communal experience of watching a show. Opportunity to explore new and existing technologies and ways to better connect with audiences. 
Type Of Art Performance (Music, Dance, Drama, etc) 
Year Produced 2020 
Impact Big Telly created an innovative and revenue generating form of theatre during the Covid-19 crisis which has gained global recognition and won the Offies 2021 award for best use of platform. 
URL https://www.big-telly.com/our-week-in-wonderland/
 
Title Alice- Virtual Theme Park 
Description Alice is a virtual theme park for families to visit which contains a mixture of live performance, interactive technology led experiences and the extension of the story world into the domestic space. The virtual adventures were hosted within a website and use a number of platforms such as Zoom and Jitzi. Alice provided organisations and artists the opportunity to explore new ways of audience engagement. The communal experience of watching a show which included audience choice in the nature of the experience. Alice blurred the lines between reality and make believe. 
Type Of Art Artefact (including digital) 
Year Produced 2020 
Impact Employment for individuals in the creative industries during the ongoing Covid-19 crisis Revenue generation Attended by 1,000s of people across the world Winner of the won the OFFIES 2021 award for Platform Based Work 
URL https://www.big-telly.com/our-week-in-wonderland/
 
Title Belfast City Stories 
Description Silverink have developed a platform that enables music artists to generate income through curated streaming events/festivals. We schedule artists and allow them to present remote live video streams within a single digital interface. Videos can be streamed in either 2D or 360 - and viewed via standard mobile devices, browser or VR headsets. Viewers pay to access each event - with Stripe automatically distributing funds between those involved. Time is critical and this project builds upon technologies previously developed at https://livevr.io 
Type Of Art Artefact (including digital) 
Year Produced 2020 
Impact The primary beneficiaries of this project are the artists themselves. And the benefits are cash-flow, community exposure and building fan relationships during the ongoing Covid-19 crisis. The platform delivers income directly to those who need and deserve it most. This stimulated a platform StageLeft which is being delivered in partnership with Arts Council NI. 
URL https://livevr.io/
 
Title Breathe Immerse - a new immersive music VR piece for VR headset, saxophone and vocal choir: A new composition with experimental vocalists from the HIVE choir 
Description Breathe Immerse - a new immersive music VR piece for VR headset, saxophone and vocal choir: A new composition with experimental vocalists from the HIVE choir Schroeder, F. & Schroeder, F., 01 Oct 2019 Research output: Non-textual form > Composition 
Type Of Art Composition/Score 
Year Produced 2019 
Impact The VR piece created a new space for music composition and performance 
URL https://pure.qub.ac.uk/en/persons/franziska-schroeder
 
Title Checkpoints 
Description Checkpoints is an interactable serious game which is a documentary that allows the use to experience history by reliving and experiencing the past. It is a tool which has been designed with integrity to facilitate an exploration of NI's past in an immersive format. The ethical implications of the project were fully explored which were not limited to: Recent conflict and its impact on the individuals involved ? The border and what it means to different people ? The rights of all participants that agree to take part ? Research was conducted with integrity, transparency and to not risk further harm or danger to individuals involved ? Guiding research ethical principles and approach were developed in with support from academic partners ? Work was undertaken with ESRB, PEGI and other visual media rating boards to ensure the correct levels of warning are included in the game ? Informed consent and a principle of non-maleficent was applied to all contributors. The project integrates documentary and game production workflows. 3D, video, audio, archives, text and interaction will be utilised in this project. A nascent process that is closely linked to the convergence now emerging in virtual production pipelines with film, television, gaming and animation sectors working together to create new pipelines. An important part of this was the inclusion of audio at an earlier stage of production. Spatialised audio will add dimensionality to the finished prototype and will enhance the immersive experience. 
Type Of Art Artefact (including digital) 
Year Produced 2021 
Impact The project has created a new way to tell stories based on real events within games. The outcome is a credible peace and conflict experience which can be applied to inform processes of reconciliation and conflict resolution in other settings including Palestine, Afghanistan, Cyprus and South Africa were potential histories cane be explored using this production methodology but also more traumatic personal stories like Grenfell Tower fire, Orlando nightclub shootings, Bataclan and Paris attacks or the Utøya island terrorist attack are examples of smaller and more personal stories that could prove space for the understanding of these events. The production pipeline can be applied to other settings. The playable documentary format could assist people understand these traumatic and historical events in a completely new way. Other impacts include advancements in lighting with realtime ray tracing and a stronger sensation of realism within the gam which can be applied to other settings. Simulating a tragic event from history is not common in games and Cuboard Games in partnership with Future Screens NI have created a new form of ethical game design. Previous games that were inspired from real events used traditional game mechanics and solutions to tell their narrative, however, due to the nature of the subject matter and ethical considerations, an off the shelf solution is not possible. Cupboard games have developed a new design ethos and principles that are tailored for telling stories of the past and in this case of recent conflict. These design principles will be used for future projects and built upon to allow different stories from the past to be told. The evaluative testing was led by Dr Declan Keeney and supported by Cupboard Games. Declan used the latest toolsets from i2 media research. One such tool AIM was used with support from Digital Catapult. Declan developed a test audience from Ulster University's Screen Academy 
URL https://www.thepixelmill.com/the-teams/
 
Title Digital Humanoids 
Description Future Screens NI and Retinize have produced real time digital humanoids that are multi-faceted. The techniques applied combine a high resolution hyper realistic photo scan of a performer alongside a motion capture suit and high-end smartphone. The motion capture suit will allow for accurate recording of body movements, while the high-end smartphone will allow for highly precise facial capture for a relatively low cost (in comparison to existing facial capture methodologies and technologies). This allows an almost true to life capture to be undertaken rapidly but at a vastly reduced cost when compared to current high-end options currently on offer, such as pure volumetric capture. 
Type Of Art Artefact (including digital) 
Year Produced 2020 
Impact The product that streamlines this production pipeline enabling enabling rapid content for film, TV, gaming and immersive media which provides clients with the highest quality digital humanoids, in an efficient and cost-effective way, that allows them to tell their stories. An additional benefit is that this showcase acts an educational tool for sectors of the creative industry and give a greater understanding of each process to the relevant people, allowing for faster and more accurate future decisions. This research is informing the kind of facilities required by local industry going forward in relation to motion capture technology. Within the museum sector realistic avatars are important and cost-effective component to bringing exhibits to life. 
URL https://www.retinize.com/
 
Title Glove Play Pain Relief 
Description Action Sense have developed a glove which applies game technology to provide pain relief during clinically prescribed home exercise routines. Through this unique provision of tailored computer games ActionSense can enhance engagement and completion of prescribed exercises using gamified processes and tasks to aid motivation; also, this unique provision will add 3D graphics to augment the presentation of feedback and continuous real-time visualization of clinical data. The game mechanics require very specific physical movements which act as game inputs. This combined solution is unique in the data glove market. The glove is a cost effective and intelligent glove-based solution to measure joint mobility. 
Type Of Art Artefact (including digital) 
Year Produced 2020 
Impact The Action Sense glove has been employed in healthcare, sports rehab, and health/safety sectors with improvement in mobility. 
URL https://www.actionsense.org/
 
Title Harper the Wonder Dog 
Description Harper, Emer and Lorcan puppets are currently being used in all Nursery schools, Primary schools and Early Years organisations in west Belfast and are in all educational resources developed and designed by WBPB and Yellow design and distributed city-wide and regionally. Therefore they are familiar to the target audience of pre-Nursery, Nursery and Year 1 children and parents. The proposed project will be a new type of digitally creative educational content which will respond to the current Covid-19 crisis as families and communities respond to a new way of learning and teaching outside the classroom. The project content will remain relevant and compliment classroom teaching when schools reopen. A scoping exercise was undertaken with the Departments of Education and Health, as well as with 25 Nursery schools, 19 Primary schools and 12 SureStart and community Early Years providers and the challenges below have been identified in relation to the theme of education, including health messages: • The move from physical to digital delivery of key health and education messages with age appropriate messaging for early years, Nursery and Foundation Stage children and parents • Due to Covid-19 how to deliver key messages through a virtual and digital space to the greatest possible number of young children who are currently learning at home. • How to enable new technical modes of delivery as new ways of learning are implemented at home. • How to future proof digital delivery of key messages in the event of a second wave of Covid-19. • How to reach the maximum audience of children and families as this is not effective during the current Covid-19 crisis through hard copy and face-to-face delivery. • How to reduce anxiety of both children and parents regarding return to school and transition to Nursery and from Nursery to Year 1 • How to ensure that the resources proposed are inclusive of all children, including those living in areas of socio-economic disadvantage and new comer families. A new mode of digital delivery which was adapted to home learning in the current Covid-19 crisis and will remain appropriate and relevant post Covid-19. The move to virtual and digital has been tested with local organisations prior to the submission of this proposal and the following have been developed as a sample by Yellow Design based on a brief developed by WBPB in partnership with the Department of Education. Short films have been produced to support Early Years children and children transitioning to Nursery and from Nursery to Year 1 and their parents. with age appropriate messaging in line with government guidelines, taking in to consideration key safety and education messages. West Belfast has a robust community and school infrastructure and WBPB has a proven track record of success in terms of education outcomes for children, young people and families. We have support for this proposal from the Department of Education, Public Health Agency, Nursery and Primary schools, Early Years providers and community organisations. Our approach will be to work in partnership with the aforementioned and Yellow Design to co-design and further develop the project brief in terms of messages which need to be conveyed. 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2020 
Impact The series of films "The Adventures of Harper the Wonder Dog with Emer and Lorcan" with age appropriate education and health messages in relation to Covid-19 The films were delivered to an extensive professional network which includes of 5 Nursery schools, 19 Primary schools and 30+ community groups with Early Years provision with a reach of over 3000 children and families in west Belfast. The films were delivered to an extensive professional network which includes of 5 Nursery schools, 19 Primary schools and 30+ community groups with Early Years provision with a reach of over 3000 children and families in west Belfast. The project was delivered on a city-wide and regional basis on programme delivery and sharing of best practice with similar community organisations and schools in Northern Ireland. It is through these networks that the project accessed, 23,576 Pre-school children and their families in their transition from Pre-School to Primary One ensuring they are supported safely at home. .250 iPads were distributed to the homes of children identified by local schools as in need of digital devices to continue their education and stay connected to reduce the digital divide in areas of deprivation. 
URL https://www.futurescreens.org/news/2020/6/19/harper-the-wonder-dog-supporting-children-in-transition...
 
Title Impossible Worlds 
Description Impossible Worlds: telling stories in spherical video using geometric transformations When a child is born the world changes. To Helen, who recently gave birth to her first baby, the world feels like it has changed forever. Time has become circular. Her space has changed too. It seems to be shrinking, and warping. Her home used to be porous, with routes to the outside, but now it is her whole world. It shifts and warps around her as she does whatever she can to keep this baby alive and fed and clean. Impossible Worlds is the research and development of storytelling techniques for spherical video using non-euclidean geometric transformations. It combines technical research with the development of new story forms. The film is part of The Bomb which is a story about maternal mental health. T 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2021 
Impact 360 video is becoming the poor cousin of narrative VR experiences. Video has enormous potential for creating powerful, photorealistic stories, but is being left behind while the innovations are being made in animation and game-engine VR. Impossible Worlds employs a new technical methodology through which to ensure that spherical video reaches it's full potential in order to tell narrative stories in the context of post-natal depression. VR has been employed to create embodied experiences which bring female bodies into the virtual space. Impossible worlds presented taboo and overlooked stories within a new platform. Movement and dance is used to express corporeality in a medium which acts as a powerful story telling tool generating presence for story space. Maternal Mental Health is a taboo and undertold story. Making this story more visible has had a positive impact upon women's wellbeing with wider impacts on society by finding the ideal way to tell a story that is not often told. 
URL https://www.futurescreens.org/news/2020/5/25/professor-anthony-lilley-launches-future-screens-ni-cut...
 
Title Infinite/Precius 
Description Responding to the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020 and as part of Future Screens NI "Rewriting the Narrative" commissions, "inifinite/precious" explores the preciousness of life from three different poet's diverse perspectives. Directed by Resist-AV, this is represented as a series of experimental spoken word poems set to three electronic music pieces and crafted into a music video, drawing together a trio of elements of words, sound and visual. The project began with an experimental study titled "What is the value of a single life?" See here: https://vimeo.com/428132849 This piece was in the end not included in the final project release. The creation of this work saw me collect recordings of the phrases "what is the value of a single life?", "are some lives more valuable than others?" and "why is life valuable?" in over 20 different languages. This began my Rewriting the Narrative project, questioning the meaning and value of life - questions that socially and globally we have all had to grapple with in the midst of a shocking pandemic. Creatively and technically, collecting so many voice sources posed a challenge - the different quality of recording devices that the speakers used meant a production challenge of creating a unified high-quality audio mix. In addition, simply posing questions did not give an audience any outside perspectives or answers, but it did play the function of encouraging audiences to think. Video artist Dervla Hillan expanded on the theme through responding in her video art using 3D motion. For the second phase of this project, three diverse speakers were identified - Dr. Hilary Cremin a peace education scholar based at University of Cambridge, Heli St. Luce, a poet and performance artist based in the Netherlands, and Hadi Bastani, a sound artist and academic based in Belfast. Each of these diverse thinkers and creative practitioners responded to the three questions from the first experimental audiovisual piece. They submitted three spoken word poetry recordings, and together with Dervla we came up with video concepts to respond to each message. I decided each piece would be matched with a Belfast electronic music producer, and the final audio would be mastered by Ayeland Audio, an emerging Belfast production house. Helena Hamilton was then commissioned to design the website page and prepare materials for the online launch. When everything came together in the end, the project resulted in three experimental audiovisual works - an unusual and innovative format fusing 3D motion art, spoken word poetry and electronic music, hosted on a showcase website (online launch TBC). The multidisciplinary medium and the poetic content come together to effectively convey three distinct and forwardlooking responses to rewriting the narrative. 
Type Of Art Artefact (including digital) 
Year Produced 2020 
Impact The project has developed connection and creation of a new form of art work during the pandemic. 
URL https://www.futurescreens.org/news/2021/1/13/resist-av-empower-people-young-people-for-a-better-worl...
 
Title Invited Presentation and Performance on Fernando Pessoa and Free Improvisation in free improv / talk series 
Description Invited Presentation and Performance on Fernando Pessoa and Free Improvisation in free improv / talk series, Wuppertal 2019 / Germany @ Peter Kowald Loft. Schroeder, F., 24 Mar 2019 Part of the regular concert/talk series "Improvisation - musizieren und besprechen", Wuppertal in 2019. Based on the writings of Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa. The ideas of multi-mindedness / manyness which derives from Pessoa's creation of various heteronyms under which he published are explored. The notion of multiplicity and the concept of multi-mindedness in free music improvisation practice is discussed. 
Type Of Art Performance (Music, Dance, Drama, etc) 
Year Produced 2019 
Impact This event emerged following an invitation from Christoph Irmer (violinist, improviser and philosopher). It involved the development of a fully improvised concert. The "Ort" in Wuppertal in Luisenstraße 116 is a very special artists place, where improviser Peter Kowald in 1994 had decided to base himself for one year in order to bring artists from different disciplines and backgrounds together. In the spirit of creating an international meeting point for improvisers, painters, poets, dancers, thinkers, listeners each week between 8 and 20 artists would meet and explore. The idea was not to create some kind of final product but to enjoy the pushing of boundaries and the encounter of newly emerging things. Kowald was the instigator of this meeting place and his spirit, his energy, curiosity and creativity live on in the current "Ort", where regular artistic events keep challenging ideas of artistic creation. I was delighted to present and trial some of my current ideas based on the writings and thinking of the Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa and his, at times, rather crazy and often sorrowful ideas on life, death, multiplicities, process, beginnings and endings. This stimulated a chapter in Routledge's Handbook of Philosophy and Improvisation in the Arts (eds. Alessandro Bertinetto; Marcello Ruta, 2020. The contribution included reflections on music improvisation and the inspirational fragmented texts by Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa, specifically leaning on ideas from his rather incredible, posthumously published "Livro do Desassossego / The Book of Disquiet" (Penguin Random House, UK, ed and translated by Richard Zenith, 2001998/2015). 
URL https://pure.qub.ac.uk/en/publications/invited-presentation-and-performance-on-fernando-pessoa-and-f...
 
Title Live Theatre and VR: Rethinking the Live Theatre experience 
Description During the current Covid-19 crisis, the immediate problem for theatres is the inability to have a live audience in a communal space to watch the work that has been created. It is likely that live theatre is one of the creative industries that will be hit hardest, and the impacts of Covid-19 will be most far-reaching for many months to come, due to the restrictions on how audiences can experience live theatre, and how this can be done in a safe and socially distanced way. Already we are estimating that only 10-20% of the audience would be able to return to our venue to experience theatre live, if we were to put in place socially distanced measures. The project has developed a VR environment for Blackout which was Blackout is a 30 minute piece of physical theatre which we have toured to schools across Northern Ireland for the last 5 years, and is aimed at reducing crime and antisocial behaviour by developing awareness in young people of the possible consequences of taking drugs and alcohol. In each venue, the live theatre experience is followed by a Q&A with a panel of young offenders who, escorted by a Prison Officer, travel with the company for up to 4 weeks. Working with award-winning filmmaker, Ross McClean, a multimedia approach has been developed whereby the live performance is supported by a VR environment. 
Type Of Art Artefact (including digital) 
Year Produced 2020 
Impact Reductions in crime and anti-socially behaviour An immersive theatre environment 
URL https://lyrictheatre.co.uk/creative-learning/blackout/
 
Title Mental Abuse Matters 
Description Mental Abuse Matters involves an animated film and a VR environment which have played an essential role in increasing outreach and awareness of Mental Abuse. In collaboration with our partners Queen's University Belfast and Darkley Films, a unique training and therapeutic tool for health and social care has been developed. Mental Abuse can affect people of all ages and genders across all backgrounds. Often a precursor to physical abuse, family breakdown and financial destitution, it is also linked to health problems such as anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts and self-harm. Yet this form of abuse is only now beginning to be acknowledged and is still poorly understood by the medical, caring, law and justice professions that are confronted with it every day. Part of the challenge is the subtle and intangible nature of mental abuse as a phenomenon - both in terms of the perpetrator's behaviour and the effect it has on victims. There are no physical marks. Public behaviour is often very different from private behaviour, so witnesses are rare. What may seem an ideal relationship from the outside can be a disorientating nightmare behind closed doors, and the victims themselves are so confused about what they are feeling and experiencing that articulating it seems impossible. Director Lucy Baxter decided to make a short animated film based on anonymous first-person testimony as the charity's first creative piece. When dealing with these stories confidentiality and protection are key, and animation allows for anonymity. Lucy was also interested in exploring questions of format, representation - of victims and perpetrators - and emotional reaction in the viewer. The first step in developing a five-minute animated film was to find someone who had experienced mental abuse and was willing to tell their story. This was a difficult task, and many decided they were not ready or did not want to take the risk. The film focuses upon the story of a person who left an emotionally abusive relationship. This presented ethical challenges because it was clear that the experience was still extremely raw for the person. The next task was to find an animation style that would do justice to the narrative. The form itself had to communicate the feeling of confusion and uncertainty, and be able to transmit a real sense of tension. These would feed into representing feelings described as "the ground shifting beneath your feet", or "having your identity rubbed out" - key experiences for victims. The animation was developed by Enter Yes. The resulting animation is testament to a free-flowing collaborative process and vividly represents the internal experience of mental abuse. More than 200 people engaged with the animation which was streamed by the QFT. The Mental Abuse Matters VR Project is a Virtual Reality experience in a series of VR films about mental abuse. The films are intended as training, diagnostic and awareness tools for frontline medical and care staff to improve trauma care, and ultimately therapeutic interventions for victims and perpetrators of mental abuse. The experience is aimed at healthcare practitioners including GPs, Psychotherapists, social workers and abuse counsellors and will also be tested with a section of MLAs and general public. The film is a 10 minute live action VR drama about emotional abuse in a domestic setting, where the user is the embodied victim experiencing abusive practices such as gaslighting, veiled contempt, passive aggression and subtle public humiliation. These are extremely challenging to convey, as the reactive experiences are interior emotions which are subjective and visceral and the behaviours are not overt, so others may not pick up on them. Often, it is the accumulation of behaviours over time that destroys the confidence, selfhood and mental equilibrium of the victim; the perpetrator, and others, may say and/or think that the victim is overreacting, "highly strung" or "over sensitive". Rather than rely solely on dialogue or action to attempt to convey the inner landscape of the victim, our story uses immersive sound to replicate feelings of shame, humiliation, dread and panic in the user. When writing the story and designing the soundscape, I wanted the user to have both a visceral and a cerebral experience; to "get inside" the mind and body of the victim, so that they can understand the sense of becoming trapped in a physiological prison, where repeated, coded behaviours light up the nervous system causing extreme anxiety, panic and fear but with nowhere to turn. The victim placates the perpetrator, in order to return to a temporary state of equilibrium. It is only by eliciting genuine empathy for the victim experience, that mental abuse can be understood and validated. The VR experience builds upon the animation puts the user into the position of a person who is experiencing an episode of emotional abuse. Using actors, this will be a ten-minute scripted scenario of partner abuse where the user is virtually embodied. Immersive sound has been employed in order to enhance the physiological and emotional responses of the user, attempting to elicit the bodily sensations that accompany emotions such as shame, panic and humiliation. The result is a training environment for those providing front line care. The live-action VR experience provides a therapeutic and training experience which can potential to aid diagnosis, treatment and prevention, and have a meaningful impact on people's lives. Interventionist VR is an innovative area that can also further best practices in the immersive technology field and address the funding gap in this crucial yet underfunded area of healthcare. 
Type Of Art Artefact (including digital) 
Year Produced 2020 
Impact The film was shown online including on The Conversation website, on the Mental Abuse Matters website, the Men's Advisory Project (MAP NI) website and via the Queen's Film Theatre (QFT) iplayer. Due to the distancing restrictions imposed by COVID-19 at the time, physical screenings did not take place. The film received favourable feedback from Rhonda Robinson, the CEO of MAP NI, who deals with both victims and perpetrators of abuse. She said of the film, "I am absolutely floored by that piece of work. It is excellent. It mirrors exactly what I hear almost daily unfortunately. That's really powerful work." The film vividly represents the internal experience of mental abuse. The film has been praised by The Men's Advisory Project, a counselling service for men who are victims of domestic abuse, and will also be shown at their conference this autumn. The project has stimulated a new perspective on healthy relationships, and expands upon an already fruitful relationship between filmmaking, psychology and healthcare. The anonymous contributor was very happy with the finished project, stating that I fully support the work and efforts made by Mental Abuse Matters and think is a vital and very important initiative. Initially I was very nervous to get involved due to the nature of the project and aftereffects of trauma I had experienced from leaving my previous relationship. Lucy made the space safe and encouraged me to speak in my own time. It was a very empowering experience to shape my voice and share in an artistic way outside of therapy. The animation is really beautiful and I felt that the words I shared where honoured. I am very grateful for that. I feel really proud of myself for getting involved and very grateful to Lucy and the team for their care, kindness and talent in this project. The film has played a significant role in the passage of Coercive Control Legislation in the region. The film is playing a significant role in challenging myths around mental abuse and coercive control. There is greater awareness that the majority of abuse is male on female and that mental abuse is widespread form of abuse which is also perpetrated men to me, women to men and adult to child or elderly person. https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/change-in-domestic-abuse-law-in-northern-ireland-has-never-been-more-important-than-now-39978058.html 
URL https://www.mentalabusematters.com/
 
Title Mental Abuse Matters 
Description he Mental Abuse Matters project funded by Future Screens NI has played a central role in the development and implementation of legislation with respect to Coercive Control which will protect women and men from abuse. The project has developed an animation explores emotional abuse in an intimate relationship, and particularly the phenomenon of "Gaslighting", where the abuser dislocates the victim from reality and causes them to question their judgment and sanity. The narrative takes the form of a monologue by the victim spoken directly to her ex partner, a kind of letter to him after she has left the abusive relationship and is slowly regaining her sense of identity. It is a scripted narrative based on real anonymous victim testimony. The animation raises the public understanding of mental abuse. The project has also developed a VR training environment to assist practitioners working in the field of mental abuse. The spectrum of mental abuse is wide: it happens in couples, between parents and children, with peers, friends and colleagues. It can take many forms, from verbal abuse and intimidation to coercive control and gaslighting, a form of psychological manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt and make someone question their own memory, perception and sanity. Using persistent denial, misdirection and lying, gaslighting attempts to destabilise the victim and undermine their sense of self. It can affect people of all ages and genders across all backgrounds. Often a precursor to physical abuse, family breakdown and financial destitution, it is also linked to health problems such as anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts and self-harm. Yet this form of abuse is only now beginning to be acknowledged and is still poorly understood by the medical, caring, law and justice professions that are confronted with it every day. https://youtu.be/bfDB5wNkbpI As a filmmaker who had experienced mental abuse and had to deal with an uncomprehending medical and legal system, Lucy Baxter set up Mental Abuse Matters to produce creative projects that try to articulate and understand the experience of mental abuse. The intention was to explore different means of creative expression and discover how they inform understanding and empathy in the viewer. Part of the challenge is the subtle and intangible nature of mental abuse as a phenomenon - both in terms of the perpetrator's behaviour and the effect it has on victims. There are no physical marks. Public behaviour is often very different from private behaviour, so witnesses are rare. What may seem an ideal relationship from the outside can be a disorientating nightmare behind closed doors, and the victims themselves are so confused about what they are feeling and experiencing that articulating it seems impossible. Lucy Baxter decided to make a short animated film based on anonymous first-person testimony. When dealing with these stories confidentiality and protection are key, and animation allows for anonymity. Lucy was also interested in exploring questions of format, representation - of victims and perpetrators - and emotional reaction in the viewer. For example, does the distance afforded by animated characters and scenarios allow for a more relatable film, compared to live action using actors? Does an emotionally abusive relationship have common patterns that victims and perpetrators watching might recognise, and could this influence their own awareness and behaviour? The first step in developing a five-minute animated film was to find someone who had experienced mental abuse and was willing to tell their story. This was a difficult task, and many decided they were not ready or did not want to take the risk. The next task was to find an animation style that would do justice to the narrative. Lucy knew she did not want a "clean" animation - pristine, cartoony perfection. The form itself had to communicate the feeling of confusion and uncertainty, and be able to transmit a real sense of tension. These would feed into representing feelings described as "the ground shifting beneath your feet", or "having your identity rubbed out" - key experiences for victims. Lucy chose Belfast-based company Enter Yes whose animation work had creative soul with a hand-drawn style I admire. They also had an interest in social issues, which was important for motivation and engagement. The resulting animation is testament to a free-flowing collaborative process and vividly represents the internal experience of mental abuse. Our anonymous contributor said she felt it was "an empowering experience that honoured her words". The film has been praised by The Men's Advisory Project, a counselling service for men who are victims of domestic abuse, and will also be shown at their conference this autumn. 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2020 
Impact The Mental Abuse Matters Project has played a significant role in the development and implementation of legislation with respect to Coercive Control in Northern Ireland. This will protect women and men from abuse and protect lives. 
URL https://www.mentalabusematters.com/
 
Title Mirage - a virtual environment for Ars Electronica's Metaverse 2020: A metaverse for sound art and music, Kunstuniversität Linz SOUND CAMPUS -> Ars Electronica Festival 2020. 9-13 Sept 2020 
Description Several physically distant recorded performances between saxophonist Franziska Schroeder, composers Carlos Guedes and Leonid Kuzmenko led to the composition and design of this 8 channel listening environment, implemented in Unity for Ars Electronica's Virtual Sound Campus. "Sound Campus is a new program of Kunstuniversität Linz especially oriented towards examining the state of experimental sound practices at universities and research centers. It opens a possibility for researchers to present new forms of understanding sonic art to the big audience of Ars Electronica Festival. What can you do in the the metaverse? Listen to multichannel sound works by great composers: experience 3D audio in live binaural format through headphones! Interact with interactive sonic artworks: from vocoders to a virtual version of an african instrument! Watch live performances happening at the Sound Campus section of the Ars Electronica Festival 2020 in our virtual auditorium! Meet your distant friends at an online 3D multiplayer experience! 
Type Of Art Performance (Music, Dance, Drama, etc) 
Year Produced 2020 
Impact The event addressed provided a remote networked collaboration for remote collaboration amongst musicians and like minded individuals and musicians on a grand scale. In light of the difficult situation presented by coronavirus, digital information and communication tools are crucial solutions for artists to interact and perform. It is also clear that artificial intelligence harbours even greater possibilities for a networked approach to music. 
URL https://sound-campus.itch.io/metaverse
 
Title NEON 
Description Talking Sense is an augmented reality conversation training tool that using artificial intelligence technology to enable dynamic machine learning conversation processes with the aim of supporting parents to better understand the behaviour of their children with autism and better enable coping strategies and appropriate interventions. Talking Sense is an augmented reality (AR) training tool that uses Charisma.ai technology. Using dynamic machine learning conversation processes with improved learning outcomes for parents who are learning to manage the behaviour of their autistic children/children with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and to help parents develop better coping strategies. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) refers to a set of related conditions that affect social interaction, communication and behaviour. The impact can range from mild to severe. It mostly appears in early childhood and it normally continues into adulthood. Apart from difficulties with social communication, people with ASD tend to have restricted interests. Other key features include repetitive behaviour and a need for routine. ringing up a child with autism can be challenging for parents, especially when other people do not understand the issues. Children with ASD experience the world differently from most people. They often have difficulty expressing themselves. Sensory issues can affect how they smell, hear or see things. They may find it impossible to eat foods of a particular colour, for example. A great concern for many parents is that some of their son's or daughter's behaviours may make it difficult for their child to integrate fully as a member of their local community. Parents of children with ASD have poorer mental health outcomes when compared to the general population. Not understanding why their child engages in certain behaviours and feeling powerless to intervene has a hugely negative impact on parental wellbeing. Giving parents access to proactive strategies to help with their child's needs has been shown to have positive mental health benefits for parents. Talking Sense is based on web-based SimpleSteps tutorial for Autism, which gives parents information that they need when taking the first steps to becoming a parent-therapist and helping their child. It is important that Talking Sense is based upon strong academic and research foundations. The methodology is based on understanding the science of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA). The process is simple but requires dedication and determination on behalf of the parent. Simple Steps Autism website (https://simplestepsautism.com) is an introduction to something much bigger and it is not designed to replace a full-time ABA Therapist but to provide a practical way forward for parents. Talking Sense facilitates interactive conversations with an AR character. By using dynamic machine learning processes with an integrated dialogue engine the parent can have a conversation in real time with the AR character. The parent engages in a conversation with an AR character who is representing their child, to practice in real time, real life challenging behaviour scenarios and strategies for supporting and understanding their child. With this character parents can practise, in real time, real life challenging behaviour scenarios and strategies for supporting and understanding their child. These situations are many and varied and reflect the full gamut of daily life. The situation selected for Talking Sense is a routine evening scenario to facilitate ease of transition from watching TV to transitioning to the bedroom successfully and with minimal upset. In this scenario, the child is settling down to watch their favourite TV show; this is their main focus. However, parents will be taught that their focus is to ensure that their messaging prepares their child for activity after the end of the TV show so they are ready to go to bed. Parents will learn that if they do not adequately prepare their child, then s/he may react in a manner that will be upsetting not only for them but for the parent too. 
Type Of Art Artefact (including digital) 
Year Produced 2020 
Impact Talking Sense provides scenarios and strategies for supporting and understanding of children with autism in order to address real time challenging behaviour. Parents have reported that the app was useful in developing strategies for behaviour management with positive outcomes and played a crucial role in improving parenting, empowering grandparents and extended family and childcare support. 
URL https://www.discoverneon.com/talking-sense
 
Title ONAR 
Description EnterYes created a two-minute narrative example (IP) of ray tracing within Unity and which was produced over a 4-month period. They also produced detailed documentation (IP) that outlines and explains the pipeline and the workflow required for an artist, developer, and creative studio to streamline the transition from an SD render pipe line to a ray tracing High Definition Render Pipeline (HDRP). In the future they will also produce a piece of bespoke and licensable software (IP) that automates aspects of texture generation and HDPR conversions required. From working with the research experts at Future Screens NI they were able to create a solution that automated processes that streamlined a large amount of repetitive work conducted by most industry professionals in this space. 
Type Of Art Artefact (including digital) 
Year Produced 2020 
Impact EnterYes were able to successfully create their HRDP pipeline for the use in Ray-Tracing which has opened a major channel for them to market. The market opportunity is multi-faceted. Enter Yes have become more competitive within the global video games and computer animation market as both a content provider and service provider. 
URL http://www.enteryes.com/
 
Title Quarantine Sessions #41: A Distributed Electroacoustic Network Improvisation: Invited Performer to join distributed musicians Constantin Basica, Chris Chafe, Henrik von Coler, Fernando Lopez-Lezcano. Juan Parra, and Klaus Scheuermann 
Description The Coronavirus Crisis has changed our lives and we are in the midst of a long period without concerts as we knew them. In addition to the problem of large audiences, the regulations also make it 'virtually' impossible for musicians to get together, to rehearse, or perform. However, many technologies and solutions are already available, helping us to find new ways of collaborating and transporting our work to audiences. We have been programming, testing, and rehearsing in an online environment between California (US), Berlin (DE) and Ghent (BE). We present concerts that connect musicians from these locations and guests from other places to each other. The sessions are broadcast live with audio and video feeds from each site. -Henrik von Coler 
Type Of Art Performance (Music, Dance, Drama, etc) 
Year Produced 2021 
Impact This stimulated a public concert. 
URL https://pure.qub.ac.uk/en/publications/quarantine-sessions-41-a-distributed-electroacoustic-network-...
 
Title Real Time Rendering Pipeline 
Description Taunt have developed a real time rendering pipeline for gaming and animation. 
Type Of Art Artefact (including digital) 
Year Produced 2021 
Impact Real-time rendering has the potential to increase the market share across the board for the animation industry in Belfast for a number of reasons. The first being competitiveness. This is new technology that a lot of larger companies will need to very gradually introduce into their pipeline due to infrastructure and training costs. This is an opportunity for smaller indie studios to get a head start with it. If it becomes integrated into a studios pipeline, this has the potential to allow them to compete for larger scale work that previously would have been beyond the scope of the company. This is due to the exponential speed increases in the look dev and rendering phases. Improved turnaround time on projects can potentially result in higher profit margins, which in turn can be reinvested into retaining staff/upscaling the team. Thus resulting in the company's ability to compete for larger projects. Client relationships may resultantly improve due to the rapid development of visual styles. Equally, with less project time needing to be dedicated to rendering, this gained time can be funnelled into other aspects of the project, meaning a greater opportunity for a higher quality end product. 
URL http://tauntstudios.com/about
 
Title VR Classroom 
Description VR Classroom is interactive gamified Virtual Reality (VR) Classroom for teenagers with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder who are at risk of disengagement from their education. Disengagement from education, especially for those on the autism spectrum, is gradually increasing - the most recent statistics show an increase of 60% to 4,485 children excluded from education from previous figures in 2011 (Ambitious About Autism, 2016). 
Type Of Art Artefact (including digital) 
Year Produced 2020 
Impact VR Classroom has achieved the following impacts with respect to pupil's with ASD • Improved appropriate classroom responding behaviours • Teaching of replacement behaviours to reduce challenging/inappropriate behaviours • Teaching of effective proactive anxiety reducing strategies 
URL http://www.newred.tv/
 
Title VR Opera 
Description Working with partners Volograms (a spin-out from Trinity College Dublin) and Belfast-based Sentireal, the company's Augmented Reality Opera project uses new Augmented Reality technology to allow audiences to access opera in a new way via smartphone or tablet. The first project involves Mozart's Don Giovanni with Ross Ramgobin in the title role and Alan Ewing as the Commendatore directed by Dafydd Hall Williams. 
Type Of Art Performance (Music, Dance, Drama, etc) 
Year Produced 2020 
Impact This product has increased access to opera, generated new research techniques and created economic returns. 
URL https://ulstertouringopera.com/
 
Title VR-HIT 
Description VR-HIT provides a tool that enables sports clubs, clinicians and players to empirically measure changes in brain function caused by concussion and chart a safe return to play. Movement is a powerful biomarker of brain function. A combination of immersive technologies and movement analytics can provide a window to brain function. VR-HIT harnesses the power of immersive, interactive virtual reality to manage Sports Related Concussion (SRC). Current concussion diagnostic tests lack objectivity when assessing the effects of concussion on movement responses. Indeed, behaviours such as balance and motor coordination are often observed and subjectively scored on a binary scale. VR-HIT captures human movement as a biomarker that can detect and monitor concussions. INICISIV has gained invaluable experience testing the application of VR in Sports, particularly with respect to helping goal keepers understand and improve their responses (CleanSheet). With UK Sports Bodies administering over 5M concussion tests annually, concussion management and care, presents a significantly larger market segment that straddles healthcare. The Professional Rugby Injury Surveillance Project (PRISP) report (RFU, 2019) showed that for the seventh consecutive year the most common injury (20%) in English Premiership matches was concussion. It was also identified as being the most severe injury (i.e. time taken to return-to-play). Similar statistics have emerged from Scotland, Ireland, Wales and France showing the incidence of concussions increasing rapidly not only in matches but also in contact and semi-contact training sessions. Although the international governing body (World Rugby) has put in place strict concussion testing protocols, there is concern in how they are implemented. Indeed, the FFR (France) has come under intense scrutiny after 4 players (2 professional/2 amateur) died last season. INCISIV organised and ran a concussion workshop hosted by Scottish Rugby in December 2019. This workshop, attended by senior Clinical Directors and researchers from a range of different sports (rugby, football, icehockey), concluded that current tests do not objectively measure the effects of concussion, and are failing to protect both players and staff. All clinical directors acknowledged an urgent need to address current test deficiencies and expressed significant interest in the potential of VR technology to fill the void. 
Type Of Art Artefact (including digital) 
Year Produced 2020 
Impact This project is not incremental but represents a real step-change in how immersive technologies can be exploited. VR-HIT is an innovative new product that combines hardware, software and scientifically validated analytics to detect, monitor and rehabilitate players who have suffered a concussion or traumatic brain injury (TBI). This project will create new value for immersive technology products in market segments currently underexploited (sport and healthcare), which in turn will drive economic growth in N.Ireland and the UK. 
URL https://incisiv.tech/
 
Title Wish You Were Here 
Description Wish You Were Here is an online oral history documentary project created by Grace Sweeney and Laura O'Connor. The project is part of the Future Screens NI and Northern Ireland Screen initiative 'Rewriting the Narrative'. The initiative sponsored a number of projects responding to the impact of Covid-19 on the creative industries in the following areas: community, creativity, environment, work/life balance & education. Wish You Were Here was created as a way for older members of the community who were shielding or isolating to engage in storytelling, where their stories could be shared with strangers without them having to leave the house. The theme that ties the stories together is 'first time abroad'. Considering the current situation where travel is limited we wanted to transport viewers into the world of the contributors journey. The eight video interviews use personal archive, open source footage and archive provided by Northern Ireland Screen Digital Film Archive to take you on the journey. Each video is displayed alongside personal archive images. These images have been used to create unique postcards. The postcards have links and QR Codes that you scan with the camera on your phone and you will immediately land on the video webpage. At the bottom of the page is a comment box. If you leave a comment for the contributor it will be published in a photo book at the end of the project. 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2020 
Impact Wish You Were provided older people the opportunity to tell their story and to remain connected during the crisis increasing happiness through storytelling and providing a legacy project for future generations which aids in the better understanding of the experience of older people. The Project was commended by the Commissioner for Older People. 
URL https://www.wishyouwerehereni.co.uk
 
Title World Turned Upside Down 
Description Small Town Big Dreams presents a 4-part audio documentary exploring personal stories of how the Covid-19 crisis has impacted on the work, communities, networks and health of creative entrepreneurs, freelancers and workers within the creative industry sector in Northern Ireland entitled The World Turned Upside Down. EPISODE 1: THE GREAT DISRUPTION The Great Disruption kicks off our 4 part audio documentary exploring the stories of creative industries entrepreneurs during coronavirus. It takes us back to the very beginning of 2020 guests - Jacky, Patricia, Noxy, Sean D and Sean McC - tell us their stories and experiences from the start of lockdown. Episode 1 Guests: Jacky Sheridan, Patricia McGinnis (Maven), Sean Duncan (Red Cap Productions), Noxy and Sean McCafferty (Hypixel & Hytale) EPISODE 2: TOGETHER APART In Part 2, we look at how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected communities and networks. Guests include architect Aisling Rusk, videographer and fellow podcaster Ryan Ward, film-maker David Moody, and arts organisation director Nisha Tandon. Episode 2 Guests: Aisling Rusk, Ryan Ward, David Moody, and Nisha Tandon. EPISODE 3: CONNECTION LOST? The restrictions of the Covid-19 pandemic have escalated the adoption of digital communication technologies into almost everyone's work and personal lives in a way that was unthinkable just a year ago. In Part 3 of the World Turned Upside Down, listeners hear stories of how creatives have adapted to a life lived (and worked) almost exclusively online - the successes and challenges, disappointments and surprises. Guests include Shannon Dolores O'Neill from punk band Sister Ghost, stationary designer Emma Johnston, Newry-based American artist Lauren Taylor, and marketing expert Andi Jarvis. Episode 3 Guests: Shannon Delores O'Neill (Sister Ghost, GRSNI), Emma Johnston (Hunter Paper Co., Hunt & Gather), Andi Jarvis (Eximo Marketing Strategy) & Lauren Taylor (Lauren Taylor Creates) EPISODE 4: STAYING SANE In Part 4, focuses upon how creative entrepreneurs have attempted to maintain mental health and wellbeing during this very unusual time. With the world having been turned upside down, many people have struggled to make sense of the new normal. With so much uncertainty and when what's at risk is as serious as people potentially dying, it's no wonder that it has been so difficult to stay mentally well at this time. For people living alone, this time has potentially been one of the most lonely experiences of their entire lives. For the introverts, this has been a chance to share their tips on how to enjoy solitude. The haves and have nots have been those with gardens and those without, those who can work from home and those who work front line, those who have good health and those who have underlying health conditions. In some ways, this time has highlighted the stark differences between people's lifestyles. But 2020 has also offered a pause for thought. It has forced a re-evaluation of life and work work. Whether we really need to go to all of those in-person work meetings, or even have as many. Whether we need to buy fast fashion or whether we can do with consuming less. Whether we should finally do that thing we have been putting off, whether that is learning to cook or proposing to a partner. But has 2020 fundamentally changed us as a society? Has it permanently altered the way in which we work in the creative industries? Or is it a glitch in time before we simply move on and Covid-19 eventually becomes just a distant memory? In the season finale guests include creative entrepreneurs Tessa Ann of the Sound Healing Spa, Matt & Abby Bonner from Forever Social and comedian Paddy Raff. In our season finale you hear from creative entrepreneurs Tessa Ann of the Sound Healing Spa, Matt & Abby Bonner from Forever Social and comedian Paddy Raff. Based on the research of this audio documentary Academic Dr Brian Dixon produced The COVID 19 Toolkit https://www.smalltownbigdreams.co.uk/covid19-toolkit 
Type Of Art Artefact (including digital) 
Year Produced 2020 
Impact The provision of inspiration and support to freelance, startup, micro and small businesses in the creative industries in Northern Ireland survive and enable them to adapt and thrive beyond the Covid-19 pandemic through creativity and innovation. Reduction in anxiety levels of those within the creative industries. The provision of space for creatives to connect for support and motivation addressing social isolation, loneliness and lack of inspiration which can impact upon creativity A tool to address the lack of connectivity within the region, with some regions including the North West being particularly isolated. This can impact access to opportunities, a particularly in the absence of air and/or cross border travel isn't possible or as affordable beyond the pandemic. Many creatives' workspaces have closed and they have been forced to work from home without access to adequate space, facilities and Internet. This project has provided a mechanism to address this during the ongoing pandemic to the creative industries students, graduates and startup businesses. 
URL https://www.smalltownbigdreams.co.uk/
 
Title XR alley - Belfast Media Festival 
Description Thanks to HTC, Future Screens NI, Digital Catapult NI and BBC Rewind, a collection of exciting and ground-breaking XR experiences and technologies was available at the festival for everyone to sample. A few smaller demos could be found on the first floor of the MAC, as well as a larger display - XR Alley - just across the street on the ground floor of Ulster University, offering some of the world's best XR entertainment including award-nominated content from the 2019 Raindance Festival. This provided an invaluable method for us to get engagment on our funding oppotunites as well as giving the local companies involved in the XR alley some well deserved exposure to the local XR community 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2019 
Impact Gains acquired in public recgonition of what Future Screens can do for those who wish you persue projects and businesses within the XR field, in addition to this we also were made aware of further opportunities that were offered to exhibitors at the XR alley including invitations to futher showcase their work at other events. 
 
Description Ulster University, Experimental Design, NI Screen and Queen's University Belfast are the lead partners in the £13mn UKRI Industrial Challenge Creative Cluster Future Screens NI. The 2016-2017 draft PFG proposes that NI has 'an innovative creative society where people can fulfil their potential'. The draft NI Industrial Strategy and the Invest NI Business Strategy 2017 identify 'digital and creative technologies' as one of six 'broad' areas of the economy where Northern Ireland has 'world-class capabilities, 'further noting that 'NI has gained a global reputation in the creative industries with notable success in the TV and film industry as well as the burgeoning animation sector.' In spite of this there has been significant underinvestment in R&D within the local creative economy. Businesses within the sector face challenges in drawing traditional forms of R&D funding. The Creative Industries Sector Deal (2018) highlights the need to 'provide a more consistent national spread of creative industries' confirming the Belfast region as one of 47 UK creative clusters and noting its 'high concentration and growth'. The Sector Deal states 'The problem is not that London is too big, but that other centres are too small. There is enormous potential to grow other leading hubs across the UK.' Ulster University and NI Screen developed the Future Screens NI Creative Cluster in order to address these challenges by together securing £13mn to invest in R&D within the creative industries in NI. The injection of support on the scale provided by Future Screens NI will drive growth from 0.9% to 2.7% of UK GVA in the sector generating £2.1 billion GVA and creating 20,000 new jobs in NI. Ulster University and NI Screen together nurture the local creative sector and support the development of R&D. The partnership works tightly together meeting on a weekly basis to ensure that the project meets industry research needs and bring the creative industries together at least once a month to drive forward R&D and innovation.

Data from DCMS had suggested that Northern Ireland was the only region in the UK to see a decline in GVA for Creative Industries since 2010 (a 11.7% decrease). However, the revised regional GVA data - used in the July 2019 release - has increased both NI's total GVA and the amount generated by Creative Industries, due to a changing estimate of the 'headquarters effect' and other factors. The GVA for Creative Industries in Northern Ireland (NI) in 2017 was 1.07% of the UK's total. This share has remained low for the entire period of 2010-2017, consistently amounting to c1% of the total UK Creative Industries GVA. This size of share is similar to both Wales and the North East, though the growth over the period is closer to the latter rather than the former. These figures illustrate the important role that FSNI can play in facilitating growth within the Creative Industries albeit in the context of a fragile economy and the more pronounced risk of Brexit within the NI context.

Future Screens NI is a £13mn creative cluster in Northern Ireland. The partnership is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), as well as the industry. It brings together Ulster University, Queen's University Belfast, and key industrial partners, who are at the forefront of the local creative economy. Future Screens NI has the aim of delivering expert technical skills, opportunity and growth across:

• Film and broadcast
• Animation
• Games
• Immersive technologies

Addressing challenges and building on existing strengths in creative industries in the region, areas of focus 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
• Enhancing the high-level skills pipeline in 2D and 3D animation

Future Screens NI, the partnership between Ulster and NI Screen is a knowledge transfer partnership investing £13mn in R&D within the local creative industries. Together Ulster University, NI Screen and partners have invested £1.9mn in R&D in Year One. Ulster University is the lead partner and provides leadership, academic expertise, and investment throughout and has achieved the following achievements which would not have been possible without the partnership between Ulster University in the project and which address the challenges outlined in the question above:
• Future Screens NI and NI Screen have established a funding ecosystem to direct and support industry and SMEs within the sector to ensure that there is a funding progression pathway.
• The Investment of £1.9 million in the NI Creative Economy in Year One
• Created a local Creative Industries Innovation Hub
• 25 live R&D projects in gaming, med-tech, immersion, animation, mental health and wellbeing, and pain relief which are at the forefront of R&I within new and emerging technologies
• Future Screens NI and NI Screen have hosted over 20 R&D lead events attended by more than 5,000 creative industry representatives and academics
• 22 members of academic staff who are leaders in their field working collaboratively with the industry attended by more than 4,000 Creative industries reps and showcasing 30 local R&D projects
• 4 PhD students undertaking Future Focused research in Cinematics, Design Thinking and Leadership.
• Built a research partnership comprising 20 Lead industry partners including: RTÉ, NI Screen, BBC, BCC, Digital Catapult, Invest NI, Innovate UK, Tourism NI, Retinize, Humain, The Lyric Theatre, and 100 SMEs at the forefront of new immersive and emerging technologies including Alt Animation, Italic Pig Ltd, Taunt Ltd, Sentireal, Sixteen South, Incisiv, PreCog, NEON and JadeBlok.
• Built a global partnership involving the World Building Institute, Experimental Design, Disney, Warner Media, Industrial Light and Magic, HBO and The Romeros.
• Developed the Pixel Mill which is an R&D led Gaming and Innovation Hub which is home to 18 businesses and provides accommodation, mentoring, expertise and leadership development. Including building an R&D led network.
• Created 79 new R&D led jobs within the creative sector in Year 1.
• Worked collaboratively with Italic Pig on the Infinite Hotel which was nominated for Best Immersive Game at Raindance 2019. Italic Pig have been recognised as Game Studio of the Year, one a creative collaborative opportunity with Industrial Light and Magic, and secured the largest local investment in gaming R&D. Ulster University and Italic Pig have developed an R&D led sector changing AI solution to character generation in Immersive Gaming. Ulster University and Italic Pig secured an industry showcase at Beyond.
• Worked collaboratively with Retinize to develop solutions to real-time avatar capture for use in 6DoF (Degree of Freedom) virtual reality, augmented environments, app development, content creation and the pre-visualisation sectors in real-time. Ulster University assisted Retinize to attract significant investment.
• Developed a bespoke R&D led Leadership programme to 100 local creative industry businesses which has resulted in the development of new business models and created 10 new R&D led jobs
• Worked collaboratively with NI Screen develop a 4K rendering which will ensure that animation companies in NI can more cost effectively and efficiently render their content for new market demands, enabling the industry to remain competitive on a global scale.
• Future Screens NI and NI Screen have become embedded as a creative industry initiative within the Ormeau Baths Innovation Hub.
• The Hearios has the potential to stimulate listening skills at pre-school age
• 4k Rendering project has driven industry transformation and improved experience and return within the animation sector.
• Future Screens NI has participated in a series of well-received showcases at SXSW, and New York-New Belfast and is building strong collaborative partnerships with NY, Pennsylvania Los Angeles and China. Therefore network has been established towards realising the Global potential of the project.
• A number of public and sectoral engagement events are in development in partnership with the BBC.
• The Lead2Grow programme which has been developed to generate new leadership models commenced in March 2019 with an initial Lead2Grow Programme which was attended by 211 participants. The programme will go live in October 2019 with 30 registered participants.
• The Future Belfast collaboration with the World Building Institute is well underway. The World Building Framework which is in development has the potential to transform the local creative economy towards prosperity and growth particularly within hard to reach areas.

"Working with Ulster University has ensured we can invest in local talent in way that was never possible before"
Richard Williams, CEO of NI Screen

Future Screens NI (Ulster) and NI Screen together identified the problem of underinvestment in the local creative industries, the need to drive forward research and development within the local creative economy. Together the partnership worked closely with UKRI to ensure that the councils recognised the importance of investing in the regions. The partnership and their credible collaboration helped shape the creative cluster call and ensured that there would be an emphasis on investment outside of London.

Together the partnership build a creative cluster comprising 20 Lead industry partners including: RTÉ, NI Screen, BBC, BCC, Digital Catapult, Invest NI, Innovate UK, Tourism NI, Retinize, Humain, The Lyric Theatre, and 100 SMEs at the forefront of new immersive and emerging technologies including Alt Animation, Italic Pig Ltd, Taunt Ltd, Sentireal, Sixteen South, Incisiv, PreCog, NEON and JadeBlok alongside significant global partners including the World Building Institute, Experimental Design, Disney, Warner Media, Industrial Light and Magic, HBO and The Romeros.

• Working together Ulster and NI Screen secured £6m from the AHRC to which NI Screen Northern Ireland Screen is the national screen agency for Northern Ireland committed a further £4.8mn to invest in R&D within the sector.
• Working together Ulster and NI Screen secured a further £2.2mn from additional industry partners. This would not have been achieved without the strength and commitment of the two lead partners. Ulster and NI Screen.
• Ulster and NI Screen have developed a strong working partnership that meets weekly in order to drive forward local R&D investment and to ensure that once businesses have completed the application and verification processes, they can access finance quickly and efficiently.
• Ulster University and NI Screen work together to ensure that industry applicants are effectively matched to Academic Collaborators to ensure that R&D led projects are co-created, meet the excellence requirements of the AHRC, are deliverable and address industry requirements.
• Together Ulster University and NI Screen have invested £1.9mn. Ulster University and NI Screen provide a unique funding stream in which £100,000 of the finance goes to the industry partner to address their R&D led challenge. This investment has generated 79 jobs.
• Working together in close partnership NI Screen have ensured that Future Screens NI is the strongest project within the entire UK Industrial Strategy Programme. This was announced by Professor Andrew Chitty, Challenge Director - Creative Industries Clusters and Audience of the Future Programme at the AHRC Beyond Conference 2019.

Future Screens NI at Forefront of the Industrial Strategy Programme

• Ulster University and NI Screen have established the Pixel Mill, a unique R&D led Gaming Incubation Hub home to 18 businesses.
• Ulster University and NI Screen have transformed the local creative sector by providing infrastructure, creating a strong ecosystem, supporting industry to advance along the R&D funding pipeline and to access prestigious funding and mentoring opportunities from Innovate UK and Industrial Light and Magic.
• Future Screens NI and NI Screen hosted the NI Assembly STEM All-Party Group in order to ensure that the local STEM ecosystem and Political Structures understand the important role of the Creative Industries in the generation and application of new and emerging technologies.
• Future Screens NI and NI Screen have supported A Baseline Study of Digital Education in Primary Schools. This report was published in January 2020. All of the key stakeholders within the Education and Technology Sector were represented. Key Notes were delivered by the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People and the Chief Executive of the EA. The event was attended by 120 delegates. DigiSkills has been included in the draft Economic Strategy.
• NI Screen and Future Screens NI have developed the Storytelling for the Futures project. Northern Ireland Screen's strategy sets out to develop six 'sectors' within the Northern Ireland screen industries:
1. Large-scale (film and television projects with budgets over $35m)
2. Animation (feature films and series)
3. Television Drama (including children's drama)
4. Independent film (including feature documentary)
5. Interactive (games, VR and AR)
6. Factual and Entertainment Television

Northern Ireland Screen, the Seamus Heaney Centre and Future Screens NI have collaborated in order to determine what the storytelling challenges within each of the six sectors are, how they might be overcome, and what the future opportunities for writers might be. In doing so the partnership has delivered six storytelling workshops attended by 300 participants. 4 participants from the programme have identified storytelling challenges and successfully secured funding from Future Screens NI to address these challenges.
• NI Screen and Future Screens NI have developed a vital research and development project into 4K rendering which is assisting local animation companies in Northern Ireland to more cost effectively and efficiently render their content for new market demands, enabling the industry to remain competitive on a global scale. This initial project has focused upon reducing rendering times, rather than improving processing larger 4K file sizes.
• NI Screen and Future Screens have collaborated to work with Italic Pig on the Infinite Hotel. The Infinite Hotel has achieved significant recognition and was short listed for Best Immersive at Raindance.

https://www.italicpig.com/italic-pig/2019/9/25/italic-pig-nominated-for-raindance-film-festival-immersive-summit-award

The current Character Generator does not function to the level wish Italic Pig wish to achieve. Future Screens NI and NI Screen are collaborating to create a second generation Character Generator that uses fewer assets in an innovative method, and uses machine learning to create believably randomised characters (known as "Randos") that are appealing to the player.

The Infinite Hotel was featured in the Showcase at the AHRC Beyond Conference. Beyond is the annual R&D conference for the creative industries.
In 2019 we will explore the intersection between Artificial Intelligence and creativity. The event took place from the 20-21 November 2019 in Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh.

https://beyondconference.org/showcase/the-infinite-hotel/

• NI Screen and Future Screens NI are collaborating on The Hearios. The Hearios is a new and exciting stop motion animation and live action mixed media series aimed at a pre-school audience featuring a family of musical moles who teach children the important developmental skill of active listening. Future. In order to make The Hearios stand out from its competitors, have carried out user testing with the target audience, in collaboration with QUB, to provide information about the existing listening skills and vocabulary of pre-schoolers and how they are affected by the central conceit of the show. The series has been designed to improve children's active listening skills which have been shown to assist with their development in areas such as speech, language skills and memory. ALT have conducted user testing in order to establish the effectiveness of the show in capturing children's attention to the sounds presented and their development of a vocabulary of sounds. Educational aspects of a series are of huge importance to broadcasters, especially public service broadcasters who have a particular remit to inspire and educate their audiences.

https://altanimation.wetransfer.com/downloads/46cb97ed83a61c13dc7d757eb5d6172220191028135926/da75d8

• NI Screen, Future Screens NI and Sixteen South are collaborating in order to develop and implement new software which will be instrumental in creating a new and bespoke workflow, purely designed to create animated content that can reach its audience directly through a streaming platform which will have a 48 hour turnover for each episode.
• NI Screen, Future Screens NI and Darkley Films are collaborating to deliver a 5 minute live action therapeutic VR experience for victims and perpetrators of mental abuse. This will deliver a training tool for frontline medical and care staff. It is the first VR platform targeted to mental abuse.

Additional Supporting Information
https://vimeo.com/372602129 (Video)
https://tinyurl.com/vydpuku (images)
https://tinyurl.com/rqmkwmy (report)
https://creativeindustriesclusters.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Clusters-Booklet-Story-So-Far-FINAL-web.pdf
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZY6eQbPLGU&feature=youtu.be
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42mItwjPW8I&feature=youtu.be
Exploitation Route The outcomes from Future Screens NI illustrate the impact of investing in place and space, and investing the creative industries. The initial investment has created 79 jobs and stimulated outcomes across a range of areas ranging from rendering, med-tech, gaming for good, animation and VR. The project has emphasised the important role of new, emerging and immersive technology within current society and breadth of application and use.
The project has underlined the importance of STEAM within the economy and education. The term "STEAM" has been devised and used to represent STEM plus the arts - humanities, language arts, dance, drama, music, visual arts, design and new media. Understanding science and mathematics knowledge and practices, as well as technological and engineering practices, has become a priority for educational programs across the world (Kelley & Knowles, 2016) . The policy framework within the UK promotes science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) integration both in and out of schools (STEM Learning, 2018) . Within the Northern Ireland Context the Policy Framework is laid out within Success Through STEM (Department for the Economy, 2011) which was developed in response to the STEM Review in 2009 (Department and Education and Department for Employment and Learning, (2009) . It is noted in the STEM Strategy, that better linkages with local companies, particularly SMEs and micro businesses, will facilitate a more coordinated approach to articulating local demand, improving sector attractiveness, highlighting available opportunities, continuous professional development and careers advice and guidance. Engaging with these companies is the single biggest challenge in taking the STEM Strategy forward (Department for the Economy 2011) . It is Future Screen's NI's position that the challenges facing the STEM community reconcile with the STEAM community. Future Screens NI has developed the much needed infrastructure through which to engage Universities, Industry, SMEs and microbusinesses in the implementation of actions required within the STEM Strategy to address challenges associated with the growth the economy through capacity development. There are important lessons here for the economy and society. The learning within our space reinforces the requirement for credible digiskills within the education system.
Research by Ulster University commissioned by NI Screen and Future Screens NI has shown that Primary Schools teachers have reported low levels of confidence when using computers and digital devices. The report "Digital Education in Primary Schools" authored by Professor Linda Clarke shows that just 57% of Teachers participating in the study reported that they felt fairly confident when using computers and digital devices. A further 10% reporting that they felt threatened by the thought of using a digital device. The report was launched by the NI Commissioner for Children and Young People, Koulla Yiasouma on Thursday the 16th of January at the Ormeau Baths Innovation Hub at an event hosted by both Future Screens NI and Northern Ireland Screen, organisations which are at the cutting edge of rapid advances in digital technology.
The recommendations within the report point towards the need for greater investment in, and a more strategic approach to Digital Education. Northern Ireland is the only region within the UK without a Digital Strategy. The last long-term development plan and ICT framework for ICT policy was set out by the government over two decades ago, namely: the 'Strategy for Education Technology in Northern Ireland'. This challenge has been taken up by the Department for the Economy within the draft Economic Strategy. The report was endorsed by all of the key stake holders within Education including the Education Authority, CCEA, The NI Commissioner for Children and Young People and others.
https://www.futurescreens.org/news/2020/1/16/primary-school-teachers-report-low-levels-of-confidence-in-using-computers-and-digital-devices
Northern Ireland has faced particular challenges in accessing Research Council funding, particularly large scale funding through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ICSF), Innovate UK, Global Challenge Research Fund (GCRF) and other large-scale opportunities. This are not associated with the level of research excellence within the region but as a result of the peripheral location of the region. Future Screens NI demonstrates the importance and impact of investing within the region.
There is broad consensus across the political spectrum to increase total investment in UK R&D. To achieve the target of 2.4% of GDP invested in UK R&D within ten years, and a longer-term goal of 3%, the UK must create a vibrant environment that fosters and encourages research and innovation across public services, universities and business, as well as attracting global investment. However, there are region specific implications associated with the implementation of these targets. Most importantly, there is no guarantee that increases in investment in R&D at the Westminster level will be reflected in the NI budget.
• While the UK spent £527 on R&D per head of population in 2017, there were large differences between the nations. England spent £554 per head and Scotland £466. Northern Ireland spent £371 which is well below the UK average.
• The NI Department for the Economy (DfENI) investment in R&D in 2016 was £47million, which is £25 per head of population compared to the British average of £31 per person.
• In Scotland, the Scottish Funding Council invested £279 million in R&D which is £52 per head of population, which is more than double the local per capita investment of £25 by DfENI, and well above the UK average.
• The level of investment by the Research Councils in 2016 was £32 million £17 per capita in comparison to the UK average of £31 per capita.

The success of Future Screens NI and the recognition that the project is at the Forefront of the Industrial Strategy emphasises the importance of investing in the region inn the context of Excellence and provides a model for Future Investment. The Creative Economy team within the AHRC have created a strong framework to support regional and UK Wide Investment. This is an important finding in the context of the move towards the establishment of Future Funding Streams in the context of Brexit.

https://www.futurescreens.org/news/2019/11/25/future-screens-ni-are-at-the-forefront-of-the-industrial-strategy-programme

There is potential for funding mechanisms of this kind to address the challenges experienced within the region which are associated with:

• Continued disparity in the level of funding invested by DfENI in R&D in comparison with the UK average.
• Reduced draw down of Research Council funding within the region in comparison with the UK average.
• Pronounced challenges in maximising draw down from the large scale opportunities within the ICSF and GCRF.

Future Screens NI is pivotal to deliver:
• The NI draft PFG which proposes that NI has 'an innovative creative society where people can fulfil their potential'.
• The draft NI Industrial Strategy and the Invest NI Business Strategy 2017 identify 'digital and creative technologies' as one of six 'broad' areas of the economy where Northern Ireland has 'world-class capabilities, 'further noting that 'NI has gained a global reputation in the creative industries with notable success in the TV and film industry as well as the burgeoning animation

Future Screen NI has provided a pivotal investment programme which is addressing the long-term and significant underinvestment in R&D within the local creative economy. It is also addressing significant challenges regarding the lack of appropriate infrastructure to drive forward the local creative industries. Through the creation of a Creative Industries Innovation Hub located within Ormeau Baths and ongoing outreach to the North West. However it is essential that Future Screens NI is not considered to be a replacement for an alternative to other public funding streams which creative industries already face challenges in accessing. Future Screens NI is a unique addition to the local funding pipeline and not an alternative to current programmes. Businesses within the sector face challenges in drawing traditional forms of R&D funding. The Creative Industries Sector Deal (2018) highlights the need to 'provide a more consistent national spread of creative industries' confirming the Belfast region as one of 47 UK creative clusters and noting its 'high concentration and growth'. The Sector Deal states 'The problem is not that London is too big, but that other centres are too small. There is enormous potential to grow other leading hubs across the UK.' Ulster University and NI Screen developed the Future Screens NI Creative Cluster in order to address these challenges by together securing £13mn to invest in R&D within the creative industries in NI. The injection of support on the scale provided by Future Screens NI will drive growth from 0.9% to 2.7% of UK GVA in the sector generating £2.1 billion GVA and creating 20,000 new jobs in NI. Ulster University and NI Screen together nurture the local creative sector and support the development of R&D. The partnership works tightly together meeting on a weekly basis to ensure that the project meets industry research needs and bring the creative industries together at least once a month to drive forward R&D and innovation.
Data from DCMS had suggested that Northern Ireland was the only region in the UK to see a decline in GVA for Creative Industries since 2010 (a 11.7% decrease). However, the revised regional GVA data - used in the July 2019 release - has increased both NI's total GVA and the amount generated by Creative Industries, due to a changing estimate of the 'headquarters effect' and other factors. The GVA for Creative Industries in Northern Ireland (NI) in 2017 was 1.07% of the UK's total. This share has remained low for the entire period of 2010-2017, consistently amounting to c1% of the total UK Creative Industries GVA. This size of share is similar to both Wales and the North East, though the growth over the period is closer to the latter rather than the former. These figures illustrate the important role that FSNI can play in facilitating growth within the Creative Industries albeit in the context of a fragile economy and the more pronounced risk of Brexit within the NI context.

ccording to the most recent data produced by DCMS, the Creative Industries has the most jobs (2.0 million). Growth is also apparent within the Digital Sector which accounts for 1.5 million jobs. The number of jobs in the Creative Industries increased by 30.6% from 2011: three times the growth rate of employment in the UK overall (10.1%) (DCMS, 2019[1]). The most recent figures from DCMS show that within Creative Industries, Digital and Telecoms sectors, fewer than 10% of jobs were held by those considered 'less advantaged', compared to the UK average of (32.3%)[2]. The Creative industries and the Digital have higher levels of participation of BAME and a greater proportion of employees who were born outside of the UK. These figures illustrate that capacity exists within the Creative sector to realise diversity and inclusion as exemplified through significant capacity for expansion and some evidence of greater diversity. That said the challenge of delivering diversity and inclusion persists.

Nowhere is this challenge more paramount than within the Northern Ireland context. Northern Ireland represents a society transitioning out of a prolonged conflict. Growth and expansion within the Creative Industries within the Northern Ireland context presents the opportunity to create employment that transcends beyond the challenges of sectarian divisions and in doing so presents opportunities to those people and communities who have as yet been unable to fully benefit. Future Screen NI which is a £13mn creative cluster in Northern Ireland funded by the Industrial Strategy via the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), as well as the industry has openly identified this challenge and taken measures to resolve it. These measures although at an early stage of development have the potential to transform both the creative and employment landscape within the NI context.

The NI Creative Industries Cluster has the potential to be a sustainable creative ecosystem operating at local, national and international levels. It is built upon well-developed resilient and tacit networks and supports, economic, cultural, and social, whilst also having the clear potential for new, exciting and economically sustainable international capabilities. For a region emerging from a period of conflict and social and cultural division and dysfunction, the creative industries sector offers an alternative and successful paradigm for economic attainment, cultural expression, and personal growth. This has generated the potential for the creative industries to provide a more neutral space in a transitional period (outside the accepted cultures of binary opposition), differences between approaches to education and skills across divided communities, and the impact of deindustrialization (especially in working class communities). Whilst recognising that there is need to construct new narratives for the region, which are grounded in the economic, creative, social, and cultural ecology of Northern Ireland, and to bring these stories to the communities where they can most make a difference.
In order to achieve this the project has embarked upon a Future Focused Research and Development Stream with the overall aim of widening participation in the creative industries. This ambitious endeavour is built upon a partnership developed between the Future Screens NI and the World Building Institute in Los Angeles which is led by Future Technologist, Alex McDowell, also well-known for his role as the Creative Director of the Minority Report. World building is a design practice which has been applied to significant societal challenges in a variety of contexts including Berlin and Saudi Arabia. The holistic and collaborative structure which is applied through world building is particularly relevant within the NI context given the unique nature of both the traditional and creative economy, and the significant socio-cultural challenges that persist within a society transitioning from a prolonged conflict. The location of world building within both organic and fluid narrative presents the potential to devise a new framework which can be applied across a variety of significant challenges which persist including the need to generate a social and cultural dividend alongside economic growth, to build inclusivity and to both generate and share prosperity, particularly within communities and populations considered to be left behind. The world building approach both identifies and listens to domain expertise that extends beyond the technical knowledge of both design and production generating seeds which can build a framework with the capacity to propel the development of infrastructure, generate and utilise resources, identify and resolve societal or cultural challenges, empower people and build capacity (McDowell, 2019)[3]. The framework will pioneer new technologies with the overall aim of sharing human and financial resources with those who have as yet been excluded.

There are of course already existing examples of good practice within the NI context. The Gaming industry in NI includes a proliferation of young women entrepreneurs who are at the forefront of technical advances within the region. The region is also home to a number of unique initiative which have the overall aim of broadening access to the creative industries. Future Screens NI have funded an initiative with Farset Labs and researchers at Queen's University Belfast which is exploring the ways in which immersive sound spaces can provide an accessible creative space for disabled musicians. The region is also home to Paper Owl who developed the children's TV series Pablo which follows the adventures of a five year old autistic boy.
The region also has recognised strengths and unrealised potential in VR/AR, Machine Learning and Data Analytics. Future Screens NI has the potential to act as vehicle to stimulate the creative industries and digital sector in a manner which advances the whole of society whilst recognising the need to apply technology towards addressing economic societal challenges in order to achieve better outcomes for the economy, society and the environment. The World Building has the potential be extended towards addressing both the local and global challenge of developing technology for good.
Whilst Future Screens NI identified the need to leverage the social and economic dividend from investment in the Creative industries and is developing a mechanism to deliver greater diversity and inclusion building upon the uniqueness of both the expertise and challenges within the region. There remains the added challenge to government to ensure that data and policy developments keep up.
Sectors Creative Economy,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Government, Democracy and Justice

URL https://www.futurescreens.org/
 
Description Future Screens NI has become an integral part of the creative industries economy in NI. This assertion, evidenced by the stated views of leading companies in the region, is by far the most important thing which can be said about the first year of operations. FSNI has become a recognised R&D funding source alongside longer established bodies such as NI Screen and Invest NI. The decision to install the FSNI offices in the Ormeau Baths complex was also central to the cluster being seen as residing in the industry rather than in the HEIs. The Open Call structure initiated through an Expression of Interest has been vital in advancing the understanding of R&D as opposed to 'normal' product development. The meetings arranged with every applicant have resulted in a more focused R&D project in most cases and where a concept was not fundable the applicant was given support to reapply at a later stage. The 'reverse fellowship concept' has also been more popular than anticipated with the result that it has been rebranded and is being officially launched a Future Fellowships call. There is evidence that in a number of company cases (Alt Animation, ItalicPig) the speed with which funding was allocated allowed for the completion of pitches and product from which significant further funding can be leveraged. FSNI has been central to the emergence of a Belfast City Deal bid and a further FSNI funding application for £2.5 million has been submitted to Invest NI at their request. The Management Team (MT) are far from complacent, however, since the Challenge Call aspect of the work of FSNI has been slower to develop but it is hoped to have one major call live before the end of the calendar year. The positive nature of much of this work is also tempered by over-arching concerns. The much needed debate about the definition of growth in the NI context has been difficult to advance with an industry presumption that 'normal' definitions of extractive, default or spillover economic growth is sufficient to explain the creative industry in NI and indeed to allow it to evolve in a manner which embeds the cluster at the centre of the NI economy. The experience of this first year underlines the developmental thrust of the work of FSNI and this debate will be a key focus of Work Package 2 in the coming year. The governance aspects of the work of FSNI have proven robust and supportive. The weekly Management Team meetings have underpinned the HEI collaboration and the industry partner input has been invaluable to the MT conversations. The support of the major partners in FSNI has also been evident in the work of the Steering Group which has opted to meet three times a year rather than the proposed two and which plays a central role in the assessment of full applications. In general the key partners have been supportive and encouraging where necessary but, more importantly, critical and mentoring when the occasion demanded. While FSNI has, of course, developed a communications policy and a necessary online presence, it is in the field of public visibility that the cluster has been most active, and indeed most effective. Presentations have been made at seventeen major events in NI (many joint presentations with the Director and Deputy Director) and the Director is working with an academic/industry group in Dublin to advance a cluster programme for the Republic of Ireland. FSNI has been represented at leading NI events such as the Belfast Media Festival, conferences and symposia and in the performance space, most notably through sponsorship at the Lyric Theatre where a cluster champion, Dr Geraldine Hughes was performing. There is no doubt this visibility has been central to FSNI having carved out its own identity space in the creative industries sector. Future Screens NI is both integral to and embedded within the creative industries economy in NI. Throughout year one the project has been operating within has been operating in a within a liminal space due to the political crisis and the very recent re-establishment of the NI Executive and Assembly, the continued and pronounced risk of Brexit and the overall fragility of the region's economy. Growth and expansion within the Creative Industries within the Northern Ireland context presents the opportunity to create employment that transcends beyond the challenges of sectarian divisions and in doing so presents opportunities to those people and communities who have as yet been unable to fully benefit. Future Screens NI are unique in their ambition of driving forward opportunity, prosperity and growth in an inclusive manner with the potential to transform the local creative economy. This is demonstrated through the unique partnership with the World Building Institute and Experimental Design in LA. Future Screens NI have adopted a developmental approach within the cluster. This is exemplified through the live Open Call and the one to one capacity building meetings which are held with all applicants to ensure that the finite resources which industry and SMEs are targeted in the most appropriate manner and to reduce the risk of industry and SMEs submitting applications which are outside the scope of Future Screens NI and to ensure that applications are co-created through industry led academic partnerships. This approach has embedded a credible R&D approach within the cluster demonstrated by the current live projects which are being delivered across the themes of animation, VR, AR, Storytelling, AI character acceleration and rendering. This approach was also core to securing a partnership with the Arts Council NI which has resulted in a unique call which has invested £365,00 in the local creative industries for innovative work which includes partnership building across Universities, the creative industries, the artist community, and community organisations with the overall aim of increasing the use of an engagement within new, emerging and immersive technologies. Future Screens NI has been operating in a liminal space: liminal in relation to the absence of a devolved government until early 2020, liminal in relation to the status of the region post-Brexit and liminal in relation to the overall fragility of the region's economy. This fragility is underlined by work undertaken a part of work Package 4 aimed at developing creative industries data particular to NI. Provisional 2017 data from DCMS had suggested that Northern Ireland was the only region in the UK to see a decline in GVA for Creative Industries since 2010 (11.7% decrease). However, the revised regional GVA data - used in the July 2019 release - has increased both NI's total GVA and the amount generated by Creative Industries, due to a changing estimate of the 'headquarters effect' and other factors. Figure 1 shows the growth in GVA in Creative Industries has remained slightly ahead of total GVA growth over the period 2010 to 2017. Figure 1. Changes in GVA 2010-2017 (Source: Creative Industries Economic Estimates 2019 in Northern Ireland) According to DCMS estimates for the UK regions (shown in Table 2), the GVA for Creative Industries in Northern Ireland (NI) in 2017 was 1.07% of the UK's total. This share has remained low for the entire period of 2010-2017, consistently amounting to c1% of the total UK Creative Industries GVA. This size of share is similar to both Wales and the North East, though the growth over the period is closer to the latter rather than the former. These figures illustrate that a central aspect of driving growth for FSNI was to be seen as a focus for both the support of the creative industries and as a 'champion' for the sector in the region. The most important achievement during this year, therefore, has been the embedding of FSNI as an entity in its own right. The decision to site the FSNI offices in the Ormeau Baths industry hub has been central to that perception. Related to this is the embedding of the infrastructure to deliver the project efficiently, the creation of which necessitated prolonged negotiation with University departments unaccustomed to dealing with the novelty and complexities of the cluster programme. Much of this embedding has been achieved through intense engagement with both the local business community and key public bodies, engagement which included one-to-one discussions, meetings and public presentations. Where possible these presentations were delivered jointly by the two HEIs. With regard to R&D collaboration FSNI has to this point funded or committed to funding 25 projects and has invested £1.9million in the creative industries. There has also been a surprising degree of interest from companies in the 'reverse fellowship' scheme, so much so that a decision has been made to formalise the scheme, rebranding it as Future Fellowships which was publicly launched in November. Four Fellows are currently progressing through the approval process and will be announced imminently. A major strategic influence has been the central role of FSNI in the Belfast City Deal application for a Screen and Media Innovation Lab (SMIL). The Screen and Media Innovation Lab (SMIL) is the Universities' bid for capital to provide physical infrastructure to support the rapidly expanding activity in creative industries in the region, to support new creatively-led, technologically-driven R&D and to expand on the successes achieved already in the Creative Industries in Film and Broadcast, Animation, Immersive (VR/AR/MR) and Games Design and Development. Other successes include: • High level of industry engagement in the Cluster as exemplified by attendance at Future Screens NI launch initiatives. • Well attended Lead2Grow Conference and the development and delivery of leadership programmes via Lead to Grow • Support for the Pixel Mill, the games hub developed in collaboration with NI Screen which is currently home to seven SME's engaging in R&D and Games Development. The partnership with Future Screens NI and NI Screen has ensured that these businesses have had access to Incubation Space, Director Shadowing and Capacity building with respect to R&D, Technical Capacity, and Craft • Development of a Future Belfast project with the World Building Institute (to be delivered Feb 2020) • High level of engagement with the Future Screens NI Open Call • 25 live R&D projects which have been funded across a range of areas including VR, Immersive sound, artificial intelligence, storytelling, rendering and animation • 26 projects recently announced in collaboration with the Arts Council NI/ • Creation of a creative industries cluster working group in the Republic of Ireland with government planned for December 2019 • Development of international links - USA, Canada, China, Germany, South Africa. This has included several visits to the project with delegations from New York and Pennsylvania, and strong engagement with potential industry partners. • Collaborative projects with other sectors, particularly the fintech, medtech sectors • Recognition of Future Screens NI as a strategic and valuable STEAM project by the NI All Party Group on STEM and included within the group. • Significant SME and industry support as demonstrated by leverage of £700,000 realised within 2018-19. In total across the year FSNI has funded 1210 R&D collaborative projects and working with key partners has delivered a direct investment of £25.2mn to the local creative economy, £22.5mn of which has been co-invested by Future Screens NI partners, alongside £2mn invested from the grant from the AHRC via the Industrial Strategy Fund and a further £0.7mn of in kind support from both Ulster University and Queen's University Belfast. This R&D work has addressed all four creative sectors targeted by FSNI (animation, games, VR/AR, film/broadcast) and while animation and games still dominate the FSNI project landscape there has been an encouraging rise in VR/AR and film/broadcast funded research. Without being complacent this is as one would have expected and hoped. What was not expected, and has transformed the visibility of FSNI in the region, nationally and indeed internationally, is the work which has emerged as a direct response to the pandemic. The pandemic environment offered the platform for new forms of collaboration with community groups (and individuals), working with education bodies, planning strategically with key political departments, and intensifying working collaborations with key partners. The recently launched Future Foundation aimed at developing talent capacity building programmes is an example of this strategy as is the Future Creatives call, the Puttnam Scholarship scheme and, crucially, the emergence of the Ulster University Screen Media Innovation Lab (S.M.I.L.) virtual production studio, Queen's University's MediaLab and Ulster University's UViPrS Lab which are key aspects of the Belfast City Deal strategy grounded in the foundational work of FSNI. The separate parts of this infrastructural jigsaw have seen FSNI become embedded in the local economy and led to formal partnerships with both the Arts Council NI and key governmental agencies such as the Department for Communities. It has facilitated the advance of the social and cultural dividend in the most profound manner and moved FSNI into a key cultural brokerage role for the sector. Such has been the impact of this strategy that at the year-end Forbes Magazine, in an article titled Small But Mighty: The Rise of Northern Ireland as A Creative Hub stated that, Future Screens NI play(s) a crucial role in supporting and nurturing the creative industries. From its inception FSNI has been determined to create and environment which is both inclusive and industry focused. This was a key factor in the decision to site the FSNI offices in the Ormeau Baths complex, a hub for creative business in Belfast. Future Screens NI in partnership with the NI Screen co-located The Pixel Mill in Ormeau Baths. The Pixel Mill which is a Start-Up Space for Gaming Developers in the Region. Future Screens NI have established a funding ecosystem and hub through which to direct and support industry and SMEs within the sector to ensure that there is a funding progression pathway. The Future Screens NI Creative Industries Innovation Hub is now virtual due to Covid-19. The use of an Expression of Interest process for applicants to engage early with members of the Management team has been very successful (CICP4). It has enabled applicants to test their ideas and methodologies with FSNI in advance of a full application. This also served to place FSNI in a unique mentoring position in the sector. The creation of the weekly Future Tuesday events (delivered online during the pandemic period) also served to place FSNI at the forefront of the introduction and showcasing of new forms of work and the introduction of leading industry figures to the region. In the pandemic period these events have become a key meeting place at lockdown moments (CICP2/4). This mix of new product/content, sustained support and mentoring has given FSNI a leading role in the creative industries environment in the region as cited by a range of key industry and governmental commentators. It is also worth nothing that to date Future Screens NI partners have attracted £2mn in funding from other sources following investment from Future Screens NI. The initial structure of FSNI identified 20 Co-investigators who were seen as one of the central ways in which long-term research partnerships could be developed. These partnerships have yielded a number of ongoing relationships between HEI and industry often centred on established research centres. The animation centre at Ulster is a good example as is the work of the Sonic Arts Research Centre at Queen's University (CICP5). FSNI would argue that a particular form of academic entrepreneurship has emerged from this process where there is genuine learning synergy and equity between academic and industry partners (CICP5). Key partnerships addressing sustainability have also been formed with the education sector (see Benefit 5). Most significantly the work of FSNI addressing the challenges of Covid-19 has facilitated partnerships with policy-making bodies and political decision makers (CICP3). Formal agreements have been created with the Arts Council NI (ACNI), and FSNI now has representation on the advisory groups informing the decisions of the Department for Communities which has responsibility for the creative industries. Negotiations are also ongoing with the Department of Economy while FSNI has membership status on the STEM APG at the Stormont Assembly. These roles will allow FSNI (and the CICP) to inform future policy and funding initiatives in the region. The result of this is that FSNI is now seen as one of the main cultural broker for the creative industries in the region (CICP3/4). The onset of the Covid-19 crisis stimulated a direct collaboration with the Minister and Department for Communities (DfC) establishing Future Screens NI as a key cultural broker within the region delivering finance, expertise, innovation which has stimulated a collaborative ecosystem positioning arts and culture at the centre of developments within new and emerging technology within the region. This partnership stimulated a partnership approach between DfC, ACNI and Future Screens that has overseen the development and implementation of innovative emergency relief programmes across the region establishing 1089 R&D projects allowing individuals to innovate and sustain during the ongoing crisis. Increased access for creative and digital enterprises to access skills has been improved through a range of FSNI initiatives: 1. The Future Tuesdays event series has been delivered weekly throughout the ongoing crisis. The series has provided leadership and capacity building by featuring industry such as Brenda Romero and Professor Andrew Chitty who have shared important insights with local companies, access to finance through events featuring Venture Capital Funds, legal support through a bespoke legal series, Research and Development Capacity building in partnership with Innovate UK, alongside the provision of a space for the local creative industries to showcase, collaborate and increase capacity and friendship across the sector (CICP4) 2. The partnering of businesses with academic experts and relevant research groups stimulating 1210 collaborative projects (CICP1/2/4) 3. The funding of specific talent capacity building programmes which are linked to contract acquisition and employment creation. The work with Dog Ears in Derry is a good example of how immediate crisis funding allows an important sectoral contract to be delivered which may otherwise have been lost to the region (CICP1/2) 4. Partnering with key regional bodies to deliver talent capacity building. Examples include a number of schemes with NI Screen, for example the Puttnam Scholarships and the Stevenson Seminars, the Unity Developer programme with the Pixel Mill and the Young Film Makers Academy with Cinemagic which was delivered to both regional and international cohorts. (CICP2/4/5) 5. Most significant has been the establishment of the FSNI Future Foundation. A mentoring programme through the Future Foundation and as it develops it will ensure sustainability as further capacity building programmes will be added as necessary. ACNI has indicated a wish to fund a digital skills development programme through the Future Foundation and it is envisaged that at an appropriate time The Future Foundation will also have a physical location. While Northern Ireland has to manage the problems any creative industries sector will confront there are four issues which seem specific to this region. Firstly, there is the fact that the industry is still in many cases in its infancy and there is considerable work to be done of a developmental nature. Strategies to address this have been outlined in Benefit 1 above. Secondly, at this point in its development the industry is such that many workers with advanced skills have to relocate to find roles appropriate to their skill base. By partnering with companies doing globally recognised work FSNI has been developing strategies to address this. The work with HUMAIN and RETìníZEe are good examples of this (CICP3). Thirdly, most of the creative industry work is still mysterious to the general public and, indeed, to many of the developmental agencies in the region. If the industry is to become embedded in the public imagination (a 21st century form of Benedict Anderson's Imagined Community) this sector needs to have an infrastructural presence. FSNI has been the grounding for three initiatives, the City Deal Virtual Production Studio (SMIL), the Queen's University Media Lab, and the Ulster Virtual Production Studio (UViPRS) which will open in Summer 2021 (these initiatives are headed up by members of the FSNI Management Team) which will offer that visibility, sustainability and infrastructural presence. Finally, many parts of NI still operate under the worst forms of deprivation grounded in a post-conflict context which particularly disenfranchises young people who could be vital to the future of the creative industries (CICP2/4/5). FSNI has been addressing this through a partnership programme with local businesses and community groups called Story Engine which is being developed with the World Building Institute, Los Angeles (see Benefit 5 and Case Study 7 below) (CICP4). Four ongoing initiatives are advancing the work of FSNI in the economic and social space. Economic benefit to date can be seen from the baseline figures taken from the quarterly returns which show that FSNI has since its inception invested £25.2mn in the local creative economy, £22.5mn of which has been co-invested by Future Screens NI partners, alongside £2mn invested from the grant from the AHRC via the Industrial Strategy Fund and a further £0.7mn of in kind support from both Ulster University and Queen's University Belfast This investment has stimulated more than 1210 live R&D projects, created 223 high level jobs operating at the forefront of innovation both locally and globally and saved 60 jobs (CICP1/2/3). The Story Engine project in collaboration with the World Building Institute has allowed FSNI to make important connections between local communities, creative businesses, HEIs and political decision makers with the intention of developing employment through the acquisition of key skills while advancing alternative futures for those young people taking part. The pandemic crisis has impacted on the work but it is hoped that a reworked online version of the project will, in fact, reach more young people that was originally envisaged (CICP3). The third initiative is the emergence of formal partnership arrangements with the region's Education Authority. This will allow FSNI to inform the media and creative curricula and install the creative industries as an integral aspect of the careers advice being given in schools and colleges. The fourth initiative, and perhaps the most important is the work which has been undertaken with government to have the creative industries represented as of right on key political decision making fora. The success of this initiative will ensure sustainability and embed the creative industries in economic planning hence advancing both the economic and the social welfare of the region (CICP3). While FSNI has a clear economic remit and targets (employment creation, number of R&D projects funded, increase in GVA), there was always an understanding, expressed by key creative industry figures such as Sir Peter Bazalgette, that all the clusters funded from the UK Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund would also deliver 'social and cultural dividend'. FSNI has to attempt to negotiate a complex matrix which includes economy, community, education, business and policy while recognising that it is difficult (if not impossible) to separate the purely economic from the social and cultural since any growth in GVA for a region will automatically have an impact on the quality of life in that region. It is also the case that a rise in the value and visibility of the creative industries has opened a debate between these industries and those who consider themselves to be working in an 'art' context rather than an industry context. This debate is not new but has been magnified by the apparent funding focus on the creative industries and the tension has been given added weight by the onset of the COVID pandemic. As noted in other sections of this report, FSNI has, of course, already been developing a social and cultural project. This longer term project, Story Engine which is aimed at disaffected and disenfranchised youth in the 'flashpoint' areas of the region and it involves these young people being given the skills and tools to record in whatever medium their future stories. These stories will be mediated through machine learning to produce a meta-story which can act as a map for future youth policy. Crucially it also allowed the young people to partner with creative firms in the region and could lead to them accessing real employment. This project, however, is a one-off and while it will be sustained after the life of the FSNI cluster it was still only reaching a small, but crucially important, part of the NI community. The strategy FSNI developed during the pandemic was envisaged as having a more comprehensive social and cultural reach. It aimed to establish FSNI as a focus for cultural brokerage; with companies, with communities and with key political departments. The initial funding call of this strategy was launched in March 2020 and aimed to fund twenty groups/individuals to the sum of £5K. The criteria were that the projects funded should explore methodologies in any medium which would allow for new working practices commensurate with pandemic life and should be community facing. The response to this call was overwhelming, both in terms of numbers and in the breadth and creativity of the projects. Such was the quality that ultimately thirty-two projects were funded, addressing theatre, music, film making, animation, craft, script-writing and primary education. Communities involved ranged from support groups (autism for example), educational groups to the Chinese community in Belfast (Slide 7). (A showcase sample of these projects can be seen at https://beyondconference.org/video/future-screens-ni-highlights/ ) The impact of the call was threefold. Firstly, it led to other organisations seeking collaboration, for example Northern Ireland Screen and the Arts Council. Secondly, it created a visibility for FSNI which had not previously been as prominent. Thirdly, it brought FSNI to the attention of relevant governmental agencies, most notably the Department for Communities which has responsibility for the arts/culture/heritage budget in NI. This collaborative partnership with the Department for Communities has proved crucial since it has allowed FSNI to engage in real policy development. It has also facilitated a more nuanced relationship with the Arts Council NI this in turn allowing for a greater understanding between the industrial sector and the so-called 'fine art' sector. FSNI has been able to position itself as the broker in this engagements by contributing funding to key funding initiatives being launched by government through Arts Council NI. It also helped FSNI to articulate more fully the kinds of collaborative practice necessary to engage in cultural brokerage activity. At this point three such 'types' have been identified • Facilitatory collaboration: this applies to organisations or individuals with a well-developed and clearly articulated plan for the delivery of a project with potential for growth impact. In this case the fading allows the project to come to fruition • Developmental collaboration: in this case the collaboration allows individuals or organisations to take an idea to the point where it has a clearly defined structure and a plan for delivery. This type of collaboration is demanding of the host body's resource (in this case FSNI) since it involved continual meetings to offer advice and encouragement so the awardee can gain the confidence to make the project public. • Strategic collaboration: this is where FSNI idea tidies a key partner and actively seeks a collaborative arrangement with that body. The Arts Council NI and the Department for Communities are examples of such bodies The final aspect of this more formalised social and cultural strategy is the Narrative Futures Call launched in November. It is seen as book-casing the strategy, allowing for a period of consideration and evaluation. However, the present situation is worth examining in terms of perceived outcomes and learnings. At this point it can be suggested that: • Future Screens NI has become an important cultural broker in the creative space in NI. On a number of occasions in key meetings FSNI has been referred to as the bridge. This is hugely positive since the wisdom of bridges come storm the fact that they know both sides and have touched both shores. • The Rewriting the Narrative Call offers evidence that a relatively small injection of funding can move initiatives from community voluntarism to community economy. This evidence is not lost on governmental departments who now acknowledge the role the creative industries might play in post-pandemic recovery while simultaneously addressing social and cultural growth. FSNI has since its inception argued that the creative industries in NI have the potential to become the new heavy industries replacing the industries decimated by the advent off the Fourth industrial Revolution. There is now an acceptance in key policy forums that this is indeed possible. This is crucial since the power of a dominant industry sector in a region is that it also has a profound bearing on family and community life. As a non-sectarian space, the creative industries, if embedded in the structuration of the region, could support a move away from the sectarian practices which appear to underly some aspects of life in Northern Ireland. • FSNI has become a focus for discussions with senior politicians developing economic policies and strategies for the region. It is hoped this will lead to the creative industries having, as an earned entitlement, a place on the most important advisory bodies tasked with developing such policies and strategies. This is an acknowledgement that at this time the creative industries contribute £1.4 billion annually to the NI economy, four times that for example of the fishing industry which automatically has a place on these key bodies. • This work is, of course ongoing and needs to be embedded in such a way that the closing of the five-year FSNI cluster does not bring such work to an end. FSNI has used the COVID-19 crisis as an opportunity to shift the 'social and cultural dividend' from an implicit objective to an explicit policy-grounded objective. The strategy for this has created a number of interesting, and frankly unforeseen, outcomes. The strategy involved the launch of two specific funding calls (Rewriting the Narrative in March/Narrative Futures in November) and a series of funding interventions with key partners. This strategy led to a direct and formal relationship with the Department for Communities which has responsibility for the creative industries/cultural economy. This collaborative partnership with the Department for Communities has proved crucial since it has allowed FSNI to engage in real policy development. It has also facilitated a more nuanced relation-ship with the Arts Council NI this in turn allowing for a greater understanding between the industrial sector and the more traditional arts development sector. FSNI has been able to position itself as the broker in these engagements by contributing funding to key funding initiatives being launched by government which are delivered by Arts Council NI. It also helped FSNI to articulate more fully the kinds of collaborative practice necessary to engage in cultural brokerage activity. At this point three such types have been identified: • Facilitatory collaboration: this applies to organisations or individuals with a well-developed and clearly articulated plan for the delivery of a project with potential for growth impact. In this case the fading allows the project to come to fruition • Developmental collaboration: in this case the collaboration allows individuals or organisations to take an idea to the point where it has a clearly defined structure and a plan for delivery. This type of collaboration is demanding of the host body's resource (in this case FSNI) since it involved continual meetings to offer advice and encouragement so the awardee can gain the confidence to make the project public. • Strategic collaboration: this is where FSNI identifies a key partner and actively seeks a collaborative arrangement with that body. The Arts Council NI and the Department for Communities are examples of such bodies FSNI has since its inception argued that the creative industries in NI have the potential to become the new heavy industries replacing the industries decimated by the advent off the Fourth industrial Revolution. There is now an acceptance in key policy forums that this is indeed possible. This is crucial since the power of a dominant industry sector in a region is that it also has a profound bearing on family and community life. As a non-sectarian space the creative industries, if embedded in the structuration of the region, could support a movie away from the sectarian practice which still underpin life in NI. The establishment of the FSNI Future Foundation has created a space in which talent capacity building can be both presented and formalised. As the Foundation dev elopes it will house accredit-ed collaborative skills programmes, sector planning opportunities and higher level apprenticeship programmes. FSNI has become a focus for discussions with senior politicians developing economic policies and strategies for the region. It is hoped this will lead to the creative industries having, as an earned entitlement, a place on the most important advisory bodies tasked with developing such policies and strategies. It should be noted that productivity within Future Screens NI has increased substantially throughout the crisis from 90 R&D projects at the end of March 2020 to 1210 currently. This has been accompanied by the rapid increase in the transfer of resources to the creative industries. Future Screens NI have embedded an equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) framework throughout the operation of the programme. This is reflected in the emphasis placed upon advancing the social and capital dividend and broadening access to the creative industries across the region. Professor Paul Moore and Alex McDowell are working on a unique framework to transform the Creative Industries in the region by broadening both access and return to previously underrepresented groups. The Story Engine as stated previously is a partnership developed between the Future Screens NI and the World Building Institute in Los Angeles which is led by Future Technologist, Alex McDowell. The framework will pioneer new technologies with the overall aim of sharing human and financial resources with those who have as yet been excluded. This work won the award for Best International Collaboration at the Irish Education Awards in 2020. EDI is at the forefront of call development and projects express diversity with respect to age, gender, disability, and sexual orientation. Applications have been sought by under-represented groups with transformative impact. The Future Tuesdays Series has addressed important EDI issues including the representation of women in gaming and Women in STEM, homophobic hate crime, infertility, the integration of ethnic groups and asylum seekers, and mental abuse. Future Screens NI offer diversity training and mentoring. Future Screens NI have an appointed Diversity Champion, Deepa Mann-Kler, CEO of Neon. Deepa is also an Equality Commissioner for Northern Ireland. Future Screens NI established the female founders forum which is being taken forward by Ormeau Baths Innovation Hub. Future Screens NI have several stand out projects which are addressing EDI including: • Immersive Interactive Performances: Through Future Screens NI , Queen's University Belfast and Farset Labs are collaborating on the Immersive Interactive Performances: Strategies for developing gesture-based, inclusive VR Experiences project. This project involves Maker events with disabled musicians (supported by Drake Music NI), SARC and Farset Labs, and selected partner stakeholders across the artistic, disability-care and technical community. • Talking Sense: Through Future Screens NI, Ulster University and Neon are collaborating to produce a working proof of concept to support parents of children with ASD. • Future Screens NI have partnered with Darkley Films on the Project Mental Abuse Matters. The project involves building an immersive training environment to address mental abuse. • Impossible Worlds: Future Screens NI have partnered with Controvert to develop Impossible Worlds which is using 360 video to address maternal mental health. • VR Classroom which is developing the first phase of an interactive gamified Virtual Reality (VR) Classroom for teenagers with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder who are at risk of disengagement from their education. • The Virus and Me which is an animation inspired by anonymous research with the Chinese community in Northern Ireland during the COVID-19 pandemic.
First Year Of Impact 2018
Sector Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Government, Democracy and Justice,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections,Other
Impact Types Cultural,Societal,Economic

 
Description Adaptive Immersive Content and Software Authoring for Safety-Critical Training
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact Sentireal have created an Adaptive Immersive Content and Software Authoring for Safety-Critical Training with funding from Future Screens NI. Sentireal have develop a training domain and subset of training scenarios within social work. Social work training was chosen as the initial training domain because social workers cannot currently develop their decision-making skills for complex cases involving issues such as dementia, mental health and child protection in a safe, virtual environment. The majority of the 106,000 social workers currently employed in the UK did not have early access to realistic training covering particularly challenging and safety-critical scenarios, often creating hesitancy and stress when such scenarios are encountered in daily practice. Key social work education reviews published in recent years have highlighted digitalization of training information as a key area for development. 106,000 social workers currently employed in the UK now have access to realistic training covering particularly challenging and safety-critical scenarios, often creating hesitancy and stress when such scenarios are encountered in daily practice with accompanied societal benefits and economic returns.
URL http://www.sentireal.com
 
Description Future Screens NI is a Member of the STEM APG
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
URL http://aims.niassembly.gov.uk/mlas/apgdetails.aspx?&cid=546
 
Description Influencing Public Body Response to Covid-19
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Implementation circular/rapid advice/letter to e.g. Ministry of Health
Impact Future Screens NI developed a funding call in response to Covid-19. This initiative funded 32 projects addressing the worst challenges of Covid-19. The initiative was welcomed by the Minister for Communities. This then stimulated a collaborative relationship with the Department for Communities and Arts Council NI. Working in collaboration Future Screens NI influenced the direction, content and delivery of Emergency Relief Programmes in response to Covid-19. This has resulted in a significant investment in the creative industries. This partnership stimulated a partnership approach between DfC, ACNI and Future Screens that has overseen the development and implementation of innovative emergency relief programmes across the region establishing 1089 R&D projects allowing individuals to innovate and sustain during the ongoing crisis.
URL http://artscouncil-ni.org/news/arts-council-announces-6.9m-emergency-funding-to-individuals-working-...
 
Description Mental Abuse Matters- Influenced Legislation on Coercive Control in NI
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Implementation circular/rapid advice/letter to e.g. Ministry of Health
Impact The Mental Abuse Matters Project has played a significant role in the development and implementation of legislation with respect to Coercive Control in Northern Ireland. This will protect women and men from abuse and protect lives.
URL https://www.irishnews.com/lifestyle/2020/12/17/news/domestic-abuse-need-for-legislation-on-coercive-...
 
Description Business-led innovation in response to global disruption
Amount £25,400 (GBP)
Funding ID NI655878 
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2021 
End 06/2021
 
Description Business-led innovation in response to global disruption
Amount £48,268 (GBP)
Funding ID 0006292462924 
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2021 
End 04/2021
 
Description Business-led innovation in response to global disruption
Amount £50,000 (GBP)
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2021 
End 06/2021
 
Description Business-led innovation in response to global disruption
Amount £48,960 (GBP)
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2020 
End 03/2021
 
Description Immersive Technology Investment Accelerator: phase 2, SME projects
Amount £450,000 (GBP)
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2020 
End 06/2021
 
Description Royal Academy of Engineering Enterprise Fellow
Amount £100,000 (GBP)
Organisation Royal Academy of Engineering 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2021 
End 03/2023
 
Description Skills Funding via the Creative Economy and Creative Clusters Programme
Amount £220,000 (GBP)
Organisation Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2020 
End 03/2021
 
Description UK Government: Belfast Region City Deal
Amount £350,000,000 (GBP)
Organisation Government of the UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2021 
End 03/2027
 
Title A modern depth sensor toolkit for real time deployment 
Description Boom Clap Play in partnership with Future Screens NI Co-Is Alec Parkin from Ulster University and Dr Franziska Schroeder from Queen's University Belfast have created an AI driven interactive audio visual experiences that creates an environmental harmony between humans and machines, This tool is a building block for creatives working with immersive tech, to explore new ways of expressing ideas and storytelling, that can excel without HMDs, smartphones and tethered devices. By giving the user freedom of movement and a much more flexible interface, which encourages dialogue, collaboration and physical interactions. In doing so they have stripped away the complexity of cutting edge depth sensor technology, and creating much faster and cheaper ways to enhance the visual and audio experiences created for these shared environments. Boom Clap Play have produced an easy to use API that can be added to any Unity project to create volumetric sensor scenarios. This can be used to deploy to deploy cutting edge depth sensors within gaming, gaming installations, spatial computer interfaces, art installations and bespoke musical instruments. Functionality includes, high quality real-time puppeting of rigged avatars, multiple depth sensor implementation to give wider coverage of volumetric RGB data and gesture recognition, smart sensor utility (knowledge of distance, motion and velocity of participants), multi user support, and potentially a motion capture tool that does not require a special suit or additional cameras. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact The tool has enhanced the development of virtual events and experiences in the context of the ongoing Covid-19 crisis. 
URL https://boomclap.co
 
Title ALT Animation - The Hearios 
Description ALT Animation proposed to carry out research and development with their target audience of their animated series The Hearios which is aimed at a pre-school audience and teaches them important lessons on active listening. With funding from Future Screens NI they planned to structure some research around the development of materials, such as an animatic for a sample episode, and use these artefacts to frame some user testing sessions with a sample of our target audience. The materials developed for the user testing sessions, as well as the results of the sessions in terms of empirical evidence and video footage of the children interacting with the series, formed a compelling proof of concept for them as they look to pitch the series to the international broadcast market. The core conceit of the series is about sound identification and listening skills so this will form the basis of the research that they carried out. In collaboration with Dr Trevor Agus (QUB/SARC) and Dr Tim Fosker (QUB/Psychology) ALT animation tested what pre-schoolers learn about listening from The Hearios. Preschool children were asked to describe sound from the show, either before or after the show. It had been hypothesised that children tested after the show will more frequently use the precise vocabulary of sounds presented (e.g. "squeaking", "rustling"), but those tested before the show will more frequently use general naming descriptions (e.g. "it's a mouse!", "it sounds like leaves"). Preschool children were also presented with two sounds coming from two loudspeakers and asked to choose which stuffed toy (placed on the loudspeakers) is making a specified sound (e.g. "rustling"). A control group completed the same test after watching an unrelated animation geared towards the same age-group. The results of these two experiments helped to establish the effectiveness of the show in capturing children's attention to the sounds presented and their development of a vocabulary of sounds. ALT carried out these activities with as large a sample of their target audience of pre-schoolers as possible within the scope of the funding. They have a wealth of experience of carrying out user testing in the past for shows that we have developed at other studios, so are able to carry out the activities we propose above. The production management team are well equipped to acquire all of the relevant approvals and implement the safeguarding procedures that will be necessary when dealing with pre-school children, in line with the University's ethical standards, and deliver this research efficiently and to a very high standard. This research has enabled them to then tailor our suite of pitch materials with evidence backing up the core educational message for the series and greatly increase our chances of selling the series internationally and raising the finance necessary to go into production. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Successfull creation of a product which was backed by the extensive user testing to determine the effectiveness of their product. As a result of this research ALT Animation were able to produce a full series of The Hearios which boasts 52 episodes at a 7 minute length for each of them, totalling 364 minutes of programming 
URL https://www.altanimation.com/
 
Title Action Sense-Gaming Tool for Pain Relief 
Description Action Sense have developed a methodology which appliesgame technology to provide pain relief during clinically prescribed home exercise routines. Through this unique provision of tailored computer games ActionSense can enhance engagement and completion of prescribed exercises using gamified processes and tasks to aid motivation; also this unique provision will add 3D graphics to augment the presentation of feedback and continuous real-time visualization of clinical data. One of the core challenges is in designing game mechanics that require very spe-cific physical movements as game inputs. In the case of hand and finger-based exercises for arthritis management, sensing hand flexing and extension needs to be the basis of a game control mechanism. This is very specific game input signal. - The motion that generates the input can vary between people due to differing de-grees of arthritis and pain affecting range of movement. Thus, input control must be tailored to each person and adapted over time. - Rehabilitation exercises usually require a focus on repetition, which can also vary per person. Timing and accuracy are often important game control factors that are commonly paired with repetition. However, due to restricted motion of the hand and fingers of a person affected by arthritis, the design of game mechanics need to be focused predominantly on repetition. This restricts the types of games that can be designed and is it more challenging to create fun gameplay. - A core technical challenge is in the real-time transmission of the data from the glove sensors (or other sensors) to the computer in such a way that it is accessible to a game engine. There are two aspects to this: in accessing the data via the communication channel and translating in into a suitable data format, and in ensur-ing real-time performance. User finger joint positions will be used as the basis for the animation of 3d hand models in real time and need to responsive to user movement - i.e. limited lag and suitably high framerate. A suitable means of providing real-time and summative aesthetic performance on a VR or flat screen display, and outcome feedback will need to investigated and tested. Action Sense have pioneered technology which captures finger movement and records data, and supports the guided and gamified exercise. The approach supports real-time visual replaying of user motion alongside rich 3D visualization. This com-bined solution is unique in the data glove market. Currently clinicians use goni-ometers to measure perceived stiffness in patients joint mobility - the latest Action-Sense data glove facilitates automated and intelligent stiffness measurement with cloud storage of patient data. This additional gaming feature will enhance the Action-Sense product offering. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Action Sense have pioneered technology which captures finger movement and records data, and supports the guided and gamified exercise. The approach supports real-time visual replaying of user motion alongside rich 3D visualization. This com-bined solution is unique in the data glove market. Currently clinicians use goni-ometers to measure perceived stiffness in patients joint mobility - the latest Action-Sense data glove facilitates automated and intelligent stiffness measurement with cloud storage of patient data. This additional gaming feature will enhance the Action-Sense product offering. 
URL https://www.actionsense.org/
 
Title Alec Parkin - Research & Development into 4K rendering pipeline for animation 
Description The approach to R&D involved coordination between the associated academic and NI Screen on behalf of local industry. The initial funding would help establish exploratory qualitative research into the problem. This qualitative research included how other production studios in this market are testing and using animated content for 4K rendering. For example, 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story's' visual effects supervisor, John Knoll gave insight into how they utilised and modified Epic's Unreal Engine 4, to allow his team to approach filming the movie in a way they couldn't previously. Knoll spoke at length about how Epic's engine allowed the ILM team to render the beloved, sarcastic droid K-2SO in real time, bypassing the pre-rendering process. As a result, the team was able to see K-2SO on the screen during a specific scene instead of having to implement the rendering and editing after the fact. Knoll explained that achieving final pixels on screen helped with the production of Rogue One - and it marked the first time the studio was able to work with CGI in the moment. The technique was developed by a team at ILM, modifying Unreal Engine 4's source code. Getting an understanding of current hardware used for rendering & look development by different local studios was a major benefit in the decision on how to test animated 4K content during this research. We are imaging 3 different hardware options at different price points would be a good starting point. For example GPU rendering becomes more efficient with 2 graphics cards in a machine - and then there are medium range of graphics cards, but also the high end RTX NVidia cards that are also capable of ray tracing in real time The test animated scene(s) or asset(s) were collected from the different studios which were identified, depending on the type of animated content, there were different test scenes setup. This included 2D puppet animations (CelAction / toon boom / After Effects) and 3D assets (Maya / Blender etc) This bringing together of creativity and industry (Creative Industries) is a major growth area as outlined in the Bazalgette report (2017) and "are of central importance to the UK's productivity and global success". 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact successful creation of a 4k rendering pipeline that when subjected to the test conditions from various local studios was able to perform as expected, this created the ability to render for 4k using a GPU based pipeline creating the ability for local studios to not have to use server farms to render large projects 
 
Title Controvert-Geometric Worlds 
Description Controvert have developed a new ethical methodology through which to capture the experience of women experiencing post natal depression. In addition a new technique has been developed employing dance and choreography in order to transform the experience of 360 video to better articular the experience of post natal depression to increase public understanding and access to support. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Greater public understanding of post natal depression A technique which can be applied within 360 video to ensure that the audience can experience the impacts of specific events in ethical ways. 
 
Title Darkly Films - Mental Abuse Matters 
Description Darkly's approach was to develop and roll out the project 4 stages: workshops, design, build and production, product testing/customer discovery and dissemination. Stage 1: workshops. A series of 2 inter disciplinary workshops at QUB, in partnership with industry. The first was a general collaborative session across disciplines and skill sets articulating and recording best practice. The 2nd is focused on this project, with case studies and working through in the form of practice. 1: Development of best practice: 1 day. (QUB funded) VR technicians, producers, directors crew and creatives (writers, actors, dramaturg) working in the immersive space shared and discussed technique and best practice with academics across psychology, social work, film studies and SARC working in immersive tech. Plenary session where feedback and discussion was recorded for an industry report and/or article. 2: Challenges in narrative, sound and space: 1 day. (Future Screens funded) A more focused workshop where Darkly explored the specific creative, ethical and technical challenges of this project, and market context, using case studies and blocking through action with creatives, production crew and technicians. Invited GP partners, psychologist, social worker and abuse counsellor partners for contributions and discussion. Darkly also brought in their sales agent in at this point to give market perspective i.e. how would this be sold into the healthcare system, what are the market requirements. Stage 2: Design, build and production (Future Screens and Mental Abuse Matters charity funded): Content development, VR environment and sound design, casting, filming and sound recording. Film production. This will be in close collaboration with Retinize, SARC and other partners. Darkley Films and Retinize teams have many years of experience developing, producing and delivering complex film and technology projects. Stage 3: Product testing and customer discovery (QUB and Future Screens funded) Prototype distributed to key stakeholders and partners, in close collaboration with their sales agent. Testing of prototype on non-clinical sample. Sending the pilot to a selected representatives in the NHS and private practice identified through sales agents Feedback and adjustments to pilot Phase 1 roll out to NHS and private healthcare customer base Phase 2 roll out to remaining customer base Stage 3: Dissemination and further Market Research Preparation for phase 4 international client identification and product testing 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact With delivery of the product Darkly could see their VR experience could be used as a training tool and therapeutic aid across a wide customer base. Their customer base includes the healthcare (NHS and private), psychotherapy, social care, academic and charity sectors. VR has been used on a smaller scale for medical projects such as pediatric MRI preparation at King's Hospital in London and PTSD therapy with veterans at Cardiff University and Cardiff and Vale University Health Board (CVUHB). Darkly now aim to roll this pilot out with a view to producing further tailored experiences to healthcare clients, including the NHS. To gauge customer buy in they have road tested our concept with their GP surgery partners, Stockwell Practice and their clinical associates; clinical psychologist and film maker Andy Glynne; practicing social worker and trauma therapist Paul Best at QUB, abuse counsellor partner Carrie Montgomery and our charity and academic partners. All have said this is an excellent product and from their point of view would be a valuable tool in the healthcare marketplace. 
 
Title EnterYes - ONAR 
Description EnterYes created a two-minute narrative example (IP) of ray tracing within Unity and which was produced over a 4-month period. They also produced detailed documentation (IP) that outlines and explains the pipeline and the workflow required for an artist, developer, and creative studio to streamline the transition from an SD render pipe line to a ray tracing High Definition Render Pipeline (HDRP). In the future they will also produce a piece of bespoke and licensable software (IP) that automates aspects of texture generation and HDPR conversions required. From working with the research experts at Future Screens NI they were able to create a solution that automated processes that streamlined a large amount of repetitive work conducted by most industry professionals in this space 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact EnterYes were able to successfully create their HRDP pipeline for the use in Ray-Tracing which has opened a major channel for them to market. The market opportunity is multi faceted. Internally this will allow Enter Yes to become more competitive within the global video games and computer animation market as both a content provider and service provider. Externally Enter Yes will also benefit from creating licensable software and documentation that generates a potential revenue stream by using the narrative video as marketing material for both internal and external benefits. 
 
Title Glenn Patterson - Story Telling for Future Screens 
Description At any one time the Seamus Heaney Centre accommodates some seventeen published - or produced - writers, ranging from full-time to visiting fellow, and including writers for young audiences, writers for screen, radio, stage, as well page (fiction, non-fiction, and poetry), and writers with experience in documentary film, both short and feature-length. The Centre has in recent times actively been exploring other forms of storytelling such as board-game scripting and immersive technologies. The Centre further encourages and facilitates interdisciplinary research and creative projects. It is an increasing requirement for new staff to be able to teach, or demonstrate experience in more than one form of writing. An initial meeting between the Applicant and Associated Academic - immediately following the awarding of funding - identified the writers within the Heaney Centre best able to lead on each of the six proposed seminars. In some cases, this was be instantly obvious: Tim Loane has worked on large-scale television projects such as Versailles and Das Boot; Nick Laird recently scripted an eighty-minute documentary for BBC2. In other cases, the lead writer(s) came at the topic from a less obvious angle. So, Stephen Sexton is a poet, in the early stages of his publishing career, who nevertheless has already collaborated with artist/musician/provocateur Bill Drummond on a documentary for Radio 4 and has an interest in interactive games that encompasses the ways in which the discipline of poetic forms may benefit games' narratives. In all cases, the emphasis was on expanding the participants' understanding of approaches to storytelling, of the opportunities for the wider application of their own existing expertise and of areas where that expertise could be enhanced. This involved an element of (constructive) challenge: an engagement with forms that lie outside the participants' area of interest. Some advance preparation - reading, viewing, or attendance at an event - may be recommended for all participants. The question was the same: 'What can you learn from?' Seminars took place in the Seamus Heaney Centre and were three hours in duration. Though they were guided primarily by their own needs, the seminars included, in their introductory section, a summary of the lead writer's own creative and professional pathway. (The Associated Academic, to take only one example, having focused exclusively on novels for the first few years of his professional writing life, has in the decades since written television and radio documentaries, screenplays, stage plays and libretti as well as memoir and essays to accompany the work of photographers and visual artists.) Each participant was then offered a follow-up session with the writer(s) leading the seminar, within two weeks of the seminar itself, at which point further areas of bespoke training and/or collaboration could be agreed. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Participants responded well to them seminars and the feedback from participants was positive which resulted in several later collaborations and further training were conducted 
 
Title Hyper-efficient real-time terrain manipulation solution for the Unity game engine, using voxels and DOTS (Data-Oriented Technology Stack) 
Description Whitepot have developed a hyper-efficient real time terrain deformation system that will allow developers and players to express themselves and create on a scale and level of efficiency never seen before. Many off-the-shelf solutions that small-to-medium studios regularly use for terrain manipulation, such as voxel engines, are not ECS compatible and unsustainably constrained by last-generation optimisation limits. This results in project slowdown and framerate drops within any project using terrain manipulation at scale e.g. games. immersive experiences, and research projects. As games have advanced, so has the desire for players to express themselves and experience the impact of their in-game actions which mimic real-world outcomes in an engaging way. One such expectation is the ability to manipulate and deform terrain in real-time - without lag, stuttering, or jarring - particularly desired in resource gathering games or games with high-energy interactions (e.g. explosions, high-speed collisions). Existing AAA industry solutions for real-time terrain manipulation are highly resource intensive, and usually built as a core aspect of the bespoke game engine they are part of, optimised for this use case. Such solutions are inaccessible to small-to-medium sized game development teams, who instead use readily available game engines with third-party tools available. Whitepot in partnership with Future Screens NI have developed a develop a hyper-efficient ECS real-time terrain manipulation solution. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact This tool can be used by gaming developers and experts within Geospatial, Architectural and Mining Industries as an industrial visualisation tool for large datasets of terrain. The methodology has transformational potential with economic return and increased speed of production. 
URL http://whitepotstudios.com/
 
Title Italic Pig - Proceedural Character Generator using Machine Learning 
Description The R&D development method used by Italic Pig on this project took the form of iterative cycles to design, build and test. Evaluation at the end of each development cycle was assessed through data analysis of the proc-gen character metrics, and through rapid evaluation using the custom made crowd-based filtration system (Rando-Tinder). An evaluation of aesthetic qualities of the characters can be scaled up using a cost effective, crowdsourced testing with Prolific (https://www.prolific.ac) or something similar. In order to overcome the obstacles outlined above, the aim of this project was to develop: ? custom rigging solution allowing for rapid base-layer generation ? real-time skin binding for fluid animation ? larger tank of skeletal and textural assets (understanding that a degree of selection is necessary but not the answer) ? hybridisation of bespoke animations with procedural in-game responsiveness ? seed-based algorithm to ensure maximum diversity and recall ? crowd-based filtration system (Rando-Tinder) to weed out seeds that break suspension of disbelief ? tailored viable character design using case-based machine learning via evolutionary neural network The majority of research and programming that was to be completed by Italic Pig lead programmer Noel Waters with support from Dr Darryl Charles who is a Future Screens NI team member. In addition to support they received from Dr. Charles, they found themselves in the fortunate position of having a strong relationship with both HTC & Oculus, and anticipated that they could draw from their industry knowledge and contacts should they require further advice, guidance or come upon any serious roadblocks that they are unable to solve. Each project feature required rapid implementation and frequent internal testing to ensure that were achieving our goal. Testing conducted using Italic Pig's in-house team, bolstering data with an online crowdsource service, offering access to thousands of anonymous human opinions for a reasonable cost. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact This project was primarily about player engagement. The games industry, not to mention the screen industry in general, is insanely competitive. Screens are everywhere, each offering a different compelling form of entertainment. The two greatest challenges are discoverability and retention. The VR market is still made up of prosumers and early adopters. VR is still looking for its "Fruit Ninja" or "Killer App" - many genres have ported, few have stuck, but they have yet to experience a game built uniquely for VR that cements its position in the market. The goal with The Infinite Hotel was to focus on the demographic, and the limitations of the medium. The three commonalities found between all VR users were: 1. They're looking for immersion (what the tech is built for) 2. They're not afraid to pay for experiences (definition of early adopters) 3. They have limited physical space. With this information from the research conducted Italic Pig were able to further formulate a contructive way of assessing the viability of VR projects while also including the use of machine learning and proceedural programming to create something that is truly unique to the games indsutry as a whole, the ability to create truly random characters that all feel unique, this to date, is something that a multitude of games studios have tried to achieve since the beginning of video games, however this research shows that it no longer an impossibility and more so now, it would appear to be the future of games as we know them 
 
Title JadeBlok - Creative Content Compliance Gateway 
Description The R&D was focused on developing a technical middleware solution which establishes the context and framework for interoperability between multiple users or content platforms operating across differing jurisdictions and variable contexts/sectors. Initiated Project: • Resource Mapping • Contracts, Agreements, Policies • Team Engagement - Roles & Responsibilities • Tasks & Schedules Instigate Partnerships: JadeBlok partnered with academics from Ulster University's Creative Industries Institute and Computer Science Research Institute to support, enhance and advise on the development of an Interoperable Data Gateway System to be trialled in a live environment on completion. Partnership with Sentireal will facilitate the development of a live testbed for solution testing. • Darryl Charles (AI, Core Investigator) asked to provide expertise in the application of data analytics, distributed ledger technology and machine learning to facilitate interoperability as a part of middleware solution that privileges content access based on consensus and rule-based protocol. He will also provide advice on the recruitment of outsourced developers. • JadeBlok has agreed with David Trainor of Sentireal® to develop a virtual test bed for the demonstration of use case scenarios that are relevant to the regulation of digital content. These will provide a modelling solution in a specifically designed environment which can examine particular aspects of the challenge. Define Protocol Parameters/Prototype Design and Testing: • Professor Hui Wang refined the architecture for the proposed prototype to orient the solution towards content regulation. • This design implemented and developed as a prototype built upon the Linux Hyperledger Fabric DLT using a modular approach. Reporting - Slide Deck and Demonstration Software: • The commercial viability of the prototype became the focus of an investor-oriented slide deck setting out the business case, strategic plans and channels to market. • This also included a demonstration video of the prototype for the purposes of explaining and promoting the solution. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact JadeBlok were able to successfully text and deploy a prototype version of their product which went to testbed and performed as expected, this means that the product should be ready to bring to scale 
URL http://www.jadeblok.com/
 
Title Neon - Talking Sense 
Description In the team Neon were the project management lead partner and administrator for Talking Sense. The project took 3 months. Neon bought the Charisma.ai story editor license for 3 months from To Play For as well as their expertise, workshop input and technical support. Neon owns all IP on Talking Sense. Please see detailed biographies under Team to fully understand the expertise of each partner. The first part of the R&D activity was a scoping workshop to be delivered by Annette Parry from To Play For in Belfast along with Neon and Ulster University academics Stephen Gallagher and/or Micky Keenan. This outlined their considerations in terms of thinking about the sorts of conversations they want parents to have on the AR platform,taking in to consideration the following: what exactly it is we want to learn; the type of voice that will be used i.e. pitch rate should it be AI or synthetic; refine the proof of concept outcomes; how to enhance learning from proof of concept; to define the analytics in terms of which words will be used. Following the workshop Neon also consulted with parents of children with ASD and autism charities to ensure that real needs are being met. Parents will say what help they need and the ongoing conversation is based on pre- recorded conversation pathways. Neon then analyse the impact of this conversation AR training tool by analysing the levels of increased understanding and insight into parents' experience, interaction, emotion and mood through the following dynamic machine learning processes and analytics which enable detection of words used and also detect facial expressions through the emotion engine where it is possible to: monitor whole experience; analyse specific words used; track the whole story; analyse which words affect which emotion; through the platform detect whether dialogue makes person happy or unhappy; and awareness of changes in the emotion of the person. The end user data is all anonymised. Neon recorded outputs from all workshop activities. Neon then met with Stephen Gallagher and Micky Keenan to refine the proposition. This was consulted on with Annette Parry (expert advisor). Once signed off, Neon set up second workshop with Annette Parry, Brian Coyle and Alec Parkin to scope the approach to building the AR app. They then applied to R&D Apple Enterprise Account for limited distribution so that they were able to demo the proof of concept on a phone/ipad. Foolowing this they integrated user testing at each key phase of the proof of concept build. Once proof of concept was complete Neon facilitated the final testing with 10 parents of children with ASD. Neon is also responsible for collating all data and analytics. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Notable developments from this research were that Neon were successfully able to produce a working proof of concept piece that provided better support for parents of children with ASD, due to the fact that most ASD treatment courses have very long waiting lists to get on to them this project from Neon shows that it is able to create a product capable of filling in the gaps that are left by these long waiting lists and serving patients who need it. 
 
Title Operatic and Cinematic VR 
Description The genre of opera is increasingly struggling to find new audiences and is often seen as the most exclusionary art form. Dumbworld Ltd. is an innovative creative production company using projection mapping and audio technology and successfully revolutionising opera as content and its distribution. However their current solution has its limitations. This R&D project proposal is to take their vision to the next level, by further innovating the art form using immersive VR. "Drive By Shooting", Dumbworld's current solution to accessible opera content faces the following challenges, which can be categorised as distribution, technical production and creative storytelling challenges. By integrating and enhancing existing assets, it provides an opportunity to create an immersive experience; one that is unique and removes many of the barriers to distribution that projection mapping presents. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Global access to opera Unique entertainment method in the context of Covid-19 VR capture of opera 
URL https://www.dumbworld.co.uk/portfolio-item/drive-by-shooting/
 
Title Retinize Rewind 
Description Access to archived content by geo-tagging and wayfinding promoting connection with archived content in new ways. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Easy access to archived content which was previously unavailable Ease of access to archive material Reduced labour costs Increased speed of access Easy to access resources to support learning and teaching which is considered vital in the context of the ongoing pandemic Increase public engagement in history and peace building Increased understanding of the past Ability to access quality content in a safe and social distanced manner during the ongoing pandemic 
URL https://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/latestnews/2020/bbc-northern-ireland-launches-rewind
 
Title Retinize Startle Effect 
Description Virtual Startle Effect is an immersive experience to concentrate on the very specific, moment-critical juncture, in which a startle effect happens and crucial the team around a surgeon react, to mitigate loss of life. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact The provision of a Virtual Immersive Training Environment for surgical team members with potential for adoption across further first responders. 
URL https://www.retinize.com/
 
Title Retinize- Digital Humanoids 
Description Future Screens NI and Retinize have produced real time digital humanoids that are multi-faceted. The techniques applied combine a high resolution hyper realistic photo scan of a performer alongside a motion capture suit and high end smartphone. The motion capture suit will allow for accurate recording of body movements, while the high end smartphone will allow for highly precise facial capture for a relatively low cost (in comparison to existing facial capture methodologies and technologies). This allows an almost true to life capture to be undertaken rapidly but at a vastly reduced cost when compared to current high end options currently on offer, such as pure volumetric capture. This methodology will also help to improve on some of the limitations of these systems, especially facial recordings. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Retinize and Future Screens NI have addressed this issue by creating a service that streamlines this whole pipeline enabling us to rapidly produce content for film, TV, gaming and immersive media which provides clients with the highest quality digital humanoids, in an efficient and cost effective way, that allows them to tell their stories. Retinize then assess their project, storyboards, and ideas, and guide them towards the best method to achieve their vision. With subsequent increases in quality and decreases in production time. Together they have created a showcase of the latest techniques of various capture methods (such as volumetric performance capture and various motion capture methods) that would allow for an easy side by side comparison. In order to allow clients and creatives to make an informed choice regarding capture methodologies and pursue the best path forward for their project. An additional benefit is that this showcase acts an educational tool for sectors of the creative industry and give a greater understanding of each process to the relevant people, allowing for faster and more accurate future decisions. This research is informing the kind of facilities required by local industry going forward in relation to motion capture technology through any investment from the Belfast City Deal initiative. Retinize Future Screens NI have produced a service that streamlines the production pipeline enabling us the rapid production of content for film, TV, gaming and immersive media which provides clients with the highest quality digital humanoids, in an efficient and cost effective way, that allows them to tell their stories. Retinize then assess their project, storyboards, and ideas, and guide them towards the best method to achieve their vision. The creation of a showcase of the latest techniques of various capture methods (such as volumetric performance capture and various motion capture methods) that would allow for an easy side by side comparison. In order to allow clients and creatives to make an informed choice regarding capture methodologies and pursue the best path forward for their project. An additional benefit is that this showcase acts an educational tool for sectors of the creative industry and give a greater understanding of each process to the relevant people, allowing for faster and more accurate future decisions. This research is informing the kind of facilities required by local industry going forward in relation to motion capture technology through any investment from the Belfast City Deal initiative. The production of real time digital humanoids that are multi-faceted. The techniques applied combine a high resolution hyper realistic photo scan of a performer alongside a motion capture suit and high end smartphone. The motion capture suit will allow for accurate recording of body movements, while the high end smartphone will allow for highly precise facial capture for a relatively low cost (in comparison to existing facial capture methodologies and technologies). This allows an almost true to life capture to be undertaken rapidly but at a vastly reduced cost when compared to current high end options currently on offer, such as pure volumetric capture. This methodology will also help to improve on some of the limitations of these systems, especially facial recordings. Future Screens have provided the academic expertise via Dr Declan Keeney to deviese a practice-based approach to this R&D activity, exploring each of the processes for creating realistic digital humanoids. This has included different options for volumetric and motion capture that are currently on the market. The team have the trialed various hardware options (e.g. XSens Motion Capture suit) using our own internal equipment, trialling additional equipment and working with project partners who own and are willing to rent additional equipment to conduct the research. SDKs and frameworks have been downloaded and explored to analyse the best software offerings for volumetric and motion capture. Where possible we will maintain a dialogue with the software development companies to establish best practice for using their toolsets. Retinize's has a dual business model, commercial content creation and original content creation. This business model has allowed Retinize to create content for a wide range of industries ranging from broadcasters, car brands, charities and tourism destinations. Within both sides of the business the demand for realistic animation models has increased and become more and more important. Retinize's commercial business focuses on the advertising, museums and tourism industry were project briefs are asking for every increasing realistic environments and characters. Within the advertising industry retail and cosmetic brands want realistic 3D avatars with which they can display their products digital, digital is increasingly seen as an key avenue for engaging with consumers. Digital displays in shops, AR apps which can be accessed at home, even VR fashion shows are becoming more popular. Future Screens NI and Retinize have worked together to identify and address the key challenges associated with making the products look as real digitally as they do in real life and a key component of this is having realistic avatars. Within the museum sector realistic avatars are seen as a potentially important, and cost effective component to bringing exhibits to life. Having realistic digital characters on display that reflect the artefacts can drive visitor engagement and enhance the visitor experience. Also having the characters digital captured means that new content can be created easily meaning that exhibits can be continually updated to keep them engaging for visitors. Using digital technology to engage with the next generation of visitors is seen as increasingly important as they are the generation that has grown up with digital content and now expect any learning to be delivered through the same methods. Within the Tourism sector AR has become an area of interest for providing guides for visitors. We are currently working with a number of tourism bodies to deliver AR guides and feedback that Retinize have received is that realistic digital guides are important. It is the position of Retinize that the significantly increased level of realism achieved with AR avatars resulting from this project will open up a number of commercial avenues for AR tourism not just in the UK but globally 
URL https://www.retinize.com/
 
Title Taunt - Real-Time Rendering Pipeline 
Description In the development of this project, Taunt touched on three major avenues for research; 1. Technology Infrastructure Taunt's first step was to obtain the necessary hardware and software for the creation of their pilot. This included making a decision about which real-time engine to work with, (Unreal or Unity) and what would be the most future-proof hardware to invest in (NVIDIA graphics etc). In addition to this, real-time Ray Tracing is a recent development which is shipped with Unreal Engine 4. The Ray Tracer enables raytraced results for shadows, ambient occlusion (AO), reflections, interactive global illumination, and translucency all in real-time. This is an exciting new technology, but is dependant on a specific hardware setup being implemented. 2. Training & Expertise The funding for this project then gave them the opportunity to bring a team member on board who had extensive experience working in Real-Time. They proved to be a key member at the beginning of the process as the studio staff gots up to speed on the workflow that was to be adopted for the project. During this phase Taunt also worked closely with their industry Partner, Alec Parkin, who is a member fo the Future Screens NI team. He was a key advisor in ensuring our processes are in line or at the cutting edge of the industry and an important figure in the decision making process as they moved forward with the pilot. 3. Production From here they created the project with real-time rendering in mind from the start. This process involved Taunt developing an in-house solution to photogrammetry, character creation, environment creation, animation, lighting and rendering. Each one of these steps in the process needed to have a tailored approach for the end result being in real-time. Throughout the duration of the project they will carried out research within the local industry which took the form of meeting with companies that are in a similar sector to themselves, and investigating what their needs were from a rendering solution. This will allowed them to fully understand the potential of this approach on a broader local scale. 4. Reporting The final R&D phase consisted of compiling the research into a comprehensive guide to adapting this technology into a businesses setup. Following on from this they then dedicated time to reaching out to fellow studios in the animation sector, to discuss their findings with them, and how real-time rendering could be applied to their studio. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact One of the major outcomes from this research is that Taunt are now in the process of opening up conversations with Epic (Unreal engine) and Unity. These two companies are the developers of the two biggest game engines out there, pioneering the Real-Time rendering movement. We hope to open up a collaborative relationship with either of them for the project, in the hope that they will include the pilot amongst their real-time showcases. This will grant Taunt an introduction to new customer segments, such as the game cinematic industry and previsualisation for feature film. Beyond the games industry this technology allows for studios of a similar sized studios to Taunt to access the film and VFX industry, which up until now, due to the complex nature of the projects and the tight turnaround of the deliveries has been increasingly difficult for smaller studios to make a name in. It opens up the doors for more developed partnerships with studios such as Yellowmoon Post Production and similar studios outside of Northern Ireland. 
 
Title Transforming Trauma in a Virtual World 
Description ESC Films in partnership with Future Screens NI have developed a technique to prove, replicate and scale the creative processes that work in their face-to-face Second Chance for Change (SCFC) film-making workshops within forensic mental health. They have developed a process through which to process and transform trauma in a future virtual world of digital therapeutics using VR and immersive technologies in an ethical manner. Research was undertaken regarding the positive recovery journeys made by former forensic-service-users, who have successfully completed the Second Chance for Change (SCFC) personal storytelling and filmmaking process (see www.esc-film.com/second-chance-for-change/).The process was enhanced using VR and immersive technologies. Immersive storytelling provides a stronger platform through which to aid recovery which can be completed remotely and with a shorter time in a more cost effective manner. Digital mental health tools come with ethical considerations for the public, patients, clinicians, and health services to feel confident in their use. The identification of a responsibilities' framework for ethical development and implementation which formed a key aspect of this project. The key elements of the SCF process were mapped out in partnership with healthcare partners. This was then translated into an immersive prototype. The capabilities of the prototype have been tested demonstrating positive impact. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact The proposed project has developed a trauma recovery tool entitled Transforming Trauma in a Virtual World which has created the space for self paced trauma recovery. Northern Ireland has the world's highest recorded rate of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to a major international report in 2011. It estimated that PTSD costs the public purse around £175m a year and suggested that nearly 40% of the population have experienced. The product has a very wide base of potential clients who could benefit. During the Coronavirus Lockdown an emphasis has been placed upon living with the small 't' trauma and the mental health fallout is expected to be huge. The lockdown has also opened health trusts and mental health charities up new opportunities, new possibilities and new innovations, including VR and Immersive Technologies. The VR prototype has engaged with the most difficult to reach. 
URL https://esc-film.com/
 
Title VR-HIT 
Description INCISIV Support have developed VR-HIT which is a standardised approach that improves validity, reliability and reproducibility of concussion test data. INCISIV have developed and verified low cost sensor low-cost VR sensor data as a reliable means of measuring balance and movement in VR environments and developed a VR test for concussion. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Improved diagnostic pathways Improvements in clinical assessment Improved concussion diagnosis and management through a comprehensive testing system rather than specific components The creation of customised, controlled and safe testing environment with sound psychometric properties and validity Preservation of life and capacity Reduction in healthcare costs Increased returns to the local economy 
URL https://incisiv.tech/
 
Title World Building Framework-Experimental Design 
Description The definition and use of world building as a narrative design system was created and developed by Experimental creative director Alex McDowell, in the first year of the 21st Century. Like any powerful methodology, it continues to evolve. World building combines the power of rigorous research, systems design, and collective storytelling to make sense of the rapidly changing world. In this unique time of exponential progress and massive disruption, world building enables organizations to envision, design, and experience preferred futures - and create the stable steps to realize these futures. Stories define the vision of Experimental Design which position the studio as an ideal partner in an economic development programme operating within the NI context in which narrative and storytelling has a unique power in the context of both reconciliation and community empowerment. World building is equal parts science and art, empirical and poetic. Worlds create a visual common language that can be understood across an organisation or a society. Stories are used to debate and discuss the future, helping to inspire new approaches to external and internal communications, strategic business planning and partnership development. World building is built upon the premise of future building. World building exists at the intersection of design, technology, and storytelling. In its ability to enable and conjure deeply considered holistic worlds, it represents the foundational narrative and design practice for transmedia, spherical storytelling, and the post-cinematic. World building takes a lateral anthropological stance, borrowing specifically from ethnographic practice to contextualize speculative designs in real world research. World builders as designers then use this ethnographic groundwork as a place from which to begin imagining future possibilities. This process allows designers to intelligently project plausible scenarios and outcomes through the creation of diegetic prototypes and models backed by rigorous research, envisioning desirable futures and the steps taken to realise them. Any storyteller can weave a compelling narrative, but world builders create story worlds that support myriad stories by multiple storytellers across disparate platforms - including those platforms that may not yet be named. Such world building becomes even more powerful when it moves beyond transmedia entertainment experiences and tackles real-world challenges in realworld environments. It is this unique aspect of the world building framework which is crucial in the context of divided contexts which may persist within NI. World building employs a collaborative, ethnographic design methodology that incorporates extensive research at the individual, community, and world scales; a constant redefinition of research questions; a research and world map; as well as expert interviews, speculative fiction, character lenses and development, narrative design, and rapid prototyping. This is the approach that has been adopted by Experimental Design within the NI Context. Future Screens NI and Experimental Design are collaborating to produce a framework which will act as a catalyst for a new grassroots creative industry. The intention is to empower young people to become the creative force through which to drive a community centred economy through the use of new, immerging and immersive technology. Future Screen NI are providing the academic expertise and place related knowledge that is required to achieve this objective credibly and cognisant of the impact of the conflict. The project is also providing much needed developmental support to the £38mn Screen and Medial Innovation Lab project under City Deals. Achievements specific to the Future Belfast project include: • A 3-day industrial and community site visit in May 2019 in which Future Screens NI and Experimental Design engaged with more than 60 creative industries and community representatives and which ensured that the Future Belfast visit was co-created with local creatives and community organisations. • A public event in which Alex McDowell outlined the World Building Framework and it's potential for application within the NI context which was attended by 110 members of the public, representatives of the creative industries, university representative and community groups. • A 4 day site visit in February 2019 in which Future Screens NI and Experimental Design undertook essential fieldwork activity to develop, test and define the framework. • Future Screens NI and Experimental Design met with Mayor of Belfast in order to explore the potential for joint working. • Future Screens NI and Experimental Design met with Deirdre Hargey, Minister for Communities. Future Screens NI and Experimental Design are continuing to engage with the Minister regarding the future development of the project. • Future Screens NI, Experimental Design and partners won the award for Best International Collaboration at the 2020 Irish Education Awards in recognition of both the excellence and impact of the project. https://www.futurescreens.org/news/2020/2/24/future-screens-ni-and-experimental-design-la-win-best-international-collaboration https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Zv7n_B-vPMU0n9TRfEpjuU-Xdw3qBna6 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Achievements specific to the Future Belfast project include: • A 3-day industrial and community site visit in May 2019 in which Future Screens NI and Experimental Design engaged with more than 60 creative industries and community representatives and which ensured that the Future Belfast visit was co-created with local creatives and community organisations. • A public event in which Alex McDowell outlined the World Building Framework and it's potential for application within the NI context which was attended by 110 members of the public, representatives of the creative industries, university representative and community groups. • A 4 day site visit in February 2019 in which Future Screens NI and Experimental Design undertook essential fieldwork activity to develop, test and define the framework. • Future Screens NI and Experimental Design met with Mayor of Belfast in order to explore the potential for joint working. • Future Screens NI and Experimental Design met with Deirdre Hargey, Minister for Communities. Future Screens NI and Experimental Design are continuing to engage with the Minister regarding the future development of the project. • Future Screens NI, Experimental Design and partners won the award for Best International Collaboration at the 2020 Irish Education Awards in recognition of both the excellence and impact of the project. The development of a framework which can redistribute success and resource to previously unreached groups and communities. 
URL https://www.futurescreens.org/news/2019/10/9/future-screens-ni-a-framework-to-deliver-opportunity-an...
 
Title iBeholder 
Description This is an interactive mobile based tool that facilitates stronger virtual engagement with galleries and heritage sites. The technology allows the collection of data in non ticketed visual organisations in order to inform audience experience. Thrive have partnered with Golant Innovation to deliver an iBeholder pilot in Northern Ireland to help the visual arts sector use data to drive innovation and resilience in the context of the impact of COVID-19. The original iBeholder project was developed in partnership with g39 and other visual organisations in Wales with Digital Innovation for the Arts in Wales funding. The visual arts galleries taking part in the project are Belfast Exposed, Golden Thread Gallery, Naughton Gallery and CCA Derry~Londonderry. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact The ability to engage with visual exhibitions during the ongoing crisis. Vital audience information in order to inform strategic planning Transformational impact within the non ticketed sector Data to drive innovation and sustainability 
URL https://www.theaudienceagency.org/news/golant-innovation-ibeholder
 
Description ALT Animation, The Hearios 
Organisation ALT Animation
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Future Screens NI have invested £75,480 in the Hearios project. This includes an R&D grant of £19,980 and academic and research expertise and administrative support. Future Screens NI identified a clear path to a R&D challenge due to the requirement for rigorous user testing and research in to how the project (The Hearios) could be used to aid development of speech, language and memory skills in pre school children. The Future Screens NI team have co-created the solution to the research and development challenge with ALT Animation. This solution was to employ user testing with their target demographic to provide infromation about the existing listening skills and vocabulary of pre-school children and how they are affected by the central conceit of the show. The series has been designed to actively improve these skills which has been shown to have an overall effect on the development of further skills such as speech and memory. Future Screens NI was able to provide ALT Animation with experts who specialise in this field: - Dr Trevor Agus is a hearing researcher based in SARC at Queen's University Belfast, specialising in the auditory perception of everyday sounds. - Dr Tim Fosker is a developmental psychologist at Queen's University Belfast, specialising in the development of speech and language. - Dr Franziska Schroeder is a Senior Lecturer in Music and Sonic Arts at Queen's University Belfast and a Future Screens NI co-investigator. - Agus and Fosker have previously collaborated to develop methods for testing the auditory abilities of preschoolers (e.g. Gillen, Agus & Fosker, Auditory Perception & Cognition, 2019; "Measuring auditory discrimination thresholds in preschool children: An empirically based analysis"). Who were able to proivde expert advise on the subject and in particular to the ffectiveness and use cases for conducting user testing on pre-school children. The proposed user testing was then carried out to establish the effectiveness of the content in capturing the attention of children to the sounds that are presented to them and the development of their vocabularly of sounds. The educational aspects of this series are of major importance to broadcasters, and in this case especially public service broadcasters, which has a strng remit to inspire and educate their young audiences.
Collaborator Contribution ALT Animation is a collective of creative professionals who joined forces to create a production studio focused on delivering high quality story driven animated content, using efficient production pipelines to provide creative solutions and compelling content for global audiences of all ages across multiple platforms. Formed in 2016, ALT Animation is made up of Animation Producers, Tim Bryans and Andrea McQuade and Creative Director Lee McQuade. Since their formation, ALT Animation have been focused on developing a slate of animated properties for the global market. In 2017 ALT Animation optioned an idea for an animated series from children's author and music expert Ann Bryant. The Hearios is a new and exciting stop motion animation and live action mixed media series aimed at a pre-school audience featuring a family of musical moles who teach children the important developmental skill of active listening. Working with Ann and Mark Gordon of Score Draw Music, ALT have developed the idea into The Hearios, a property with true international appeal which promises to couple compelling animated content with a very valuable message for a modern pre-school audience. In the current market, the competition for commissions from broadcasters and SVODs is extremely high with production companies from around the world competing for the relatively small number of shows that get picked up every year. The children's department at the BBC receive over 1,000 pitch documents every year, from which they will commission 3 or 4 projects. Whilst the BBC are obviously the market leader in children's animation, this level of uptake is indicative of the competition that animation producers face to get their content out into market.
Impact ALT were able to succesfully complete their R&D in to user testing for their project which followed in the creation of 52 x 7 minutes of programming being create for the pre-school market
Start Year 2019
 
Description Action Sense LTD, Glove Play Pain relief 
Organisation ActionSense
Country Ireland 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Future Screens NI are investing £32,950 in this project. This includes a £10,000 R&D award, and academic, research and administrative expertise. Future Screens NI have worked with Action Sense to identify a clear R&D challenge born out of a need for improved treatment in rheumatology. The expertise of the Future Screens NI team has been directed towards addressing the research objective of this project and found that it was indeed sound reasoning that this area required more focussed research on developing way to deal with rheumatology related illness. The Future Screens NI team have been involved in the co-creation of the solution to the research and development challenege with Action Sense LTD through the development of a glove which acts as a bespoke digital solution for the use in treatment and rehabilitation of rheumatology. By using state-of-the-art technology sensor infused gloves it has been shown that they can analyse the movement of the hand, wrist and fingers in order to detect and measure the stiffness of the joints. Future Screens NI Co-Investigator Dr Darryl Charles was of particular help to Action Sense LTD in this space due to the need to gamify the solution by providing users clinically prescribed home exercise routines. Through this unique provision of tailored computer games Action Sense LTD would be able to enhance engagement with users by way of including gamified elements to prescribed exercises and tasks which aid motivation. In addition to this it was also pertinent to give the users a sense of feedback from the solution which took the form of 3D graphics which were used to present infomation to the user on how they were doing, this provides a clear and understandible way to show real-time visualisations of clinical data. Currently, the existing software system records finger movement and records data, but does not support guided and gamified exercise. It also does not support sufficient real-time visual replaying of user motion alongside rich 3D visualization. This new combined solution will be unique in the data glove market. Currently clinicians use goniometers to measure perceived stiffness in patients joint mobility - the latest ActionSense data glove facilitates automated and intelligent stiffness measurement with cloud storage of patient data. This additional gaming feature will enhance the ActionSense product offering.
Collaborator Contribution Action Sense LTD have the mission is to provide a range of cost effective and intelligent glove-based solutions to measure and improve joint mobility. Action Sense LTD is lead by Dr Joan Condell PhD MSc BSc, Computer Science Research Institute, SCEIS in CEBE. Joan is found-er, CEO and also Senior Lecturer at Ulster University where she has brought in over 12 million of funding and has over 280 publications. The project addresses a variety of user and clinical problems in current approaches: • Design, prototype and test a more fun way to ensure patients complete their exercises • To relieve pain as patients exercise, as we know exercise will long-term enable pain relief but in short term patients are reluctant to increase or complete exercises due to existing pain that they experience. • Provide the user with a user-centered, structured, progressive, guided exercise programme with informative feedback. • Seek end-user feedback throughout prototype development to ensure user acceptance of final product. A proof of concept serious game will be produced in which the gameplay is based on repetitive hand motion as inputs. This will be approached on a series of fronts in order to achieve the desired end result: • The input will be captured by a bespoke glove created in-house at ActionSense. • The game(s) will be tailored to the requirements of arthritis patients and adapted to individual needs. • Software will provide real-time and summative aesthetically rich feedback to arthritis sufferers, helping guide effective exercises/rehabilitation and motivate users to engage more regularly. • Data will be recorded to enable clinical visualization of movement and changes in movement of fingers over time - either in 3D with within the game engine using hand animations or using summary graphs and charts.
Impact Action Sense LTD were able to relieve pain for patients through longterm exercise using their pain relief gloves which were able to provide the user with a user-centered, structured, progressive, guided exercise programme with informative feedback.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Barclays Eagle Lab Belfast 
Organisation Barclays
Department Barclay Eagle Labs Belfast
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Future Screens NI has located a Creative Industries Innovation Hub within Ormeau Baths Innovation Hub. In the context of Northern Ireland, the creative industries are more than just another key economic sector, generating, according to DCMS figures, £1.01 billion in gross added value of the NI economy, and employing 2.9% of the entire NI workforce. For a region emerging from a period of profound conflict, and social and cultural division and dysfunction, the creative industries sector has continued to offer an alternative and successful paradigm, a new model for cultural expression, personal growth, and economic attainment. Ormeau Baths provides a perfectly appointed space through which to develop and build the Future Screens NI Creative Cluster based upon these objectives. Eagle Labs Belfast is co-located Ormeau Baths and Future Screens NI. Eagle Labs is building a platform to connect the UK's entrepreneurial ecosystem to drive digital skills development to help grow the economy through innovation and change. These objectives reflect the core objectives of Future Screens NI. Together both organisations have developed the creative industries eco system within the Ormeau Baths Innovation Hub. Barclays are focused upon ensuring that NI is one of the best places in the UK to start and grow innovative businesses by promoting creativity and entrepreneurship. Barclays Eagle Labs offer a range of activities and create opportunities for individuals and businesses of all sizes to access a broad range of skills to support this mission. Eagle Labs also support the transformation of businesses, industries and larger organisations through the delivery of structured innovation programming and access to new and emerging technologies. The provision at Eagle Labs has played an essential role in the successful establishment of Future Screens NI as one of the most successful clusters within the creative economy programme. Eagle Labs provide high-potential businesses with the services they need to help their businesses. From each location we cultivate a community of likeminded entrepreneurs who benefit from access to a collaborative co-working and office space, structured mentoring and a curated events programme. The cluster of organisations involved in Future Screens NI may be defined as: (a) audiovisual-led, complemented by the strength of the digital sector and the impact of technology in other more traditional sectors, eg. in tourism, heritage, textiles and crafts; (b) operating across NI as a region, driven by the Belfast travel-to-work-area (add ref to NESTA) but with a region-wide remit linking, in particular, to the North West of the province; c) a spatially defined multi-industry cluster that is distinctive within the UK, shaped by the complexity of cultural space in the aftermath of 20th-century conflict, a plurality of commercial and cultural relationships including across the border with the Republic of Ireland, the role of economic development bodies such as Invest NI and Catalyst Inc., and the significant investment of the HEIs and FE colleges in the creative industries; d) comprising emerging animation, games and immersive technologies industries, which although small by international standards, is one of the fastest growing sectors of the NI economy. The overarching aim of Future Screens NI is to develop a new understanding of the role the creative industries can play in advancing the NI economy both in terms of financial growth and the creation of new employment opportunities. It will do this by researching new technologies and opportunities, developing appropriate educational and training models, placing NI creative businesses in front of international markets, and working with government and other key agencies to ensure sustained growth. Future Screens NI (Ulster) and Eagle Labs Belfast together identified the problem of underinvestment in, and an absence of infrastructure for the local creative industries, and need to drive forward research and development within the local creative economy. Together the partnership have developed the infrastructure and a site of engagement for the local creative industries. Eagle Labs Belfast and Future Screens NI work collaboratively in order to build and support the network and drive forward a culture of public engagement. The partnership between Future Screens NI and Eagle Labs Belfast have resulted in more than 60 EOIs to the Future Screens NI Open Call and 25 live projects. Future Screens NI provide the academic and research expertise to drive forward the cluster and Eagle Labs Belfast provide the necessary infrastructure and support required to build the local creative cluster. The importance of the partnership between Future Screens NI and Eagle Labs Belfast within the Ormeau Baths Innovation Hub has generated the creative industries in NI as a neutral space located in accessible area within Belfast City Centre where contemporary and emerging industrial forms can be advanced in secure settings in a transitional period which is still informed by underlying political tensions. The role of the Cluster as a safe space for high-risk creative endeavour in a low-risk innovation environment, one that fosters experiment and cultural opportunity, cannot be overestimated. As BenedictAnderson (1991) has shown, communities interact through concepts of imagined connection and Future Screens NI and Eagle Labs Belfast together will actively work as a hub to create new forms of imagined community which advance and normalise political stability while creating real employment and building economic growth. Together the partnership build a creative cluster comprising 20 Lead industry partners including: RTÉ, NI Screen, BBC, BCC, Digital Catapult, Invest NI, Innovate UK, Tourism NI, Retinize, Humain, The Lyric Theatre, and 100 SMEs at the forefront of new immersive and emerging technologies including Alt Animation, Italic Pig Ltd, Taunt Ltd, Sentireal, Sixteen South, Incisiv, PreCog, NEON and JadeBlok alongside significant global partners including the World Building Institute, Experimental Design, Disney, Warner Media, Industrial Light and Magic, HBO and The Romeros. In doing so Future Screens NI and Eagle Labs Belfast have established a network consisting of: • 25 live R&D projects in gaming, med-tech, immersion, animation, mental health and wellbeing, and pain relief which are at the forefront of R&I within new and emerging technologies • Future Screens NI and Ormeau Baths have hosted over 20 R&D lead events attended by more than 5,000 creative industry representatives and academics • Established the regular Future Tuesdays Series which takes place on the second Tuesday of every month and is attended by an average of 60 representative • 22 members of academic staff who are leaders in their field working collaboratively with the industry attended by more than 4,000 Creative industries reps and showcasing 30 local R&D projects • 4 PhD students undertaking Future Focused research in Cinematics, Design Thinking and Leadership. • Built a research partnership comprising 20 Lead industry partners including: RTÉ, NI Screen, BBC, BCC, Digital Catapult, Invest NI, Innovate UK, Tourism NI, Retinize, Humain, The Lyric Theatre, and 100 SMEs at the forefront of new immersive and emerging technologies including Alt Animation, Italic Pig Ltd, Taunt Ltd, Sentireal, Sixteen South, Incisiv, PreCog, NEON and JadeBlok. • Built a global partnership involving the World Building Institute, Experimental Design, Disney, Warner Media, Industrial Light and Magic, HBO and The Romeros. • Developed the Pixel Mill which is an R&D led Gaming and Innovation Hub which is home to 18 businesses and provides accommodation, mentoring, expertise and leadership development. Including building an R&D led network. • Created 79 new R&D led jobs within the creative sector in Year 1. • Developed a bespoke R&D led Leadership programme to 100 local creative industry businesses which has resulted in the development of new business models and created 10 new R&D led jobs • Developed the Hearios has the potential to stimulate listening skills at pre-school age • The Lead2Grow programme which has been developed to generate new leadership models commenced in March 2019 with an initial Lead2Grow Programme which was attended by 211 participants. The programme will go live in October 2019 with 30 registered participants. • Future Screens NI and Eagle Labs Belfast are co-located with the Propel Pre-accelerator at Ormeau Baths. The Propel Pre-Accelerator is home to 21 new programmes. The Propel Pre-Accelerator is delivered by IGNITE, a UK based start up support and investment network. • Working together in close partnership Eagle Labs has ensured that Future Screens NI is the strongest project within the entire UK Industrial Strategy Programme. This was announced by Professor Andrew Chitty, Challenge Director - Creative Industries Clusters and Audience of the Future Programme at the AHRC Beyond Conference 2019. Future Screens NI at Forefront of the Industrial Strategy Programme • Ulster University and Eagle Labs have established the Pixel Mill, a unique R&D led Gaming Incubation Hub home to 18 businesses. • Ulster University and Eagle Labs have transformed the local creative sector by providing infrastructure, creating a strong ecosystem, supporting industry to advance along the R&D funding pipeline and to access prestigious funding and mentoring opportunities from Innovate UK and Industrial Light and Magic. • Future Screens NI and Eagle Labs hosted the NI Assembly STEM All-Party Group in order to ensure that the local STEM ecosystem and Political Structures understand the important role of the Creative Industries in the generation and application of new and emerging technologies. • Future Screens and Eagle Labs have worked together to ensure that Future Screens NI is at the Forefront of the Industrial Strategy Programme as announced by Professor Andrew Chitty, Director of the Creative Economy Programme at the Beyond Conferenc 20-21 November 2019 in Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh. https://beyondconference.org/showcase/the-infinite-hotel/ • Alt Animation,. Eagle Labs Belfast and Future Screens NI are collaborating on The Hearios. The Hearios is a new and exciting stop motion animation and live action mixed media series aimed at a pre-school audience featuring a family of musical moles who teach children the important developmental skill of active listening. Future. In order to make The Hearios stand out from its competitors, have carried out user testing with the target audience, in collaboration with QUB, to provide information about the existing listening skills and vocabulary of pre-schoolers and how they are affected by the central conceit of the show. The series has been designed to improve children's active listening skills which have been shown to assist with their development in areas such as speech, language skills and memory. ALT have conducted user testing in order to establish the effectiveness of the show in capturing children's attention to the sounds presented and their development of a vocabulary of sounds. Educational aspects of a series are of huge importance to broadcasters, especially public service broadcasters who have a particular remit to inspire and educate their audiences. https://altanimation.wetransfer.com/downloads/46cb97ed83a61c13dc7d757eb5d6172220191028135926/da75d8 Other specific impacts have included: • Enhancement and expansion of R&D capacity, knowledge and skills of CI businesses (micro and SMEs) and their owner/managers. The embedding of new knowledge and core technical/business enterprise skills will bring an in-depth understanding of the commercial reality of doing business in CI in a way that will foster collaboration and growth resulting in improved productivity and efficiency at an individual firm level and, in turn across sub-sectors. • Commercialisation and exploitation of technical/expert knowledge leading to spin out companies, as well as the creation of new processes, products and services. • Development of the international commercial capabilities of CI business owners to aid the sector to attract R&D investment from global business. • Increased wealth generation and economic prosperity, evident in the creation and growth of companies and jobs, and the enhancement of business revenue and innovative capacity in high performing CI sub-sectors in NI. • Establishment of specialised physical Creative Innovation Hubs in Belfast • Development of innovative hardware and software solutions for application in creative contexts. • Increased productivity of individual high performing (or potential high growth) CI firms. • Increased number of ideas driven through to successful product development and commercialisation. • New frameworks of leadership development for the CI sector to facilitate collaboration between micro-businesses via HE, local authorities and enterprise agencies to ensure training, advice and mentoring that is fit for purpose. • Connection of pockets of excellence across the region harnessing the opportunities afforded through the partnership with Ormeau Baths. Additional Supporting Information https://vimeo.com/372602129 (Video) https://tinyurl.com/vydpuku (images) https://tinyurl.com/rqmkwmy (report) https://creativeindustriesclusters.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Clusters-Booklet-Story-So-Far-FINAL-web.pdf https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZY6eQbPLGU&feature=youtu.be https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42mItwjPW8I&feature=youtu.be https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jgEYcVlpmY
Collaborator Contribution Future Screens NI has located a Creative Industries Innovation Hub within Ormeau Baths Innovation Hub. In the context of Northern Ireland, the creative industries are more than just another key economic sector, generating, according to DCMS figures, £1.01 billion in gross added value of the NI economy, and employing 2.9% of the entire NI workforce. For a region emerging from a period of profound conflict, and social and cultural division and dysfunction, the creative industries sector has continued to offer an alternative and successful paradigm, a new model for cultural expression, personal growth, and economic attainment. Ormeau Baths provides a perfectly appointed space through which to develop and build the Future Screens NI Creative Cluster based upon these objectives. Eagle Labs Belfast is co-located Ormeau Baths and Future Screens NI. Eagle Labs is building a platform to connect the UK's entrepreneurial ecosystem to drive digital skills development to help grow the economy through innovation and change. These objectives reflect the core objectives of Future Screens NI. Together both organisations have developed the creative industries eco system within the Ormeau Baths Innovation Hub. Barclays are focused upon ensuring that NI is one of the best places in the UK to start and grow innovative businesses by promoting creativity and entrepreneurship. Barclays Eagle Labs offer a range of activities and create opportunities for individuals and businesses of all sizes to access a broad range of skills to support this mission. Eagle Labs also support the transformation of businesses, industries and larger organisations through the delivery of structured innovation programming and access to new and emerging technologies. The provision at Eagle Labs has played an essential role in the successful establishment of Future Screens NI as one of the most successful clusters within the creative economy programme. Eagle Labs provide high-potential businesses with the services they need to help their businesses. From each location we cultivate a community of likeminded entrepreneurs who benefit from access to a collaborative co-working and office space, structured mentoring and a curated events programme. The cluster of organisations involved in Future Screens NI may be defined as: (a) audiovisual-led, complemented by the strength of the digital sector and the impact of technology in other more traditional sectors, eg. in tourism, heritage, textiles and crafts; (b) operating across NI as a region, driven by the Belfast travel-to-work-area (add ref to NESTA) but with a region-wide remit linking, in particular, to the North West of the province; c) a spatially defined multi-industry cluster that is distinctive within the UK, shaped by the complexity of cultural space in the aftermath of 20th-century conflict, a plurality of commercial and cultural relationships including across the border with the Republic of Ireland, the role of economic development bodies such as Invest NI and Catalyst Inc., and the significant investment of the HEIs and FE colleges in the creative industries; d) comprising emerging animation, games and immersive technologies industries, which although small by international standards, is one of the fastest growing sectors of the NI economy. The overarching aim of Future Screens NI is to develop a new understanding of the role the creative industries can play in advancing the NI economy both in terms of financial growth and the creation of new employment opportunities. It will do this by researching new technologies and opportunities, developing appropriate educational and training models, placing NI creative businesses in front of international markets, and working with government and other key agencies to ensure sustained growth. Future Screens NI (Ulster) and Eagle Labs Belfast together identified the problem of underinvestment in, and an absence of infrastructure for the local creative industries, and need to drive forward research and development within the local creative economy. Together the partnership have developed the infrastructure and a site of engagement for the local creative industries. Eagle Labs Belfast and Future Screens NI work collaboratively in order to build and support the network and drive forward a culture of public engagement. The partnership between Future Screens NI and Eagle Labs Belfast have resulted in more than 60 EOIs to the Future Screens NI Open Call and 25 live projects. Future Screens NI provide the academic and research expertise to drive forward the cluster and Eagle Labs Belfast provide the necessary infrastructure and support required to build the local creative cluster. The importance of the partnership between Future Screens NI and Eagle Labs Belfast within the Ormeau Baths Innovation Hub has generated the creative industries in NI as a neutral space located in accessible area within Belfast City Centre where contemporary and emerging industrial forms can be advanced in secure settings in a transitional period which is still informed by underlying political tensions. The role of the Cluster as a safe space for high-risk creative endeavour in a low-risk innovation environment, one that fosters experiment and cultural opportunity, cannot be overestimated. As BenedictAnderson (1991) has shown, communities interact through concepts of imagined connection and Future Screens NI and Eagle Labs Belfast together will actively work as a hub to create new forms of imagined community which advance and normalise political stability while creating real employment and building economic growth. Together the partnership build a creative cluster comprising 20 Lead industry partners including: RTÉ, NI Screen, BBC, BCC, Digital Catapult, Invest NI, Innovate UK, Tourism NI, Retinize, Humain, The Lyric Theatre, and 100 SMEs at the forefront of new immersive and emerging technologies including Alt Animation, Italic Pig Ltd, Taunt Ltd, Sentireal, Sixteen South, Incisiv, PreCog, NEON and JadeBlok alongside significant global partners including the World Building Institute, Experimental Design, Disney, Warner Media, Industrial Light and Magic, HBO and The Romeros. In doing so Future Screens NI and Eagle Labs Belfast have established a network consisting of: • 25 live R&D projects in gaming, med-tech, immersion, animation, mental health and wellbeing, and pain relief which are at the forefront of R&I within new and emerging technologies • Future Screens NI and Ormeau Baths have hosted over 20 R&D lead events attended by more than 5,000 creative industry representatives and academics • Established the regular Future Tuesdays Series which takes place on the second Tuesday of every month and is attended by an average of 60 representative • 22 members of academic staff who are leaders in their field working collaboratively with the industry attended by more than 4,000 Creative industries reps and showcasing 30 local R&D projects • 4 PhD students undertaking Future Focused research in Cinematics, Design Thinking and Leadership. • Built a research partnership comprising 20 Lead industry partners including: RTÉ, NI Screen, BBC, BCC, Digital Catapult, Invest NI, Innovate UK, Tourism NI, Retinize, Humain, The Lyric Theatre, and 100 SMEs at the forefront of new immersive and emerging technologies including Alt Animation, Italic Pig Ltd, Taunt Ltd, Sentireal, Sixteen South, Incisiv, PreCog, NEON and JadeBlok. • Built a global partnership involving the World Building Institute, Experimental Design, Disney, Warner Media, Industrial Light and Magic, HBO and The Romeros. • Developed the Pixel Mill which is an R&D led Gaming and Innovation Hub which is home to 18 businesses and provides accommodation, mentoring, expertise and leadership development. Including building an R&D led network. • Created 79 new R&D led jobs within the creative sector in Year 1. • Developed a bespoke R&D led Leadership programme to 100 local creative industry businesses which has resulted in the development of new business models and created 10 new R&D led jobs • Developed the Hearios has the potential to stimulate listening skills at pre-school age • The Lead2Grow programme which has been developed to generate new leadership models commenced in March 2019 with an initial Lead2Grow Programme which was attended by 211 participants. The programme will go live in October 2019 with 30 registered participants. • Future Screens NI and Eagle Labs Belfast are co-located with the Propel Pre-accelerator at Ormeau Baths. The Propel Pre-Accelerator is home to 21 new programmes. The Propel Pre-Accelerator is delivered by IGNITE, a UK based start up support and investment network. • Working together in close partnership Eagle Labs has ensured that Future Screens NI is the strongest project within the entire UK Industrial Strategy Programme. This was announced by Professor Andrew Chitty, Challenge Director - Creative Industries Clusters and Audience of the Future Programme at the AHRC Beyond Conference 2019. Future Screens NI at Forefront of the Industrial Strategy Programme • Ulster University and Eagle Labs have established the Pixel Mill, a unique R&D led Gaming Incubation Hub home to 18 businesses. • Ulster University and Eagle Labs have transformed the local creative sector by providing infrastructure, creating a strong ecosystem, supporting industry to advance along the R&D funding pipeline and to access prestigious funding and mentoring opportunities from Innovate UK and Industrial Light and Magic. • Future Screens NI and Eagle Labs hosted the NI Assembly STEM All-Party Group in order to ensure that the local STEM ecosystem and Political Structures understand the important role of the Creative Industries in the generation and application of new and emerging technologies. • Future Screens and Eagle Labs have worked together to ensure that Future Screens NI is at the Forefront of the Industrial Strategy Programme as announced by Professor Andrew Chitty, Director of the Creative Economy Programme at the Beyond Conferenc 20-21 November 2019 in Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh. https://beyondconference.org/showcase/the-infinite-hotel/ • Alt Animation,. Eagle Labs Belfast and Future Screens NI are collaborating on The Hearios. The Hearios is a new and exciting stop motion animation and live action mixed media series aimed at a pre-school audience featuring a family of musical moles who teach children the important developmental skill of active listening. Future. In order to make The Hearios stand out from its competitors, have carried out user testing with the target audience, in collaboration with QUB, to provide information about the existing listening skills and vocabulary of pre-schoolers and how they are affected by the central conceit of the show. The series has been designed to improve children's active listening skills which have been shown to assist with their development in areas such as speech, language skills and memory. ALT have conducted user testing in order to establish the effectiveness of the show in capturing children's attention to the sounds presented and their development of a vocabulary of sounds. Educational aspects of a series are of huge importance to broadcasters, especially public service broadcasters who have a particular remit to inspire and educate their audiences. https://altanimation.wetransfer.com/downloads/46cb97ed83a61c13dc7d757eb5d6172220191028135926/da75d8 Other specific impacts have included: • Enhancement and expansion of R&D capacity, knowledge and skills of CI businesses (micro and SMEs) and their owner/managers. The embedding of new knowledge and core technical/business enterprise skills will bring an in-depth understanding of the commercial reality of doing business in CI in a way that will foster collaboration and growth resulting in improved productivity and efficiency at an individual firm level and, in turn across sub-sectors. • Commercialisation and exploitation of technical/expert knowledge leading to spin out companies, as well as the creation of new processes, products and services. • Development of the international commercial capabilities of CI business owners to aid the sector to attract R&D investment from global business. • Increased wealth generation and economic prosperity, evident in the creation and growth of companies and jobs, and the enhancement of business revenue and innovative capacity in high performing CI sub-sectors in NI. • Establishment of specialised physical Creative Innovation Hubs in Belfast • Development of innovative hardware and software solutions for application in creative contexts. • Increased productivity of individual high performing (or potential high growth) CI firms. • Increased number of ideas driven through to successful product development and commercialisation. • New frameworks of leadership development for the CI sector to facilitate collaboration between micro-businesses via HE, local authorities and enterprise agencies to ensure training, advice and mentoring that is fit for purpose. • Connection of pockets of excellence across the region harnessing the opportunities afforded through the partnership with Ormeau Baths. Additional Supporting Information https://vimeo.com/372602129 (Video) https://tinyurl.com/vydpuku (images) https://tinyurl.com/rqmkwmy (report) https://creativeindustriesclusters.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Clusters-Booklet-Story-So-Far-FINAL-web.pdf https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZY6eQbPLGU&feature=youtu.be https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42mItwjPW8I&feature=youtu.be https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jgEYcVlpmY
Impact Future Screens NI and Eagle Labs Belfast have established a network consisting of: • 25 live R&D projects in gaming, med-tech, immersion, animation, mental health and wellbeing, and pain relief which are at the forefront of R&I within new and emerging technologies • Future Screens NI and Ormeau Baths have hosted over 20 R&D lead events attended by more than 5,000 creative industry representatives and academics • Established the regular Future Tuesdays Series which takes place on the second Tuesday of every month and is attended by an average of 60 representative • 22 members of academic staff who are leaders in their field working collaboratively with the industry attended by more than 4,000 Creative industries reps and showcasing 30 local R&D projects • 4 PhD students undertaking Future Focused research in Cinematics, Design Thinking and Leadership. • Built a research partnership comprising 20 Lead industry partners including: RTÉ, NI Screen, BBC, BCC, Digital Catapult, Invest NI, Innovate UK, Tourism NI, Retinize, Humain, The Lyric Theatre, and 100 SMEs at the forefront of new immersive and emerging technologies including Alt Animation, Italic Pig Ltd, Taunt Ltd, Sentireal, Sixteen South, Incisiv, PreCog, NEON and JadeBlok. • Built a global partnership involving the World Building Institute, Experimental Design, Disney, Warner Media, Industrial Light and Magic, HBO and The Romeros. • Developed the Pixel Mill which is an R&D led Gaming and Innovation Hub which is home to 18 businesses and provides accommodation, mentoring, expertise and leadership development. Including building an R&D led network. • Created 79 new R&D led jobs within the creative sector in Year 1. • Developed a bespoke R&D led Leadership programme to 100 local creative industry businesses which has resulted in the development of new business models and created 10 new R&D led jobs • Developed the Hearios has the potential to stimulate listening skills at pre-school age • The Lead2Grow programme which has been developed to generate new leadership models commenced in March 2019 with an initial Lead2Grow Programme which was attended by 211 participants. The programme will go live in October 2019 with 30 registered participants. • Future Screens NI and Eagle Labs Belfast are co-located with the Propel Pre-accelerator at Ormeau Baths. The Propel Pre-Accelerator is home to 21 new programmes. The Propel Pre-Accelerator is delivered by IGNITE, a UK based start up support and investment network. • Working together in close partnership Eagle Labs has ensured that Future Screens NI is the strongest project within the entire UK Industrial Strategy Programme. This was announced by Professor Andrew Chitty, Challenge Director - Creative Industries Clusters and Audience of the Future Programme at the AHRC Beyond Conference 2019. Future Screens NI at Forefront of the Industrial Strategy Programme • Ulster University and Eagle Labs have established the Pixel Mill, a unique R&D led Gaming Incubation Hub home to 18 businesses. • Ulster University and Eagle Labs have transformed the local creative sector by providing infrastructure, creating a strong ecosystem, supporting industry to advance along the R&D funding pipeline and to access prestigious funding and mentoring opportunities from Innovate UK and Industrial Light and Magic. • Future Screens NI and Eagle Labs hosted the NI Assembly STEM All-Party Group in order to ensure that the local STEM ecosystem and Political Structures understand the important role of the Creative Industries in the generation and application of new and emerging technologies. • Future Screens and Eagle Labs have worked together to ensure that Future Screens NI is at the Forefront of the Industrial Strategy Programme as announced by Professor Andrew Chitty, Director of the Creative Economy Programme at the Beyond Conferenc 20-21 November 2019 in Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh. https://beyondconference.org/showcase/the-infinite-hotel/ • Alt Animation,. Eagle Labs Belfast and Future Screens NI are collaborating on The Hearios. The Hearios is a new and exciting stop motion animation and live action mixed media series aimed at a pre-school audience featuring a family of musical moles who teach children the important developmental skill of active listening. Future. In order to make The Hearios stand out from its competitors, have carried out user testing with the target audience, in collaboration with QUB, to provide information about the existing listening skills and vocabulary of pre-schoolers and how they are affected by the central conceit of the show. The series has been designed to improve children's active listening skills which have been shown to assist with their development in areas such as speech, language skills and memory. ALT have conducted user testing in order to establish the effectiveness of the show in capturing children's attention to the sounds presented and their development of a vocabulary of sounds. Educational aspects of a series are of huge importance to broadcasters, especially public service broadcasters who have a particular remit to inspire and educate their audiences. https://altanimation.wetransfer.com/downloads/46cb97ed83a61c13dc7d757eb5d6172220191028135926/da75d8 Other specific impacts have included: • Enhancement and expansion of R&D capacity, knowledge and skills of CI businesses (micro and SMEs) and their owner/managers. The embedding of new knowledge and core technical/business enterprise skills will bring an in-depth understanding of the commercial reality of doing business in CI in a way that will foster collaboration and growth resulting in improved productivity and efficiency at an individual firm level and, in turn across sub-sectors. • Commercialisation and exploitation of technical/expert knowledge leading to spin out companies, as well as the creation of new processes, products and services. • Development of the international commercial capabilities of CI business owners to aid the sector to attract R&D investment from global business. • Increased wealth generation and economic prosperity, evident in the creation and growth of companies and jobs, and the enhancement of business revenue and innovative capacity in high performing CI sub-sectors in NI. • Establishment of specialised physical Creative Innovation Hubs in Belfast • Development of innovative hardware and software solutions for application in creative contexts. • Increased productivity of individual high performing (or potential high growth) CI firms. • Increased number of ideas driven through to successful product development and commercialisation. • New frameworks of leadership development for the CI sector to facilitate collaboration between micro-businesses via HE, local authorities and enterprise agencies to ensure training, advice and mentoring that is fit for purpose. • Connection of pockets of excellence across the region harnessing the opportunities afforded through the partnership with Ormeau Baths. Additional Supporting Information https://vimeo.com/372602129 (Video) https://tinyurl.com/vydpuku (images) https://tinyurl.com/rqmkwmy (report) https://creativeindustriesclusters.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Clusters-Booklet-Story-So-Far-FINAL-web.pdf https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZY6eQbPLGU&feature=youtu.be https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42mItwjPW8I&feature=youtu.be https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jgEYcVlpmY
Start Year 2018
 
Description Belfast City Council 
Organisation Belfast City Council
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Future Screens NI is a £13mn creative cluster in Northern Ireland. The partnership is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), as well as the industry. It brings together Ulster University, Queen's University Belfast, and key industrial partners including Belfast City Council, who are at the forefront of the local creative economy. Future Screens NI academic team are delivering expert technical skills, opportunity and growth across: • Film and broadcast • Animation • Games • Immersive technologies Addressing challenges and building on existing strengths in creative industries in the region, areas of focus 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 • Enhancing the high-level skills pipeline in 2D and 3D animation Ulster University, Belfast City Council and Queen's University Belfast are key partners in the £13mn UKRI Industrial Challenge Creative Cluster Future Screens NI. Together they competitively secured £6mn from the AHRC, Belfast City Council have contributed £1mn to the cluster. Together the partnership has invested in significant Research and Development Projects within the local creative economy. The 2016-2017 draft PFG proposes that NI has 'an innovative creative society where people can fulfil their potential'. The draft NI Industrial Strategy and the Invest NI Business Strategy 2017 identify 'digital and creative technologies' as one of six 'broad' areas of the economy where Northern Ireland has 'world-class capabilities, 'further noting that 'NI has gained a global reputation in the creative industries with notable success in the TV and film industry as well as the burgeoning animation sector.' In spite of this there has been significant underinvestment in R&D within the local creative economy. Businesses within the sector face challenges in drawing traditional forms of R&D funding. The Creative Industries Sector Deal (2018) highlights the need to 'provide a more consistent national spread of creative industries' confirming the Belfast region as one of 47 UK creative clusters and noting its 'high concentration and growth'. The Sector Deal states 'The problem is not that London is too big, but that other centres are too small. There is enormous potential to grow other leading hubs across the UK.' Ulster University and NI Screen developed the Future Screens NI Creative Cluster in order to address these challenges by together securing £13mn to invest in R&D within the creative industries in NI. The injection of support on the scale provided by Future Screens NI will drive growth from 0.9% to 2.7% of UK GVA in the sector generating £2.1 billion GVA and creating 20,000 new jobs in NI. Ulster University and NI Screen together nurture the local creative sector and support the development of R&D. The partnership works tightly together meeting on a weekly basis to ensure that the project meets industry research needs and bring the creative industries together at least once a month to drive forward R&D and innovation. Data from DCMS had suggested that Northern Ireland was the only region in the UK to see a decline in GVA for Creative Industries since 2010 (a 11.7% decrease). However, the revised regional GVA data - used in the July 2019 release - has increased both NI's total GVA and the amount generated by Creative Industries, due to a changing estimate of the 'headquarters effect' and other factors. The GVA for Creative Industries in Northern Ireland (NI) in 2017 was 1.07% of the UK's total. This share has remained low for the entire period of 2010-2017, consistently amounting to c1% of the total UK Creative Industries GVA. This size of share is similar to both Wales and the North East, though the growth over the period is closer to the latter rather than the former. These figures illustrate the important role that FSNI is playing in facilitating growth within the Creative Industries albeit in the context of a fragile economy and the more pronounced risk of Brexit within the NI context. Future Screens NI, the partnership between Ulster and Belfast City Council is a knowledge transfer partnership investing £13mn in R&D within the local creative industries. Ulster University is the lead partner and provides leadership, academic expertise, and investment throughout and has achieved the following achievements which would not have been possible without the partnership between Ulster University and Belfast City Council in the project and which address the challenges outlined above: • Future Screens NI and Belfast City have established a funding ecosystem to direct and support industry and SMEs within the sector to ensure that there is a funding progression pathway. • Created a local Creative Industries Innovation Hub • Collaborated to deliver a successful Panel on the local creative industries at New York/New Belfast and SXSW • Collaborated on a range of inward DTI visits to the region with the aim of attracting inward investment • Future Screens NI and Belfast City Council are key partners in the Belfast City Deal initiative and have secured £38mn investment in infrastructure within the local creative industries • Collaborated to develop a delegation to SXSW 2020 consisting of 30 representatives of the local creative industries • Delivered a Future Fellowship Launch as part of the Digital Cities programme which has resulted in the appointment of 4 industry Fellows (yet to be announced) • BCC, Future Screens NI and Yellow Design have partnered in order to undertake significant research and development work and commercial proof of concepts that have delivered the AR360 platform. AR360 provides a mechanism to gather real-time data, Yellow have developed a platform that allows tourists using their smart phones to avail of Augmented Reality experiences, multi-lingual location-based-marketing and wayfinding that integrates within public transport systems. Work to date has qualified the market opportunity, delivered a number of innovative immersive visitor experiences and allowed the Yellow team to show case and further develop our technical and creative expertise within a Smart City Tourism context. • Secured The Romeros to participate in Belfast Media Festival to deliver a technical skills and leadership programme attended by 200 gamers and representatives of the creative industries • Created an XR alley operational within Belfast Media Festival 2019 in partnership with Maria Rakusanova curator of the Raindance Festival which was accessed by more than 500 people. • Delivered a panel consisting of Maria Rakusanova, local creative industry leaders Kevin Beimers and Dee Harvey, and academic expert Dr Declan Keeney who is the Director of the Ulster University Screen Academy. The panel was attended by 200 local creative industry representatives. • Co-delivered the Output Festival which is features more than 40 live acts and is attended by more than 2,000 delegates. The conference featured the launch of the Digital Revolution Tamed: The Case of the Recording Industry by Dr Hyojung Sun, who is the Research Associate on the Future Screens NI project which was attended by 200 delegates. The conference featured a panel hosted by Future Screens NI on the Music 2025 Report- Content Creation, Distribution and Remuneration which was chaired by Professor Frank Lyons, Future Screens NI Co-I and featured Peter Jenner the former manager of Pink Floyd, The Clash and Billy Bragg, David Humphries, Head if Research, Economics, Research and Evidence at the Intellectual Property Office, Dr Hyojung Sun, Research Associate, Professor Kevin Curran, Professor Cyber Security at Ulster University and Paul O'Hagan, PhD Researcher at Ulster University. The panel was attended by 400 delegates. • Co-delivered the Output Festival which is features more than 40 live acts and is attended by more than 2,000 delegates. The conference featured the launch of the Digital Revolution Tamed: The Case of the Recording Industry by Dr Hyojung Sun, who is the Research Associate on the Future Screens NI project which was attended by 200 delegates. The conference featured a panel hosted by Future Screens NI on the Music 2025 Report- Content Creation, Distribution and Remuneration which was chaired by Professor Frank Lyons, Future Screens NI Co-I and featured Peter Jenner the former manager of Pink Floyd, The Clash and Billy Bragg, David Humphries, Head if Research, Economics, Research and Evidence at the Intellectual Property Office, Dr Hyojung Sun, Research Associate, Professor Kevin Curran, Professor Cyber Security at Ulster University and Paul O'Hagan, PhD Researcher at Ulster University. The panel was attended by 400 delegates. The conference featured a panel on Immersive Live Performance entitled Exploring The Future of Live Performance featuring Kev Feeney from Algorithm-Visual, Luke McNeice, Interactivity, Richard Zijlma, Ex-Gm of ADE, Oisin O'Brien, Visual Spectrum, and Lewis Smith Tech/Music. This panel was attended by 300 delegates. http://www.outputbelfast.com/ http://belfastmediafestival.co.uk/events/future-screens/
Collaborator Contribution Future Screens NI is a £13mn creative cluster in Northern Ireland. The partnership is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), as well as the industry. It brings together Ulster University, Queen's University Belfast, and key industrial partners including Belfast City Council, who are at the forefront of the local creative economy. Belfast City Council has contributed £1mn to the Creative Cluster. Ulster University is the lead partner and provides leadership, academic expertise, and investment throughout and has achieved the following achievements which would not have been possible without the partnership between Ulster University and Belfast City Council in the project and which address the challenges outlined above: • Future Screens NI and Belfast City have established a funding ecosystem to direct and support industry and SMEs within the sector to ensure that there is a funding progression pathway. • Created a local Creative Industries Innovation Hub • Collaborated to deliver a successful Panel on the local creative industries at New York/New Belfast and SXSW • Collaborated on a range of inward DTI visits to the region with the aim of attracting inward investment • Future Screens NI and Belfast City Council are key partners in the Belfast City Deal initiative and have secured £38mn investment in infrastructure within the local creative industries • Collaborated to develop a delegation to SXSW 2020 consisting of 30 representatives of the local creative industries • Delivered a Future Fellowship Launch as part of the Digital Cities programme which has resulted in the appointment of 4 industry Fellows (yet to be announced) • BCC, Future Screens NI and Yellow Design have partnered in order to undertake significant research and development work and commercial proof of concepts that have delivered the AR360 platform. AR360 provides a mechanism to gather real-time data, Yellow have developed a platform that allows tourists using their smart phones to avail of Augmented Reality experiences, multi-lingual location-based-marketing and wayfinding that integrates within public transport systems. Work to date has qualified the market opportunity, delivered a number of innovative immersive visitor experiences and allowed the Yellow team to show case and further develop our technical and creative expertise within a Smart City Tourism context. • Secured The Romeros to participate in Belfast Media Festival to deliver a technical skills and leadership programme attended by 200 gamers and representatives of the creative industries • Created an XR alley operational within Belfast Media Festival 2019 in partnership with Maria Rakusanova curator of the Raindance Festival which was accessed by more than 500 people. • Delivered a panel consisting of Maria Rakusanova, local creative industry leaders Kevin Beimers and Dee Harvey, and academic expert Dr Declan Keeney who is the Director of the Ulster University Screen Academy. The panel was attended by 200 local creative industry representatives. • Co-delivered the Output Festival which is features more than 40 live acts and is attended by more than 2,000 delegates. The conference featured the launch of the Digital Revolution Tamed: The Case of the Recording Industry by Dr Hyojung Sun, who is the Research Associate on the Future Screens NI project which was attended by 200 delegates. The conference featured a panel hosted by Future Screens NI on the Music 2025 Report- Content Creation, Distribution and Remuneration which was chaired by Professor Frank Lyons, Future Screens NI Co-I and featured Peter Jenner the former manager of Pink Floyd, The Clash and Billy Bragg, David Humphries, Head if Research, Economics, Research and Evidence at the Intellectual Property Office, Dr Hyojung Sun, Research Associate, Professor Kevin Curran, Professor Cyber Security at Ulster University and Paul O'Hagan, PhD Researcher at Ulster University. The panel was attended by 400 delegates. • Co-delivered the Output Festival which is features more than 40 live acts and is attended by more than 2,000 delegates. The conference featured the launch of the Digital Revolution Tamed: The Case of the Recording Industry by Dr Hyojung Sun, who is the Research Associate on the Future Screens NI project which was attended by 200 delegates. The conference featured a panel hosted by Future Screens NI on the Music 2025 Report- Content Creation, Distribution and Remuneration which was chaired by Professor Frank Lyons, Future Screens NI Co-I and featured Peter Jenner the former manager of Pink Floyd, The Clash and Billy Bragg, David Humphries, Head if Research, Economics, Research and Evidence at the Intellectual Property Office, Dr Hyojung Sun, Research Associate, Professor Kevin Curran, Professor Cyber Security at Ulster University and Paul O'Hagan, PhD Researcher at Ulster University. The panel was attended by 400 delegates. The conference featured a panel on Immersive Live Performance entitled Exploring The Future of Live Performance featuring Kev Feeney from Algorithm-Visual, Luke McNeice, Interactivity, Richard Zijlma, Ex-Gm of ADE, Oisin O'Brien, Visual Spectrum, and Lewis Smith Tech/Music. This panel was attended by 300 delegates. http://www.outputbelfast.com/ http://belfastmediafestival.co.uk/events/future-screens/
Impact The Future Screens NI partnership is a multidisciplinary partnership comprising experts from Communication and Media, Music, Law, Business, Computer Science, Psychology, Serious Games, Broadcast, Animation, Engineering, Education, Economics, Art and Design, and Film Making. • Future Screens NI and Belfast City have established a funding ecosystem to direct and support industry and SMEs within the sector to ensure that there is a funding progression pathway. • Created a local Creative Industries Innovation Hub • Collaborated to deliver a successful Panel on the local creative industries at New York/New Belfast and SXSW • Collaborated on a range of inward DTI visits to the region with the aim of attracting inward investment • Future Screens NI and Belfast City Council are key partners in the Belfast City Deal initiative and have secured £38mn investment in infrastructure within the local creative industries • Collaborated to develop a delegation to SXSW 2020 consisting of 30 representatives of the local creative industries • Delivered a Future Fellowship Launch as part of the Digital Cities programme which has resulted in the appointment of 4 industry Fellows (yet to be announced) • BCC, Future Screens NI and Yellow Design have partnered in order to undertake significant research and development work and commercial proof of concepts that have delivered the AR360 platform. AR360 provides a mechanism to gather real-time data, Yellow have developed a platform that allows tourists using their smart phones to avail of Augmented Reality experiences, multi-lingual location-based-marketing and wayfinding that integrates within public transport systems. Work to date has qualified the market opportunity, delivered a number of innovative immersive visitor experiences and allowed the Yellow team to show case and further develop our technical and creative expertise within a Smart City Tourism context. • Secured The Romeros to participate in Belfast Media Festival to deliver a technical skills and leadership programme attended by 200 gamers and representatives of the creative industries • Created an XR alley operational within Belfast Media Festival 2019 in partnership with Maria Rakusanova curator of the Raindance Festival which was accessed by more than 500 people. • Delivered a panel consisting of Maria Rakusanova, local creative industry leaders Kevin Beimers and Dee Harvey, and academic expert Dr Declan Keeney who is the Director of the Ulster University Screen Academy. The panel was attended by 200 local creative industry representatives. • Co-delivered the Output Festival which is features more than 40 live acts and is attended by more than 2,000 delegates. The conference featured the launch of the Digital Revolution Tamed: The Case of the Recording Industry by Dr Hyojung Sun, who is the Research Associate on the Future Screens NI project which was attended by 200 delegates. The conference featured a panel hosted by Future Screens NI on the Music 2025 Report- Content Creation, Distribution and Remuneration which was chaired by Professor Frank Lyons, Future Screens NI Co-I and featured Peter Jenner the former manager of Pink Floyd, The Clash and Billy Bragg, David Humphries, Head if Research, Economics, Research and Evidence at the Intellectual Property Office, Dr Hyojung Sun, Research Associate, Professor Kevin Curran, Professor Cyber Security at Ulster University and Paul O'Hagan, PhD Researcher at Ulster University. The panel was attended by 400 delegates. The conference featured a panel on Immersive Live Performance entitled Exploring The Future of Live Performance featuring Kev Feeney from Algorithm-Visual, Luke McNeice, Interactivity, Richard Zijlma, Ex-Gm of ADE, Oisin O'Brien, Visual Spectrum, and Lewis Smith Tech/Music. Created 10 jobs
Start Year 2018
 
Description Collaboration with NI Screen 
Organisation Northern Ireland Screen
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Future Screens NI is a £13mn creative cluster in Northern Ireland. The partnership is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), as well as the industry. It brings together Ulster University, Queen's University Belfast, and key industrial partners, who are at the forefront of the local creative economy. Future Screens NI academic team are delivering expert technical skills, opportunity and growth across: • Film and broadcast • Animation • Games • Immersive technologies Addressing challenges and building on existing strengths in creative industries in the region, areas of focus 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 • Enhancing the high-level skills pipeline in 2D and 3D animation Ulster University, NI Screen and Queen's University Belfast are the lead partners in the £13mn UKRI Industrial Challenge Creative Cluster Future Screens NI. Together they competitively secured £6mn from the AHRC, NI Screen contributed a further £4.8mn and Ulster University and NI Screen worked collaboratively to secure a further £2.2mn from significant industry partners including RTÉ, BBC, and Belfast City Council. Together the partnership has invested in significant Research and Development Projects within the local creative economy. Together the partnership has attracted significant Global Partners including Experimental Design LA, Disney, HBO, The Romeros, Discovery and Warner Media. In Year 1 alone the Future Screens NI partnership has invested £2mn research undertaken by local SMEs. £0.7mn via the AHRC and £1.2mn from NI Screen and industry partners. This is the first time that both Universities and Industry have collaborated on this scale. This would not have been achieved without NI Screen. The 2016-2017 draft PFG proposes that NI has 'an innovative creative society where people can fulfil their potential'. The draft NI Industrial Strategy and the Invest NI Business Strategy 2017 identify 'digital and creative technologies' as one of six 'broad' areas of the economy where Northern Ireland has 'world-class capabilities, 'further noting that 'NI has gained a global reputation in the creative industries with notable success in the TV and film industry as well as the burgeoning animation sector.' In spite of this there has been significant underinvestment in R&D within the local creative economy. Businesses within the sector face challenges in drawing traditional forms of R&D funding. The Creative Industries Sector Deal (2018) highlights the need to 'provide a more consistent national spread of creative industries' confirming the Belfast region as one of 47 UK creative clusters and noting its 'high concentration and growth'. The Sector Deal states 'The problem is not that London is too big, but that other centres are too small. There is enormous potential to grow other leading hubs across the UK.' Ulster University and NI Screen developed the Future Screens NI Creative Cluster in order to address these challenges by together securing £13mn to invest in R&D within the creative industries in NI. The injection of support on the scale provided by Future Screens NI will drive growth from 0.9% to 2.7% of UK GVA in the sector generating £2.1 billion GVA and creating 20,000 new jobs in NI. Ulster University and NI Screen together nurture the local creative sector and support the development of R&D. The partnership works tightly together meeting on a weekly basis to ensure that the project meets industry research needs and bring the creative industries together at least once a month to drive forward R&D and innovation. Data from DCMS had suggested that Northern Ireland was the only region in the UK to see a decline in GVA for Creative Industries since 2010 (a 11.7% decrease). However, the revised regional GVA data - used in the July 2019 release - has increased both NI's total GVA and the amount generated by Creative Industries, due to a changing estimate of the 'headquarters effect' and other factors. The GVA for Creative Industries in Northern Ireland (NI) in 2017 was 1.07% of the UK's total. This share has remained low for the entire period of 2010-2017, consistently amounting to c1% of the total UK Creative Industries GVA. This size of share is similar to both Wales and the North East, though the growth over the period is closer to the latter rather than the former. These figures illustrate the important role that FSNI is playing in facilitating growth within the Creative Industries albeit in the context of a fragile economy and the more pronounced risk of Brexit within the NI context. Future Screens NI, the partnership between Ulster and NI Screen is a knowledge transfer partnership investing £13mn in R&D within the local creative industries. Together Ulster University, NI Screen and partners have invested £1.9mn in R&D in Year One. Ulster University is the lead partner and provides leadership, academic expertise, and investment throughout and has achieved the following achievements which would not have been possible without the partnership between Ulster University in the project and which address the challenges outlined above: • Future Screens NI and NI Screen have established a funding ecosystem to direct and support industry and SMEs within the sector to ensure that there is a funding progression pathway. • The Investment of £1.9 million in the NI Creative Economy in Year One • Created a local Creative Industries Innovation Hub • 25 live R&D projects in gaming, med-tech, immersion, animation, mental health and wellbeing, and pain relief which are at the forefront of R&I within new and emerging technologies • Future Screens NI and NI Screen have hosted over 20 R&D lead events attended by more than 5,000 creative industry representatives and academics • 22 members of academic staff who are leaders in their field working collaboratively with the industry attended by more than 4,000 Creative industries reps and showcasing 30 local R&D projects • 4 PhD students undertaking Future Focused research in Cinematics, Design Thinking and Leadership. • Built a research partnership comprising 20 Lead industry partners including: RTÉ, NI Screen, BBC, BCC, Digital Catapult, Invest NI, Innovate UK, Tourism NI, Retinize, Humain, The Lyric Theatre, and 100 SMEs at the forefront of new immersive and emerging technologies including Alt Animation, Italic Pig Ltd, Taunt Ltd, Sentireal, Sixteen South, Incisiv, PreCog, NEON and JadeBlok. • Built a global partnership involving the World Building Institute, Experimental Design, Disney, Warner Media, Industrial Light and Magic, HBO and The Romeros. • Developed the Pixel Mill which is an R&D led Gaming and Innovation Hub which is home to 18 businesses and provides accommodation, mentoring, expertise and leadership development. Including building an R&D led network. • Created 79 new R&D led jobs within the creative sector in Year 1. • Worked collaboratively with Italic Pig on the Infinite Hotel which was nominated for Best Immersive Game at Raindance 2019. Italic Pig have been recognised as Game Studio of the Year, one a creative collaborative opportunity with Industrial Light and Magic, and secured the largest local investment in gaming R&D. Ulster University and Italic Pig have developed an R&D led sector changing AI solution to character generation in Immersive Gaming. Ulster University and Italic Pig secured an industry showcase at Beyond. • Worked collaboratively with Retinize to develop solutions to real-time avatar capture for use in 6DoF (Degree of Freedom) virtual reality, augmented environments, app development, content creation and the pre-visualisation sectors in real-time. Ulster University assisted Retinize to attract significant investment. • Developed a bespoke R&D led Leadership programme to 100 local creative industry businesses which has resulted in the development of new business models and created 10 new R&D led jobs • Worked collaboratively with NI Screen develop a 4K rendering which will ensure that animation companies in NI can more cost effectively and efficiently render their content for new market demands, enabling the industry to remain competitive on a global scale. • Future Screens NI and NI Screen have become embedded as a creative industry initiative within the Ormeau Baths Innovation Hub. • The Hearios has the potential to stimulate listening skills at pre-school age • 4k Rendering project has driven industry transformation and improved experience and return within the animation sector. • Future Screens NI has participated in a series of well-received showcases at SXSW, and New York-New Belfast and is building strong collaborative partnerships with NY, Pennsylvania Los Angeles and China. Therefore network has been established towards realising the Global potential of the project. • A number of public and sectoral engagement events are in development in partnership with the BBC. • The Lead2Grow programme which has been developed to generate new leadership models commenced in March 2019 with an initial Lead2Grow Programme which was attended by 211 participants. The programme will go live in October 2019 with 30 registered participants. • The Future Belfast collaboration with the World Building Institute is well underway. The World Building Framework which is in development has the potential to transform the local creative economy towards prosperity and growth particularly within hard to reach areas. "Working with Ulster University has ensured we can invest in local talent in way that was never possible before" Richard Williams, CEO of NI Screen Future Screens NI (Ulster) and NI Screen together identified the problem of underinvestment in the local creative industries, the need to drive forward research and development within the local creative economy. Together the partnership worked closely with UKRI to ensure that the councils recognised the importance of investing in the regions. The partnership and their credible collaboration helped shape the creative cluster call and ensured that there would be an emphasis on investment outside of London. Together the partnership build a creative cluster comprising 20 Lead industry partners including: RTÉ, NI Screen, BBC, BCC, Digital Catapult, Invest NI, Innovate UK, Tourism NI, Retinize, Humain, The Lyric Theatre, and 100 SMEs at the forefront of new immersive and emerging technologies including Alt Animation, Italic Pig Ltd, Taunt Ltd, Sentireal, Sixteen South, Incisiv, PreCog, NEON and JadeBlok alongside significant global partners including the World Building Institute, Experimental Design, Disney, Warner Media, Industrial Light and Magic, HBO and The Romeros. • Working together Ulster and NI Screen secured £6m from the AHRC to which NI Screen Northern Ireland Screen is the national screen agency for Northern Ireland committed a further £4.8mn to invest in R&D within the sector. • Working together Ulster and NI Screen secured a further £2.2mn from additional industry partners. This would not have been achieved without the strength and commitment of the two lead partners. Ulster and NI Screen. • Ulster and NI Screen have developed a strong working partnership that meets weekly in order to drive forward local R&D investment and to ensure that once businesses have completed the application and verification processes, they can access finance quickly and efficiently. • Ulster University and NI Screen work together to ensure that industry applicants are effectively matched to Academic Collaborators to ensure that R&D led projects are co-created, meet the excellence requirements of the AHRC, are deliverable and address industry requirements. • Together Ulster University and NI Screen have invested £1.9mn. Ulster University and NI Screen provide a unique funding stream in which £100,000 of the finance goes to the industry partner to address their R&D led challenge. This investment has generated 79 jobs. • Working together in close partnership NI Screen have ensured that Future Screens NI is the strongest project within the entire UK Industrial Strategy Programme. This was announced by Professor Andrew Chitty, Challenge Director - Creative Industries Clusters and Audience of the Future Programme at the AHRC Beyond Conference 2019. Future Screens NI at Forefront of the Industrial Strategy Programme • Ulster University and NI Screen have established the Pixel Mill, a unique R&D led Gaming Incubation Hub home to 18 businesses. • Ulster University and NI Screen have transformed the local creative sector by providing infrastructure, creating a strong ecosystem, supporting industry to advance along the R&D funding pipeline and to access prestigious funding and mentoring opportunities from Innovate UK and Industrial Light and Magic. • Future Screens NI and NI Screen hosted the NI Assembly STEM All-Party Group in order to ensure that the local STEM ecosystem and Political Structures understand the important role of the Creative Industries in the generation and application of new and emerging technologies. • Future Screens NI and NI Screen have supported A Baseline Study of Digital Education in Primary Schools. This report was published in January 2020. All of the key stakeholders within the Education and Technology Sector were represented. Key Notes were delivered by the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People and the Chief Executive of the EA. The event was attended by 120 delegates. DigiSkills has been included in the draft Economic Strategy. • NI Screen and Future Screens NI have developed the Storytelling for the Futures project. Northern Ireland Screen's strategy sets out to develop six 'sectors' within the Northern Ireland screen industries: 1. Large-scale (film and television projects with budgets over $35m) 2. Animation (feature films and series) 3. Television Drama (including children's drama) 4. Independent film (including feature documentary) 5. Interactive (games, VR and AR) 6. Factual and Entertainment Television Northern Ireland Screen, the Seamus Heaney Centre and Future Screens NI have collaborated in order to determine what the storytelling challenges within each of the six sectors are, how they might be overcome, and what the future opportunities for writers might be. In doing so the partnership has delivered six storytelling workshops attended by 300 participants. 4 participants from the programme have identified storytelling challenges and successfully secured funding from Future Screens NI to address these challenges. • NI Screen and Future Screens NI have developed a vital research and development project into 4K rendering which is assisting local animation companies in Northern Ireland to more cost effectively and efficiently render their content for new market demands, enabling the industry to remain competitive on a global scale. This initial project has focused upon reducing rendering times, rather than improving processing larger 4K file sizes. • NI Screen and Future Screens have collaborated to work with Italic Pig on the Infinite Hotel. The Infinite Hotel has achieved significant recognition and was short listed for Best Immersive at Raindance. https://www.italicpig.com/italic-pig/2019/9/25/italic-pig-nominated-for-raindance-film-festival-immersive-summit-award The current Character Generator does not function to the level wish Italic Pig wish to achieve. Future Screens NI and NI Screen are collaborating to create a second generation Character Generator that uses fewer assets in an innovative method, and uses machine learning to create believably randomised characters (known as "Randos") that are appealing to the player. The Infinite Hotel was featured in the Showcase at the AHRC Beyond Conference. Beyond is the annual R&D conference for the creative industries. In 2019 we will explore the intersection between Artificial Intelligence and creativity. The event took place from the 20-21 November 2019 in Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh. https://beyondconference.org/showcase/the-infinite-hotel/ • NI Screen and Future Screens NI are collaborating on The Hearios. The Hearios is a new and exciting stop motion animation and live action mixed media series aimed at a pre-school audience featuring a family of musical moles who teach children the important developmental skill of active listening. Future. In order to make The Hearios stand out from its competitors, have carried out user testing with the target audience, in collaboration with QUB, to provide information about the existing listening skills and vocabulary of pre-schoolers and how they are affected by the central conceit of the show. The series has been designed to improve children's active listening skills which have been shown to assist with their development in areas such as speech, language skills and memory. ALT have conducted user testing in order to establish the effectiveness of the show in capturing children's attention to the sounds presented and their development of a vocabulary of sounds. Educational aspects of a series are of huge importance to broadcasters, especially public service broadcasters who have a particular remit to inspire and educate their audiences. https://altanimation.wetransfer.com/downloads/46cb97ed83a61c13dc7d757eb5d6172220191028135926/da75d8 • NI Screen, Future Screens NI and Sixteen South are collaborating in order to develop and implement new software which will be instrumental in creating a new and bespoke workflow, purely designed to create animated content that can reach its audience directly through a streaming platform which will have a 48 hour turnover for each episode. • NI Screen, Future Screens NI and Darkley Films are collaborating to deliver a 5 minute live action therapeutic VR experience for victims and perpetrators of mental abuse. This will deliver a training tool for frontline medical and care staff. It is the first VR platform targeted to mental abuse. Additional Supporting Information https://vimeo.com/372602129 (Video) https://tinyurl.com/vydpuku (images) https://tinyurl.com/rqmkwmy (report) https://creativeindustriesclusters.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Clusters-Booklet-Story-So-Far-FINAL-web.pdf https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZY6eQbPLGU&feature=youtu.be https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42mItwjPW8I&feature=youtu.be
Collaborator Contribution NI Screen have contributed £4.8mn to the Creative Cluster, and Ulster University and NI Screen worked collaboratively to secure a further £2.2mn from significant industry partners including RTÉ, BBC, and Belfast City Council. Together the partnership has invested in significant Research and Development Projects within the local creative economy. Together the partnership has attracted significant Global Partners including Experimental Design LA, Disney, HBO, The Romeros, Discovery and Warner Media. In Year 1 alone the Future Screens NI partnership has invested £2mn research undertaken by local SMEs. £0.7mn via the AHRC and £1.2mn from NI Screen and industry partners. This is the first time that both Universities and Industry have collaborated on this scale. This would not have been achieved without NI Screen. The 2016-2017 draft PFG proposes that NI has 'an innovative creative society where people can fulfil their potential'. The draft NI Industrial Strategy and the Invest NI Business Strategy 2017 identify 'digital and creative technologies' as one of six 'broad' areas of the economy where Northern Ireland has 'world-class capabilities, 'further noting that 'NI has gained a global reputation in the creative industries with notable success in the TV and film industry as well as the burgeoning animation sector.' In spite of this there has been significant underinvestment in R&D within the local creative economy. Businesses within the sector face challenges in drawing traditional forms of R&D funding. The Creative Industries Sector Deal (2018) highlights the need to 'provide a more consistent national spread of creative industries' confirming the Belfast region as one of 47 UK creative clusters and noting its 'high concentration and growth'. The Sector Deal states 'The problem is not that London is too big, but that other centres are too small. There is enormous potential to grow other leading hubs across the UK.' Ulster University and NI Screen developed the Future Screens NI Creative Cluster in order to address these challenges by together securing £13mn to invest in R&D within the creative industries in NI. The injection of support on the scale provided by Future Screens NI will drive growth from 0.9% to 2.7% of UK GVA in the sector generating £2.1 billion GVA and creating 20,000 new jobs in NI. Ulster University and NI Screen together nurture the local creative sector and support the development of R&D. The partnership works tightly together meeting on a weekly basis to ensure that the project meets industry research needs and bring the creative industries together at least once a month to drive forward R&D and innovation. Data from DCMS had suggested that Northern Ireland was the only region in the UK to see a decline in GVA for Creative Industries since 2010 (a 11.7% decrease). However, the revised regional GVA data - used in the July 2019 release - has increased both NI's total GVA and the amount generated by Creative Industries, due to a changing estimate of the 'headquarters effect' and other factors. The GVA for Creative Industries in Northern Ireland (NI) in 2017 was 1.07% of the UK's total. This share has remained low for the entire period of 2010-2017, consistently amounting to c1% of the total UK Creative Industries GVA. This size of share is similar to both Wales and the North East, though the growth over the period is closer to the latter rather than the former. These figures illustrate the important role that FSNI is playing in facilitating growth within the Creative Industries albeit in the context of a fragile economy and the more pronounced risk of Brexit within the NI context. Future Screens NI, the partnership between Ulster and NI Screen is a knowledge transfer partnership investing £13mn in R&D within the local creative industries. Together Ulster University, NI Screen and partners have invested £1.9mn in R&D in Year One. Ulster University is the lead partner and provides leadership, academic expertise, and investment throughout and has achieved the following achievements which would not have been possible without the partnership between Ulster University in the project and which address the challenges outlined above: • Future Screens NI and NI Screen have established a funding ecosystem to direct and support industry and SMEs within the sector to ensure that there is a funding progression pathway. • The Investment of £1.9 million in the NI Creative Economy in Year One • Created a local Creative Industries Innovation Hub • 25 live R&D projects in gaming, med-tech, immersion, animation, mental health and wellbeing, and pain relief which are at the forefront of R&I within new and emerging technologies • Future Screens NI and NI Screen have hosted over 20 R&D lead events attended by more than 5,000 creative industry representatives and academics • 22 members of academic staff who are leaders in their field working collaboratively with the industry attended by more than 4,000 Creative industries reps and showcasing 30 local R&D projects • 4 PhD students undertaking Future Focused research in Cinematics, Design Thinking and Leadership. • Built a research partnership comprising 20 Lead industry partners including: RTÉ, NI Screen, BBC, BCC, Digital Catapult, Invest NI, Innovate UK, Tourism NI, Retinize, Humain, The Lyric Theatre, and 100 SMEs at the forefront of new immersive and emerging technologies including Alt Animation, Italic Pig Ltd, Taunt Ltd, Sentireal, Sixteen South, Incisiv, PreCog, NEON and JadeBlok. • Built a global partnership involving the World Building Institute, Experimental Design, Disney, Warner Media, Industrial Light and Magic, HBO and The Romeros. • Developed the Pixel Mill which is an R&D led Gaming and Innovation Hub which is home to 18 businesses and provides accommodation, mentoring, expertise and leadership development. Including building an R&D led network. • Created 79 new R&D led jobs within the creative sector in Year 1. • Worked collaboratively with Italic Pig on the Infinite Hotel which was nominated for Best Immersive Game at Raindance 2019. Italic Pig have been recognised as Game Studio of the Year, one a creative collaborative opportunity with Industrial Light and Magic, and secured the largest local investment in gaming R&D. Ulster University and Italic Pig have developed an R&D led sector changing AI solution to character generation in Immersive Gaming. Ulster University and Italic Pig secured an industry showcase at Beyond. • Worked collaboratively with Retinize to develop solutions to real-time avatar capture for use in 6DoF (Degree of Freedom) virtual reality, augmented environments, app development, content creation and the pre-visualisation sectors in real-time. Ulster University assisted Retinize to attract significant investment. • Developed a bespoke R&D led Leadership programme to 100 local creative industry businesses which has resulted in the development of new business models and created 10 new R&D led jobs • Worked collaboratively with NI Screen develop a 4K rendering which will ensure that animation companies in NI can more cost effectively and efficiently render their content for new market demands, enabling the industry to remain competitive on a global scale. • Future Screens NI and NI Screen have become embedded as a creative industry initiative within the Ormeau Baths Innovation Hub. • The Hearios has the potential to stimulate listening skills at pre-school age • 4k Rendering project has driven industry transformation and improved experience and return within the animation sector. • Future Screens NI has participated in a series of well-received showcases at SXSW, and New York-New Belfast and is building strong collaborative partnerships with NY, Pennsylvania Los Angeles and China. Therefore network has been established towards realising the Global potential of the project. • A number of public and sectoral engagement events are in development in partnership with the BBC. • The Lead2Grow programme which has been developed to generate new leadership models commenced in March 2019 with an initial Lead2Grow Programme which was attended by 211 participants. The programme will go live in October 2019 with 30 registered participants. • The Future Belfast collaboration with the World Building Institute is well underway. The World Building Framework which is in development has the potential to transform the local creative economy towards prosperity and growth particularly within hard to reach areas. "Working with Ulster University has ensured we can invest in local talent in way that was never possible before" Richard Williams, CEO of NI Screen Future Screens NI (Ulster) and NI Screen together identified the problem of underinvestment in the local creative industries, the need to drive forward research and development within the local creative economy. Together the partnership worked closely with UKRI to ensure that the councils recognised the importance of investing in the regions. The partnership and their credible collaboration helped shape the creative cluster call and ensured that there would be an emphasis on investment outside of London. Together the partnership build a creative cluster comprising 20 Lead industry partners including: RTÉ, NI Screen, BBC, BCC, Digital Catapult, Invest NI, Innovate UK, Tourism NI, Retinize, Humain, The Lyric Theatre, and 100 SMEs at the forefront of new immersive and emerging technologies including Alt Animation, Italic Pig Ltd, Taunt Ltd, Sentireal, Sixteen South, Incisiv, PreCog, NEON and JadeBlok alongside significant global partners including the World Building Institute, Experimental Design, Disney, Warner Media, Industrial Light and Magic, HBO and The Romeros. • Working together Ulster and NI Screen secured £6m from the AHRC to which NI Screen Northern Ireland Screen is the national screen agency for Northern Ireland committed a further £4.8mn to invest in R&D within the sector. • Working together Ulster and NI Screen secured a further £2.2mn from additional industry partners. This would not have been achieved without the strength and commitment of the two lead partners. Ulster and NI Screen. • Ulster and NI Screen have developed a strong working partnership that meets weekly in order to drive forward local R&D investment and to ensure that once businesses have completed the application and verification processes, they can access finance quickly and efficiently. • Ulster University and NI Screen work together to ensure that industry applicants are effectively matched to Academic Collaborators to ensure that R&D led projects are co-created, meet the excellence requirements of the AHRC, are deliverable and address industry requirements. • Together Ulster University and NI Screen have invested £1.9mn. Ulster University and NI Screen provide a unique funding stream in which £100,000 of the finance goes to the industry partner to address their R&D led challenge. This investment has generated 79 jobs. • Working together in close partnership NI Screen have ensured that Future Screens NI is the strongest project within the entire UK Industrial Strategy Programme. This was announced by Professor Andrew Chitty, Challenge Director - Creative Industries Clusters and Audience of the Future Programme at the AHRC Beyond Conference 2019. Future Screens NI at Forefront of the Industrial Strategy Programme • Ulster University and NI Screen have established the Pixel Mill, a unique R&D led Gaming Incubation Hub home to 18 businesses. • Ulster University and NI Screen have transformed the local creative sector by providing infrastructure, creating a strong ecosystem, supporting industry to advance along the R&D funding pipeline and to access prestigious funding and mentoring opportunities from Innovate UK and Industrial Light and Magic. • Future Screens NI and NI Screen hosted the NI Assembly STEM All-Party Group in order to ensure that the local STEM ecosystem and Political Structures understand the important role of the Creative Industries in the generation and application of new and emerging technologies. • Future Screens NI and NI Screen have supported A Baseline Study of Digital Education in Primary Schools. This report was published in January 2020. All of the key stakeholders within the Education and Technology Sector were represented. Key Notes were delivered by the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People and the Chief Executive of the EA. The event was attended by 120 delegates. DigiSkills has been included in the draft Economic Strategy. • NI Screen and Future Screens NI have developed the Storytelling for the Futures project. Northern Ireland Screen's strategy sets out to develop six 'sectors' within the Northern Ireland screen industries: 1. Large-scale (film and television projects with budgets over $35m) 2. Animation (feature films and series) 3. Television Drama (including children's drama) 4. Independent film (including feature documentary) 5. Interactive (games, VR and AR) 6. Factual and Entertainment Television Northern Ireland Screen, the Seamus Heaney Centre and Future Screens NI have collaborated in order to determine what the storytelling challenges within each of the six sectors are, how they might be overcome, and what the future opportunities for writers might be. In doing so the partnership has delivered six storytelling workshops attended by 300 participants. 4 participants from the programme have identified storytelling challenges and successfully secured funding from Future Screens NI to address these challenges. • NI Screen and Future Screens NI have developed a vital research and development project into 4K rendering which is assisting local animation companies in Northern Ireland to more cost effectively and efficiently render their content for new market demands, enabling the industry to remain competitive on a global scale. This initial project has focused upon reducing rendering times, rather than improving processing larger 4K file sizes. • NI Screen and Future Screens have collaborated to work with Italic Pig on the Infinite Hotel. The Infinite Hotel has achieved significant recognition and was short listed for Best Immersive at Raindance. https://www.italicpig.com/italic-pig/2019/9/25/italic-pig-nominated-for-raindance-film-festival-immersive-summit-award The current Character Generator does not function to the level wish Italic Pig wish to achieve. Future Screens NI and NI Screen are collaborating to create a second generation Character Generator that uses fewer assets in an innovative method, and uses machine learning to create believably randomised characters (known as "Randos") that are appealing to the player. The Infinite Hotel was featured in the Showcase at the AHRC Beyond Conference. Beyond is the annual R&D conference for the creative industries. In 2019 we will explore the intersection between Artificial Intelligence and creativity. The event took place from the 20-21 November 2019 in Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh. https://beyondconference.org/showcase/the-infinite-hotel/ • NI Screen and Future Screens NI are collaborating on The Hearios. The Hearios is a new and exciting stop motion animation and live action mixed media series aimed at a pre-school audience featuring a family of musical moles who teach children the important developmental skill of active listening. Future. In order to make The Hearios stand out from its competitors, have carried out user testing with the target audience, in collaboration with QUB, to provide information about the existing listening skills and vocabulary of pre-schoolers and how they are affected by the central conceit of the show. The series has been designed to improve children's active listening skills which have been shown to assist with their development in areas such as speech, language skills and memory. ALT have conducted user testing in order to establish the effectiveness of the show in capturing children's attention to the sounds presented and their development of a vocabulary of sounds. Educational aspects of a series are of huge importance to broadcasters, especially public service broadcasters who have a particular remit to inspire and educate their audiences. https://altanimation.wetransfer.com/downloads/46cb97ed83a61c13dc7d757eb5d6172220191028135926/da75d8 • NI Screen, Future Screens NI and Sixteen South are collaborating in order to develop and implement new software which will be instrumental in creating a new and bespoke workflow, purely designed to create animated content that can reach its audience directly through a streaming platform which will have a 48 hour turnover for each episode. • NI Screen, Future Screens NI and Darkley Films are collaborating to deliver a 5 minute live action therapeutic VR experience for victims and perpetrators of mental abuse. This will deliver a training tool for frontline medical and care staff. It is the first VR platform targeted to mental abuse. Additional Supporting Information https://vimeo.com/372602129 (Video) https://tinyurl.com/vydpuku (images) https://tinyurl.com/rqmkwmy (report) https://creativeindustriesclusters.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Clusters-Booklet-Story-So-Far-FINAL-web.pdf https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZY6eQbPLGU&feature=youtu.be https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42mItwjPW8I&feature=youtu.be
Impact The Future Screens NI partnership is a multidisciplinary partnership comprising experts from Communication and Media, Music, Law, Business, Computer Science, Psychology, Serious Games, Broadcast, Animation, Engineering, Education, Economics, Art and Design, and Film Making. https://www.futurescreens.org/team • Future Screens NI and NI Screen have hosted over 20 R&D lead events attended by more than 5,000 creative industry representatives and academics • 22 members of academic staff who are leaders in their field working collaboratively with the industry attended by more than 4,000 Creative industries reps and showcasing 30 local R&D projects • 4 PhD students undertaking Future Focused research in Cinematics, Design Thinking and Leadership. • Built a research partnership comprising 20 Lead industry partners including: RTÉ, NI Screen, BBC, BCC, Digital Catapult, Invest NI, Innovate UK, Tourism NI, Retinize, Humain, The Lyric Theatre, and 100 SMEs at the forefront of new immersive and emerging technologies including Alt Animation, Italic Pig Ltd, Taunt Ltd, Sentireal, Sixteen South, Incisiv, PreCog, NEON and JadeBlok. • Built a global partnership involving the World Building Institute, Experimental Design, Disney, Warner Media, Industrial Light and Magic, HBO and The Romeros. • Developed the Pixel Mill which is an R&D led Gaming and Innovation Hub which is home to 18 businesses and provides accommodation, mentoring, expertise and leadership development. Including building an R&D led network. • Created 79 new R&D led jobs within the creative sector in Year 1. • Worked collaboratively with Italic Pig on the Infinite Hotel which was nominated for Best Immersive Game at Raindance 2019. Italic Pig have been recognised as Game Studio of the Year, one a creative collaborative opportunity with Industrial Light and Magic, and secured the largest local investment in gaming R&D. Ulster University and Italic Pig have developed an R&D led sector changing AI solution to character generation in Immersive Gaming. Ulster University and Italic Pig secured an industry showcase at Beyond. • Worked collaboratively with Retinize to develop solutions to real-time avatar capture for use in 6DoF (Degree of Freedom) virtual reality, augmented environments, app development, content creation and the pre-visualisation sectors in real-time. Ulster University assisted Retinize to attract significant investment. • Developed a bespoke R&D led Leadership programme to 100 local creative industry businesses which has resulted in the development of new business models and created 10 new R&D led jobs • Worked collaboratively with NI Screen develop a 4K rendering which will ensure that animation companies in NI can more cost effectively and efficiently render their content for new market demands, enabling the industry to remain competitive on a global scale. • Future Screens NI and NI Screen have become embedded as a creative industry initiative within the Ormeau Baths Innovation Hub. • The Hearios has the potential to stimulate listening skills at pre-school age • 4k Rendering project has driven industry transformation and improved experience and return within the animation sector. • Future Screens NI has participated in a series of well-received showcases at SXSW, and New York-New Belfast and is building strong collaborative partnerships with NY, Pennsylvania Los Angeles and China. Therefore network has been established towards realising the Global potential of the project. • A number of public and sectoral engagement events are in development in partnership with the BBC. • The Lead2Grow programme which has been developed to generate new leadership models commenced in March 2019 with an initial Lead2Grow Programme which was attended by 211 participants. The programme will go live in October 2019 with 30 registered participants. • The Future Belfast collaboration with the World Building Institute is well underway. The World Building Framework which is in development has the potential to transform the local creative economy towards prosperity and growth particularly within hard to reach areas. "Working with Ulster University has ensured we can invest in local talent in way that was never possible before" Richard Williams, CEO of NI Screen Future Screens NI (Ulster) and NI Screen together identified the problem of underinvestment in the local creative industries, the need to drive forward research and development within the local creative economy. Together the partnership worked closely with UKRI to ensure that the councils recognised the importance of investing in the regions. The partnership and their credible collaboration helped shape the creative cluster call and ensured that there would be an emphasis on investment outside of London. Together the partnership build a creative cluster comprising 20 Lead industry partners including: RTÉ, NI Screen, BBC, BCC, Digital Catapult, Invest NI, Innovate UK, Tourism NI, Retinize, Humain, The Lyric Theatre, and 100 SMEs at the forefront of new immersive and emerging technologies including Alt Animation, Italic Pig Ltd, Taunt Ltd, Sentireal, Sixteen South, Incisiv, PreCog, NEON and JadeBlok alongside significant global partners including the World Building Institute, Experimental Design, Disney, Warner Media, Industrial Light and Magic, HBO and The Romeros. • Working together Ulster and NI Screen secured £6m from the AHRC to which NI Screen Northern Ireland Screen is the national screen agency for Northern Ireland committed a further £4.8mn to invest in R&D within the sector. • Working together Ulster and NI Screen secured a further £2.2mn from additional industry partners. This would not have been achieved without the strength and commitment of the two lead partners. Ulster and NI Screen. • Ulster and NI Screen have developed a strong working partnership that meets weekly in order to drive forward local R&D investment and to ensure that once businesses have completed the application and verification processes, they can access finance quickly and efficiently. • Ulster University and NI Screen work together to ensure that industry applicants are effectively matched to Academic Collaborators to ensure that R&D led projects are co-created, meet the excellence requirements of the AHRC, are deliverable and address industry requirements. • Together Ulster University and NI Screen have invested £1.9mn. Ulster University and NI Screen provide a unique funding stream in which £100,000 of the finance goes to the industry partner to address their R&D led challenge. This investment has generated 79 jobs. • Working together in close partnership NI Screen have ensured that Future Screens NI is the strongest project within the entire UK Industrial Strategy Programme. This was announced by Professor Andrew Chitty, Challenge Director - Creative Industries Clusters and Audience of the Future Programme at the AHRC Beyond Conference 2019. Future Screens NI at Forefront of the Industrial Strategy Programme • Ulster University and NI Screen have established the Pixel Mill, a unique R&D led Gaming Incubation Hub home to 18 businesses. • Ulster University and NI Screen have transformed the local creative sector by providing infrastructure, creating a strong ecosystem, supporting industry to advance along the R&D funding pipeline and to access prestigious funding and mentoring opportunities from Innovate UK and Industrial Light and Magic. • Future Screens NI and NI Screen hosted the NI Assembly STEM All-Party Group in order to ensure that the local STEM ecosystem and Political Structures understand the important role of the Creative Industries in the generation and application of new and emerging technologies. • Future Screens NI and NI Screen have supported A Baseline Study of Digital Education in Primary Schools. This report was published in January 2020. All of the key stakeholders within the Education and Technology Sector were represented. Key Notes were delivered by the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People and the Chief Executive of the EA. The event was attended by 120 delegates. DigiSkills has been included in the draft Economic Strategy. • NI Screen and Future Screens NI have developed the Storytelling for the Futures project. Northern Ireland Screen's strategy sets out to develop six 'sectors' within the Northern Ireland screen industries: 1. Large-scale (film and television projects with budgets over $35m) 2. Animation (feature films and series) 3. Television Drama (including children's drama) 4. Independent film (including feature documentary) 5. Interactive (games, VR and AR) 6. Factual and Entertainment Television Northern Ireland Screen, the Seamus Heaney Centre and Future Screens NI have collaborated in order to determine what the storytelling challenges within each of the six sectors are, how they might be overcome, and what the future opportunities for writers might be. In doing so the partnership has delivered six storytelling workshops attended by 300 participants. 4 participants from the programme have identified storytelling challenges and successfully secured funding from Future Screens NI to address these challenges. • NI Screen and Future Screens NI have developed a vital research and development project into 4K rendering which is assisting local animation companies in Northern Ireland to more cost effectively and efficiently render their content for new market demands, enabling the industry to remain competitive on a global scale. This initial project has focused upon reducing rendering times, rather than improving processing larger 4K file sizes. • NI Screen and Future Screens have collaborated to work with Italic Pig on the Infinite Hotel. The Infinite Hotel has achieved significant recognition and was short listed for Best Immersive at Raindance. https://www.italicpig.com/italic-pig/2019/9/25/italic-pig-nominated-for-raindance-film-festival-immersive-summit-award The current Character Generator does not function to the level wish Italic Pig wish to achieve. Future Screens NI and NI Screen are collaborating to create a second generation Character Generator that uses fewer assets in an innovative method, and uses machine learning to create believably randomised characters (known as "Randos") that are appealing to the player. The Infinite Hotel was featured in the Showcase at the AHRC Beyond Conference. Beyond is the annual R&D conference for the creative industries. In 2019 we will explore the intersection between Artificial Intelligence and creativity. The event took place from the 20-21 November 2019 in Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh. https://beyondconference.org/showcase/the-infinite-hotel/ • NI Screen and Future Screens NI are collaborating on The Hearios. The Hearios is a new and exciting stop motion animation and live action mixed media series aimed at a pre-school audience featuring a family of musical moles who teach children the important developmental skill of active listening. Future. In order to make The Hearios stand out from its competitors, have carried out user testing with the target audience, in collaboration with QUB, to provide information about the existing listening skills and vocabulary of pre-schoolers and how they are affected by the central conceit of the show. The series has been designed to improve children's active listening skills which have been shown to assist with their development in areas such as speech, language skills and memory. ALT have conducted user testing in order to establish the effectiveness of the show in capturing children's attention to the sounds presented and their development of a vocabulary of sounds. Educational aspects of a series are of huge importance to broadcasters, especially public service broadcasters who have a particular remit to inspire and educate their audiences. https://altanimation.wetransfer.com/downloads/46cb97ed83a61c13dc7d757eb5d6172220191028135926/da75d8 • NI Screen, Future Screens NI and Sixteen South are collaborating in order to develop and implement new software which will be instrumental in creating a new and bespoke workflow, purely designed to create animated content that can reach its audience directly through a streaming platform which will have a 48 hour turnover for each episode. • NI Screen, Future Screens NI and Darkley Films are collaborating to deliver a 5 minute live action therapeutic VR experience for victims and perpetrators of mental abuse. This will deliver a training tool for frontline medical and care staff. It is the first VR platform targeted to mental abuse. Additional Supporting Information https://vimeo.com/372602129 (Video) https://tinyurl.com/vydpuku (images) https://tinyurl.com/rqmkwmy (report) https://creativeindustriesclusters.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Clusters-Booklet-Story-So-Far-FINAL-web.pdf https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZY6eQbPLGU&feature=youtu.be https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42mItwjPW8I&feature=youtu.be
Start Year 2018
 
Description Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre 
Organisation Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Ulster University is a partner in the PEC is led by innovation foundation Nesta and involves a UK-wide consortium of universities, comprising Birmingham; Cardiff; Edinburgh; Glasgow; Work Foundation at Lancaster University; LSE; Manchester; Newcastle; Sussex, and Ulster. The PEC's Director and Principal Investigator is Hasan Bakhshi, who is also Executive Director, Creative Economy and Data Analytics at Nesta. The Centre works with a broad and inclusive group of partners from across the creative industries, including the Creative Industries Federation. Initial industry partners also include Creative England, the British Film Institute and Tech Nation. Research Areas include Creative Clusters and Innovation Skills, Talent and Diversity Intellectual Property, Business Models, Access to Finance and Content Regulation Arts, Culture and Public Service Broadcasting International Competitiveness Creative Industries
Collaborator Contribution Ulster University is a partner in the PEC is led by innovation foundation Nesta and involves a UK-wide consortium of universities, comprising Birmingham; Cardiff; Edinburgh; Glasgow; Work Foundation at Lancaster University; LSE; Manchester; Newcastle; Sussex, and Ulster. The PEC's Director and Principal Investigator is Hasan Bakhshi, who is also Executive Director, Creative Economy and Data Analytics at Nesta. The Centre works with a broad and inclusive group of partners from across the creative industries, including the Creative Industries Federation. Initial industry partners also include Creative England, the British Film Institute and Tech Nation. Research Areas include Creative Clusters and Innovation Skills, Talent and Diversity Intellectual Property, Business Models, Access to Finance and Content Regulation Arts, Culture and Public Service Broadcasting International Competitiveness Creative Industries
Impact Economic Research is in progress
Start Year 2018
 
Description Creative Industries Seed Fund in Partnership with the Arts Council NI 
Organisation Arts Council of Northern Ireland
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Future Screens NI and the Arts Council NI have collaborated to introduce the first ever Creative Industries SEED fund. The fund was established from a Departmental Underspend which was identified during the political crisis and prior to the NI Assembly and Executive becoming functional again. The initial amount of funding secured was £240,000, to which Future Screens NI contributed a further £50,000. The Minister then contributed a further £37,500 to the fund and Future Screens NI contributed a further £37,500. This increased the total value of the fund to £365,000. Consisting of a £277,500 investment from the AHRC into the Creative Industries and an investment of £87,500 from Future Screens NI. Future Screens NI have also delivered academic and research expertise to support 7 large-scale projects and further 19 projects. These projects have just been awarded and will form an essential aspect of the Research Fish submission next year. http://artscouncil-ni.org/news/northern-irelands-creative-industries-boosted-with-new-240000-seed-fund Both organisations hosted an event to launch the call on the 20th of January 2020. This event was attended by 110 representatives from the creative industries, the local universities, artist community and community groups. This event showcased projects funded by Future Screens NI and the Digital Catapult. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/creative-industries-seed-fund-information-day-tickets-86786455625#
Collaborator Contribution Future Screens NI and the Arts Council NI have collaborated to introduce the first ever Creative Industries SEED fund. The fund was established from a Departmental Underspend which was identified during the political crisis and prior to the NI Assembly and Executive becoming functional again. The initial amount of funding secured was £240,000, to which Future Screens NI contributed a further £50,000. The Minister then contributed a further £37,500 to the fund and Future Screens NI contributed a further £37,500. This increased the total value of the fund to £365,000. Consisting of a £277,500 investment from the AHRC into the Creative Industries and an investment of £87,500 from Future Screens NI. Future Screens NI have also delivered academic and research expertise to support 7 large-scale projects and further 19 projects. These projects have just been awarded and will form an essential aspect of the Research Fish submission next year. http://artscouncil-ni.org/news/northern-irelands-creative-industries-boosted-with-new-240000-seed-fund Both organisations hosted an event to launch the call on the 20th of January 2020. This event was attended by 110 representatives from the creative industries, the local universities, artist community and community groups. This event showcased projects funded by Future Screens NI and the Digital Catapult. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/creative-industries-seed-fund-information-day-tickets-86786455625# The collaborative call has resulted in: • A joint investment of £365,000 in the local Creative Industries. £87,500 from Future Screens Ni and £277,500 from the Arts Council NI • 7 large scale transformative projects across art, theatre, audience development, craft making, mixed and alternative reality and VR film making which combines the very best of talent within the creative industries, the artist community, community sector with local academic and research experts. • 19 smaller scale projects across art, immersive technology, festivals, music technology and craft making • Closer collaborations between the creative industries, university, the artist community and the community sector • Increased visibility of Future Screens NI and the Digital Catapult
Impact The collaborative call has resulted in: • A joint investment of £365,000 in the local Creative Industries. £87,500 from Future Screens Ni and £277,500 from the Arts Council NI • 7 large scale transformative projects across art, theatre, audience development, craft making, mixed and alternative reality and VR film making which combines the very best of talent within the creative industries, the artist community, community sector with local academic and research experts. • 19 smaller scale projects across art, immersive technology, festivals, music technology and craft making • Closer collaborations between the creative industries, university, the artist community and the community sector • Increased visibility of Future Screens NI and the Digital Catapult https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ugR0XBSTyUGd75J8hrLirZppnPaHIQEk/view?usp=sharing
Start Year 2020
 
Description Department for Communities 
Organisation Government of Northern Ireland
Department Department for Communities
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Future Screens NI provided pump priming resources to the artistic and creative community in response to industry identified need. This stimulated a co-investment partnership through which Future Screens Ni have supported both DfC and the Arts Council NI to transform funding call and approaches. This has included a greater emphasis on the role of new, emerging and immersive technology and the need to pivot in the context of Covid-19. Future Screens NI have played a significant role in building the sustainability of the creative economy in partnership with Arts Council NI. Most notably 4 funding calls have been co-created and co-delivered with the Future Screens NI team providing review support and direction.
Collaborator Contribution The Minister for Communities stimulated the relationship between the Arts Council and Future Screens NI in the context of innovation led relief in response to Covid-19. Arts Council NI are the funding development agency for the Arts in Northern Ireland with a responsibility for investing in the local creative industries. Initially Future Screens NI partnered with the Arts Council to deliver the Creative Industries SEED fund. This fund was established in order to drive forward knowledge transfer and innovation led R&D within the creative sector. This collaborative call resulted in the joint investment of £365,000 in the local Creative Industries. £87,500 from Future Screens Ni and £277,500 from the Arts Council NI. Each project was then provided with a knowledge transfer package (£12.500 large projects and £7,500 smaller scale projects) resulting in a total investment of £595,000. This resulted in7 large scale transformative projects across art, theatre, audience development, craft making, mixed and alternative reality and VR film making combining the very best of talent within the creative industries, the artist community, community sector with local academic and research experts and 19 smaller scale projects across art, immersive technology, festivals, music technology and craft making. The onset of the Covid-19 crisis stimulated a direct collaboration with the Minister and Department for Communities (DfC) establishing Future Screens NI as a key cultural broker within the region delivering finance, expertise, innovation which has stimulated a collaborative ecosystem positioning arts and culture at the centre of developments within new and emerging technology within the region. This partnership stimulated a partnership approach between DfC, ACNI and Future Screens that has overseen the development and implementation of innovative emergency relief programmes across the region establishing 1089 R&D projects allowing individuals to innovate and sustain during the ongoing crisis
Impact This collaboration has: Increased engagement within the traditional arts and craft sector and new, emerging and immersive technology Increased the sustainability of the arts sector and the creative economy Provided a much needed stimulus for economic recovery Resulted in significant transformation within theatre, visual art, music and traditional craft sector Resilience in the context of Covid-19 Increasing skills, capacity and technical ability This collaboration is multi-disciplinary and involves the following disciplines: economics, art, visual arts, traditional craft, AI, Machine Learning, music, gaming, programming, education, language, virtual production, animation, sound, dance, performance, culture and heritage. This collaboration has transformed the local creative economy and generated an interconnectedness that did not exist previously.
Start Year 2020
 
Description Department for the Economy 
Organisation Department for the Economy, Northern Ireland
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Ulster Screen Academy, Epic Games, the creators of Fortnite and Unreal Engine, the world's most open and advanced real-time 3D tool, hand Ulster University have collaborated to develop a Virtual Production Studio with an additional £1mn invested by Ulster University. This facility offers access to worlds most open and advanced real time 3D tools to support the animation and gaming industry to respond to the real-time revolution taking place across film, television, games, and animation production. The new facility will also support leading-edge research in virtual production for use in the screen industries. The state-of-the-art facility encompasses an LED wall with camera tracking technology, full-body motion capture, facial capture, large green screen and virtual cameras. The industries are contributing over £1 billion GVA to the NI economy and employing around 26,000 people. The Virtual Productions Studio fosters talent by developing a workforce ready to meet the demand and growth in these industries of the future in a sustainable way supporting the ambitions of the Ulster University-led £65 million Screen Media Innovation Lab (SMIL), a world class Virtual Production facility and part of the Belfast Region City Deal.
Collaborator Contribution Ulster Screen Academy, Epic Games, the creators of Fortnite and Unreal Engine, the world's most open and advanced real-time 3D tool, hand Ulster University have collaborated to develop a Virtual Production Studio with an additional £1mn invested by Ulster University. This facility offers access to worlds most open and advanced real time 3D tools to support the animation and gaming industry to respond to the real-time revolution taking place across film, television, games, and animation production. The new facility will also support leading-edge research in virtual production for use in the screen industries. The state-of-the-art facility encompasses an LED wall with camera tracking technology, full-body motion capture, facial capture, large green screen and virtual cameras. The industries are contributing over £1 billion GVA to the NI economy and employing around 26,000 people. The Virtual Productions Studio fosters talent by developing a workforce ready to meet the demand and growth in these industries of the future in a sustainable way supporting the ambitions of the Ulster University-led £65 million Screen Media Innovation Lab (SMIL), a world class Virtual Production facility and part of the Belfast Region City Deal.
Impact Increased infrastructure to support the growing virtual production industry. Increased investment in the industry. Increased recognition of the role of the creative industries in economic growth.
Start Year 2020
 
Description Digital Catapult NI 
Organisation Digital Catapult
Department Digital Catapult Centre Northern Ireland
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Ulster University, the Digital Catapult NI and Queen's University Belfast are key partners in the £13mn UKRI Industrial Challenge Creative Cluster Future Screens NI. Future Screens NI is a £13mn creative cluster in Northern Ireland. The partnership is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), as well as the industry. It brings together Ulster University, Queen's University Belfast, and key industrial partners, who are at the forefront of the local creative economy. Future Screens NI has the aim of delivering expert technical skills, opportunity and growth across: • Film and broadcast • Animation • Games • Immersive technologies Addressing challenges and building on existing strengths in creative industries in the region, areas of focus 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 • Enhancing the high-level skills pipeline in 2D and 3D animation Future Screens NI which is the partnership between Ulster and Digital Catapult is a knowledge transfer partnership. Both organisations are located within the Ormeau Baths Innovation Hub and are core to building the creative cluster in the region. Future Screens NI and the Digital Catapult are working together to support local companies engaged in the creative industries to identify and resolve research development challenges which contribute to transformation of the sector, region and the company. Working together both organisations have established a unique innovation space for the creative industries within Ormeau Baths. Through the collaborative both partners are strengthening innovation and the development of digital solutions within region. Working together both organisations are strengthening the capacity of local creatives to engage in new, emerging and immersive technology and to clarify the funding pipeline to ensure that organisations can thrive within the local ecosystem. Digital Catapult NI and Future Screens NI collaborated to deliver the Surroundscapes event on the 23rd October 2019. This event provided the opportunity for participants to explore the importance of sound within immersive experiences, to learn from industry experts, and to hear from and experience immersive content from the showcase companies. Sound is an integral part of virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality experiences. Imagine the abrupt slamming of a door, the impending doom of an object coming towards you, or simply the way we naturally turn towards a sound in a dark corner. All of these sounds need to be seamlessly integrated into a VR, AR and MR experience. The event showcased Volta and their VR spatial audio production platform, Darkfield who specialise in creating communal location-based immersive experiences inside shipping containers , multi award winning immersive sound specialists 1618digital , ZoneMe: ZONEME's TRUE2LIFE™ object-based sound system provides a new way to control how audiences hear things by placing the sound at the point of origination and Magic Beans who work with big brands like Adidas, huge Orchestral pieces and Academy award winning Immersive Filmakers, and truly innovative projects beneath London's Victorian sewer complex and finally Playlines will be demoing a stripped down version of CONSEQUENCES which is described as Punchdrunk Theatre meets Pokemon Go: an immersive site-specific Augmented Reality rap experience, written and performed by multi award-winning UK rapper Harry Shotta using Bose AR Frames. The event also showcased the latest Immersive Sound production techniques from Future Screens NI at Ulster University featured a demo of their 'inclusive performance system' which allows the user to reach out, touch, interact, feel and affect musical properties through their engagement with, and experience of, an object's physical qualities, via VR. The event also showcased the Future Screens NI collaboration with QUB's Sonic Arts Research Centre's immersive sound experience based on the mythology and exploration of the Marble Arch Caves : "Are We Not Dreaming?" this hybrid listening system uses a combination of binaural rendering on headphones and ambisonics on loudspeaker arrays. The event also featured a demo from the Audio Lab at York University featuring their VR Experience 'Soundfields ' which is being used as a therapeutic tool for children who lie on the autistic spectrum. The event was attended by 110 participants and showcased 30 industrial projects. Immersive technologies, virtual (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have seen rapid evolution over the past few years, at the same time however there has been little in the way of establishing clear methodologies, best practices or guidance for the testing and development of immersive content and experiences. Future Screens NI Co-Is are at the forefront of establishing new methodologies within the immersive, new and emerging technology space. The Catapult are increasing access to the technology whilst the Future Screen NI team are bringing creative and technical expertise which is essential to expanding the creative industries and increasing engagement in technology. Future Screens NI co-funded the Department for Communities Creative Industries SEED fund and the Digital Catapult formed part of the review committee. http://artscouncil-ni.org/news/northern-irelands-creative-industries-boosted-with-new-240000-seed-fund This fund has directed £325,000 into the local creative industries. Initially the fund was to invest £240,000 into the local creative sector but additional funding was received from the Minister which has resulted in the extension of the fund to £325,000 funding 7 large scale projects and 19 smaller projects. The partners co-delivered the Immersive Audiences: How to design and evaluate immersive user journeys in March 2020. The event which was delivered on behalf of UKRI and the Audience of the Future Demonstrator programme. Future Screens NI provided technical and creative input and encouraged organisations to participate in the event. The event was attended by over 50 representatives of the creative industries. Together the partners have: Created an ecosystem to grow the creative industries and increase capacity within new, emerging and immersive technology within the Ormeau Baths Created a pipeline to engage and support organisations to identify and address R&D challenges using new emerging and immersive technologies Delivered a series of essential events which have enhanced the capacity of the local creative industries. Strengthened R&D capacity of the local creative industries within new, emerging and immersive technologies Additional Supporting Information https://vimeo.com/372602129 (Video) https://tinyurl.com/vydpuku (images) https://tinyurl.com/rqmkwmy (report) https://creativeindustriesclusters.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Clusters-Booklet-Story-So-Far-FINAL-web.pdf https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZY6eQbPLGU&feature=youtu.be https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42mItwjPW8I&feature=youtu.be
Collaborator Contribution Ulster University, the Digital Catapult NI and Queen's University Belfast are key partners in the £13mn UKRI Industrial Challenge Creative Cluster Future Screens NI. Future Screens NI is a £13mn creative cluster in Northern Ireland. The partnership is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), as well as the industry. It brings together Ulster University, Queen's University Belfast, and key industrial partners, who are at the forefront of the local creative economy. Future Screens NI has the aim of delivering expert technical skills, opportunity and growth across: • Film and broadcast • Animation • Games • Immersive technologies Addressing challenges and building on existing strengths in creative industries in the region, areas of focus 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 • Enhancing the high-level skills pipeline in 2D and 3D animation Future Screens NI which is the partnership between Ulster and Digital Catapult is a knowledge transfer partnership. Both organisations are located within the Ormeau Baths Innovation Hub and are core to building the creative cluster in the region. Future Screens NI and the Digital Catapult are working together to support local companies engaged in the creative industries to identify and resolve research development challenges which contribute to transformation of the sector, region and the company. Working together both organisations have established a unique innovation space for the creative industries within Ormeau Baths. Through the collaboration both partners are strengthening innovation and the development of digital solutions within region. Working together both organisations are strengthening the capacity of local creatives to engage in new, emerging and immersive technology and to clarify the funding pipeline to ensure that organisations can thrive within the local ecosystem. Digital Catapult NI and Future Screens NI collaborated to deliver the Surroundscapes event on the 23rd October 2019. This event provided the opportunity for participants to explore the importance of sound within immersive experiences, to learn from industry experts, and to hear from and experience immersive content from the showcase companies. Sound is an integral part of virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality experiences. Imagine the abrupt slamming of a door, the impending doom of an object coming towards you, or simply the way we naturally turn towards a sound in a dark corner. All of these sounds need to be seamlessly integrated into a VR, AR and MR experience. The event showcased Volta and their VR spatial audio production platform, Darkfield who specialise in creating communal location-based immersive experiences inside shipping containers , multi award winning immersive sound specialists 1618digital , ZoneMe: ZONEME's TRUE2LIFE™ object-based sound system provides a new way to control how audiences hear things by placing the sound at the point of origination and Magic Beans who work with big brands like Adidas, huge Orchestral pieces and Academy award winning Immersive Filmakers, and truly innovative projects beneath London's Victorian sewer complex and finally Playlines will be demoing a stripped down version of CONSEQUENCES which is described as Punchdrunk Theatre meets Pokemon Go: an immersive site-specific Augmented Reality rap experience, written and performed by multi award-winning UK rapper Harry Shotta using Bose AR Frames. The event also showcased the latest Immersive Sound production techniques from Future Screens NI at Ulster University featured a demo of their 'inclusive performance system' which allows the user to reach out, touch, interact, feel and affect musical properties through their engagement with, and experience of, an object's physical qualities, via VR. The event also showcased the Future Screens NI collaboration with QUB's Sonic Arts Research Centre's immersive sound experience based on the mythology and exploration of the Marble Arch Caves : "Are We Not Dreaming?" this hybrid listening system uses a combination of binaural rendering on headphones and ambisonics on loudspeaker arrays. The event also featured a demo from the Audio Lab at York University featuring their VR Experience 'Soundfields ' which is being used as a therapeutic tool for children who lie on the autistic spectrum. The event was attended by 110 participants and showcased 30 industrial projects. Immersive technologies, virtual (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have seen rapid evolution over the past few years, at the same time however there has been little in the way of establishing clear methodologies, best practices or guidance for the testing and development of immersive content and experiences. Future Screens NI Co-Is are at the forefront of establishing new methodologies within the immersive, new and emerging technology space. The Catapult are increasing access to the technology whilst the Future Screen NI team are bringing creative and technical expertise which is essential to expanding the creative industries and increasing engagement in technology. Future Screens NI co-funded the Department for Communities Creative Industries SEED fund and the Digital Catapult formed part of the review committee. http://artscouncil-ni.org/news/northern-irelands-creative-industries-boosted-with-new-240000-seed-fund This fund has directed £325,000 into the local creative industries. Initially the fund was to invest £240,000 into the local creative sector but additional funding was received from the Minister which has resulted in the extension of the fund to £325,000 funding 7 large scale projects and 19 smaller projects. The partners co-delivered the Immersive Audiences: How to design and evaluate immersive user journeys in March 2020. The event which was delivered on behalf of UKRI and the Audience of the Future Demonstrator programme. Future Screens NIO provided technical and creative input and encouraged organisations to participate in the event. The event was attended by over 50 representatives of the creative industries. Together the partners have: Created an ecosystem to grow the creative industries and increase capacity within new, emerging and immersive technology within the Ormeau Baths Created a pipeline to engage and support organisations to identify and address R&D challenges using new emerging and immersive technologies Delivered a series of essential events which have enhanced the capacity of the local creative industries. Strengthened R&D capacity of the local creative industries within new, emerging and immersive technologies Additional Supporting Information https://vimeo.com/372602129 (Video) https://tinyurl.com/vydpuku (images) https://tinyurl.com/rqmkwmy (report) https://creativeindustriesclusters.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Clusters-Booklet-Story-So-Far-FINAL-web.pdf https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZY6eQbPLGU&feature=youtu.be https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42mItwjPW8I&feature=youtu.be
Impact Through the collaboration both partners are strengthening innovation and the development of digital solutions within region. Working together both organisations are strengthening the capacity of local creatives to engage in new, emerging and immersive technology and to clarify the funding pipeline to ensure that organisations can thrive within the local ecosystem. Digital Catapult NI and Future Screens NI collaborated to deliver the Surroundscapes event on the 23rd October 2019. This event provided the opportunity for participants to explore the importance of sound within immersive experiences, to learn from industry experts, and to hear from and experience immersive content from the showcase companies. Sound is an integral part of virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality experiences. Imagine the abrupt slamming of a door, the impending doom of an object coming towards you, or simply the way we naturally turn towards a sound in a dark corner. All of these sounds need to be seamlessly integrated into a VR, AR and MR experience. The event showcased Volta and their VR spatial audio production platform, Darkfield who specialise in creating communal location-based immersive experiences inside shipping containers , multi award winning immersive sound specialists 1618digital , ZoneMe: ZONEME's TRUE2LIFE™ object-based sound system provides a new way to control how audiences hear things by placing the sound at the point of origination and Magic Beans who work with big brands like Adidas, huge Orchestral pieces and Academy award winning Immersive Filmakers, and truly innovative projects beneath London's Victorian sewer complex and finally Playlines will be demoing a stripped down version of CONSEQUENCES which is described as Punchdrunk Theatre meets Pokemon Go: an immersive site-specific Augmented Reality rap experience, written and performed by multi award-winning UK rapper Harry Shotta using Bose AR Frames. The event also showcased the latest Immersive Sound production techniques from Future Screens NI at Ulster University featured a demo of their 'inclusive performance system' which allows the user to reach out, touch, interact, feel and affect musical properties through their engagement with, and experience of, an object's physical qualities, via VR. The event also showcased the Future Screens NI collaboration with QUB's Sonic Arts Research Centre's immersive sound experience based on the mythology and exploration of the Marble Arch Caves : "Are We Not Dreaming?" this hybrid listening system uses a combination of binaural rendering on headphones and ambisonics on loudspeaker arrays. The event also featured a demo from the Audio Lab at York University featuring their VR Experience 'Soundfields ' which is being used as a therapeutic tool for children who lie on the autistic spectrum. The event was attended by 110 participants and showcased 30 industrial projects. Immersive technologies, virtual (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have seen rapid evolution over the past few years, at the same time however there has been little in the way of establishing clear methodologies, best practices or guidance for the testing and development of immersive content and experiences. Future Screens NI Co-Is are at the forefront of establishing new methodologies within the immersive, new and emerging technology space. The Catapult are increasing access to the technology whilst the Future Screen NI team are bringing creative and technical expertise which is essential to expanding the creative industries and increasing engagement in technology. Future Screens NI co-funded the Department for Communities Creative Industries SEED fund and the Digital Catapult formed part of the review committee. http://artscouncil-ni.org/news/northern-irelands-creative-industries-boosted-with-new-240000-seed-fund This fund has directed £325,000 into the local creative industries. Initially the fund was to invest £240,000 into the local creative sector but additional funding was received from the Minister which has resulted in the extension of the fund to £325,000 funding 7 large scale projects and 19 smaller projects. The partners co-delivered the Immersive Audiences: How to design and evaluate immersive user journeys in March 2020. The event which was delivered on behalf of UKRI and the Audience of the Future Demonstrator programme. Future Screens NIO provided technical and creative input and encouraged organisations to participate in the event. The event was attended by over 50 representatives of the creative industries. Together the partners have: Created an ecosystem to grow the creative industries and increase capacity within new, emerging and immersive technology within the Ormeau Baths Created a pipeline to engage and support organisations to identify and address R&D challenges using new emerging and immersive technologies Delivered a series of essential events which have enhanced the capacity of the local creative industries. Strengthened R&D capacity of the local creative industries within new, emerging and immersive technologies Additional Supporting Information https://vimeo.com/372602129 (Video) https://tinyurl.com/vydpuku (images) https://tinyurl.com/rqmkwmy (report) https://creativeindustriesclusters.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Clusters-Booklet-Story-So-Far-FINAL-web.pdf https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZY6eQbPLGU&feature=youtu.be https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42mItwjPW8I&feature=youtu.be
Start Year 2018
 
Description Digital Humanoids: Retinize and Future Screens NI 
Organisation RETìníZE Limited
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Future Screens NI have contributed £42,860 to this project. This includes and R&D grant to the value of £9,900, academic and research expertise and administrative support. Working together Future Screens NI and Retinize have identified and are working to address the challenge associated with creating digital humanoids that are believable yet don't run the risk of falling into uncanny valley has until recently been prohibitively expensive for all but the largest companies, with the actual process itself being extremely time-consuming. However, due to recent technological advances, each step of the production pipeline is accelerating, with the number of steps needed from conception to completion dropping, and the overall cost of each step decreasing. While this is allowing more and more people access to these digital avatars, many individuals are failing to choose the method of creation that is most effective for their project, leading to wasted time, money, and resources. The majority of production companies, clients, and consumers lack a detailed understanding of the main differences between different forms of motion capture, with many individuals using terms such as performance capture and motion capture interchangeably despite substantial baselines differences between them. The results of this misunderstanding leads to producers and companies pursuing the wrong method for their projects, hampering production and leading to delays and budget overspends. Retinize and Future Screens NI have addressed this issue by creating a service that streamlines this whole pipeline enabling us to rapidly produce content for film, TV, gaming and immersive media which provides clients with the highest quality digital humanoids, in an efficient and cost effective way, that allows them to tell their stories. Retinize then assess their project, storyboards, and ideas, and guide them towards the best method to achieve their vision. Together they have created a showcase of the latest techniques of various capture methods (such as volumetric performance capture and various motion capture methods) that would allow for an easy side by side comparison. In order to allow clients and creatives to make an informed choice regarding capture methodologies and pursue the best path forward for their project. An additional benefit is that this showcase acts an educational tool for sectors of the creative industry and give a greater understanding of each process to the relevant people, allowing for faster and more accurate future decisions. This research is informing the kind of facilities required by local industry going forward in relation to motion capture technology through any investment from the Belfast City Deal initiative. Future Screens NI and Retinize have produced real time digital humanoids that are multi-faceted. The techniques applied combine a high resolution hyper realistic photo scan of a performer alongside a motion capture suit and high end smartphone. The motion capture suit will allow for accurate recording of body movements, while the high end smartphone will allow for highly precise facial capture for a relatively low cost (in comparison to existing facial capture methodologies and technologies). This allows an almost true to life capture to be undertaken rapidly but at a vastly reduced cost when compared to current high end options currently on offer, such as pure volumetric capture. This methodology will also help to improve on some of the limitations of these systems, especially facial recordings. Outcomes include: Retinize and Future Screens NI have addressed this issue by creating a service that streamlines this whole pipeline enabling us to rapidly produce content for film, TV, gaming and immersive media which provides clients with the highest quality digital humanoids, in an efficient and cost effective way, that allows them to tell their stories. Retinize then assess their project, storyboards, and ideas, and guide them towards the best method to achieve their vision. With subsequent increases in quality and decreases in production time. Together they have created a showcase of the latest techniques of various capture methods (such as volumetric performance capture and various motion capture methods) that would allow for an easy side by side comparison. In order to allow clients and creatives to make an informed choice regarding capture methodologies and pursue the best path forward for their project. An additional benefit is that this showcase acts an educational tool for sectors of the creative industry and give a greater understanding of each process to the relevant people, allowing for faster and more accurate future decisions. This research is informing the kind of facilities required by local industry going forward in relation to motion capture technology through any investment from the Belfast City Deal initiative. Retinize Future Screens NI have produced a service that streamlines the production pipeline enabling us the rapid production of content for film, TV, gaming and immersive media which provides clients with the highest quality digital humanoids, in an efficient and cost effective way, that allows them to tell their stories. Retinize then assess their project, storyboards, and ideas, and guide them towards the best method to achieve their vision. The creation of a showcase of the latest techniques of various capture methods (such as volumetric performance capture and various motion capture methods) that would allow for an easy side by side comparison. In order to allow clients and creatives to make an informed choice regarding capture methodologies and pursue the best path forward for their project. An additional benefit is that this showcase acts an educational tool for sectors of the creative industry and give a greater understanding of each process to the relevant people, allowing for faster and more accurate future decisions. This research is informing the kind of facilities required by local industry going forward in relation to motion capture technology through any investment from the Belfast City Deal initiative. The production of real time digital humanoids that are multi-faceted. The techniques applied combine a high resolution hyper realistic photo scan of a performer alongside a motion capture suit and high end smartphone. The motion capture suit will allow for accurate recording of body movements, while the high end smartphone will allow for highly precise facial capture for a relatively low cost (in comparison to existing facial capture methodologies and technologies). This allows an almost true to life capture to be undertaken rapidly but at a vastly reduced cost when compared to current high end options currently on offer, such as pure volumetric capture. This methodology will also help to improve on some of the limitations of these systems, especially facial recordings. Future Screens have provided the academic expertise via Dr Declan Keeney to deviese a practice-based approach to this R&D activity, exploring each of the processes for creating realistic digital humanoids. This has included different options for volumetric and motion capture that are currently on the market. The team have the trialed various hardware options (e.g. XSens Motion Capture suit) using our own internal equipment, trialling additional equipment and working with project partners who own and are willing to rent additional equipment to conduct the research. SDKs and frameworks have been downloaded and explored to analyse the best software offerings for volumetric and motion capture. Where possible we will maintain a dialogue with the software development companies to establish best practice for using their toolsets. Retinize's has a dual business model, commercial content creation and original content creation. This business model has allowed Retinize to create content for a wide range of industries ranging from broadcasters, car brands, charities and tourism destinations. Within both sides of the business the demand for realistic animation models has increased and become more and more important. Retinize's commercial business focuses on the advertising, museums and tourism industry were project briefs are asking for every increasing realistic environments and characters. Within the advertising industry retail and cosmetic brands want realistic 3D avatars with which they can display their products digital, digital is increasingly seen as an key avenue for engaging with consumers. Digital displays in shops, AR apps which can be accessed at home, even VR fashion shows are becoming more popular. Future Screens NI and Retinize have worked together to identify and address the key challenges associated with making the products look as real digitally as they do in real life and a key component of this is having realistic avatars. Within the museum sector realistic avatars are seen as a potentially important, and cost effective component to bringing exhibits to life. Having realistic digital characters on display that reflect the artefacts can drive visitor engagement and enhance the visitor experience. Also having the characters digital captured means that new content can be created easily meaning that exhibits can be continually updated to keep them engaging for visitors. Using digital technology to engage with the next generation of visitors is seen as increasingly important as they are the generation that has grown up with digital content and now expect any learning to be delivered through the same methods. Within the Tourism sector AR has become an area of interest for providing guides for visitors. We are currently working with a number of tourism bodies to deliver AR guides and feedback that Retinize have received is that realistic digital guides are important. It is the position of Retinize that the significantly increased level of realism achieved with AR avatars resulting from this project will open up a number of commercial avenues for AR tourism not just in the UK but globally.
Collaborator Contribution Working together Future Screens NI and Retinize have identified and are working to address the challenge associated with creating digital humanoids that are believable yet don't run the risk of falling into uncanny valley has until recently been prohibitively expensive for all but the largest companies, with the actual process itself being extremely time-consuming. However, due to recent technological advances, each step of the production pipeline is accelerating, with the number of steps needed from conception to completion dropping, and the overall cost of each step decreasing. While this is allowing more and more people access to these digital avatars, many individuals are failing to choose the method of creation that is most effective for their project, leading to wasted time, money, and resources. The majority of production companies, clients, and consumers lack a detailed understanding of the main differences between different forms of motion capture, with many individuals using terms such as performance capture and motion capture interchangeably despite substantial baselines differences between them. The results of this misunderstanding leads to producers and companies pursuing the wrong method for their projects, hampering production and leading to delays and budget overspends. Retinize and Future Screens NI have addressed this issue by creating a service that streamlines this whole pipeline enabling us to rapidly produce content for film, TV, gaming and immersive media which provides clients with the highest quality digital humanoids, in an efficient and cost effective way, that allows them to tell their stories. Retinize then assess their project, storyboards, and ideas, and guide them towards the best method to achieve their vision. Together they have created a showcase of the latest techniques of various capture methods (such as volumetric performance capture and various motion capture methods) that would allow for an easy side by side comparison. In order to allow clients and creatives to make an informed choice regarding capture methodologies and pursue the best path forward for their project. An additional benefit is that this showcase acts an educational tool for sectors of the creative industry and give a greater understanding of each process to the relevant people, allowing for faster and more accurate future decisions. This research is informing the kind of facilities required by local industry going forward in relation to motion capture technology through any investment from the Belfast City Deal initiative. Future Screens NI and Retinize have produced real time digital humanoids that are multi-faceted. The techniques applied combine a high resolution hyper realistic photo scan of a performer alongside a motion capture suit and high end smartphone. The motion capture suit will allow for accurate recording of body movements, while the high end smartphone will allow for highly precise facial capture for a relatively low cost (in comparison to existing facial capture methodologies and technologies). This allows an almost true to life capture to be undertaken rapidly but at a vastly reduced cost when compared to current high end options currently on offer, such as pure volumetric capture. This methodology will also help to improve on some of the limitations of these systems, especially facial recordings. Outcomes include: Retinize and Future Screens NI have addressed this issue by creating a service that streamlines this whole pipeline enabling us to rapidly produce content for film, TV, gaming and immersive media which provides clients with the highest quality digital humanoids, in an efficient and cost effective way, that allows them to tell their stories. Retinize then assess their project, storyboards, and ideas, and guide them towards the best method to achieve their vision. With subsequent increases in quality and decreases in production time. Together they have created a showcase of the latest techniques of various capture methods (such as volumetric performance capture and various motion capture methods) that would allow for an easy side by side comparison. In order to allow clients and creatives to make an informed choice regarding capture methodologies and pursue the best path forward for their project. An additional benefit is that this showcase acts an educational tool for sectors of the creative industry and give a greater understanding of each process to the relevant people, allowing for faster and more accurate future decisions. This research is informing the kind of facilities required by local industry going forward in relation to motion capture technology through any investment from the Belfast City Deal initiative. Retinize Future Screens NI have produced a service that streamlines the production pipeline enabling us the rapid production of content for film, TV, gaming and immersive media which provides clients with the highest quality digital humanoids, in an efficient and cost effective way, that allows them to tell their stories. Retinize then assess their project, storyboards, and ideas, and guide them towards the best method to achieve their vision. The creation of a showcase of the latest techniques of various capture methods (such as volumetric performance capture and various motion capture methods) that would allow for an easy side by side comparison. In order to allow clients and creatives to make an informed choice regarding capture methodologies and pursue the best path forward for their project. An additional benefit is that this showcase acts an educational tool for sectors of the creative industry and give a greater understanding of each process to the relevant people, allowing for faster and more accurate future decisions. This research is informing the kind of facilities required by local industry going forward in relation to motion capture technology through any investment from the Belfast City Deal initiative. The production of real time digital humanoids that are multi-faceted. The techniques applied combine a high resolution hyper realistic photo scan of a performer alongside a motion capture suit and high end smartphone. The motion capture suit will allow for accurate recording of body movements, while the high end smartphone will allow for highly precise facial capture for a relatively low cost (in comparison to existing facial capture methodologies and technologies). This allows an almost true to life capture to be undertaken rapidly but at a vastly reduced cost when compared to current high end options currently on offer, such as pure volumetric capture. This methodology will also help to improve on some of the limitations of these systems, especially facial recordings. Future Screens have provided the academic expertise via Dr Declan Keeney to deviese a practice-based approach to this R&D activity, exploring each of the processes for creating realistic digital humanoids. This has included different options for volumetric and motion capture that are currently on the market. The team have the trialed various hardware options (e.g. XSens Motion Capture suit) using our own internal equipment, trialling additional equipment and working with project partners who own and are willing to rent additional equipment to conduct the research. SDKs and frameworks have been downloaded and explored to analyse the best software offerings for volumetric and motion capture. Where possible we will maintain a dialogue with the software development companies to establish best practice for using their toolsets. Retinize's has a dual business model, commercial content creation and original content creation. This business model has allowed Retinize to create content for a wide range of industries ranging from broadcasters, car brands, charities and tourism destinations. Within both sides of the business the demand for realistic animation models has increased and become more and more important. Retinize's commercial business focuses on the advertising, museums and tourism industry were project briefs are asking for every increasing realistic environments and characters. Within the advertising industry retail and cosmetic brands want realistic 3D avatars with which they can display their products digital, digital is increasingly seen as an key avenue for engaging with consumers. Digital displays in shops, AR apps which can be accessed at home, even VR fashion shows are becoming more popular. Future Screens NI and Retinize have worked together to identify and address the key challenges associated with making the products look as real digitally as they do in real life and a key component of this is having realistic avatars. Within the museum sector realistic avatars are seen as a potentially important, and cost effective component to bringing exhibits to life. Having realistic digital characters on display that reflect the artefacts can drive visitor engagement and enhance the visitor experience. Also having the characters digital captured means that new content can be created easily meaning that exhibits can be continually updated to keep them engaging for visitors. Using digital technology to engage with the next generation of visitors is seen as increasingly important as they are the generation that has grown up with digital content and now expect any learning to be delivered through the same methods. Within the Tourism sector AR has become an area of interest for providing guides for visitors. We are currently working with a number of tourism bodies to deliver AR guides and feedback that Retinize have received is that realistic digital guides are important. It is the position of Retinize that the significantly increased level of realism achieved with AR avatars resulting from this project will open up a number of commercial avenues for AR tourism not just in the UK but globally.
Impact Retinize and Future Screens NI have addressed this issue by creating a service that streamlines this whole pipeline enabling us to rapidly produce content for film, TV, gaming and immersive media which provides clients with the highest quality digital humanoids, in an efficient and cost effective way, that allows them to tell their stories. Retinize then assess their project, storyboards, and ideas, and guide them towards the best method to achieve their vision. With subsequent increases in quality and decreases in production time. Together they have created a showcase of the latest techniques of various capture methods (such as volumetric performance capture and various motion capture methods) that would allow for an easy side by side comparison. In order to allow clients and creatives to make an informed choice regarding capture methodologies and pursue the best path forward for their project. An additional benefit is that this showcase acts an educational tool for sectors of the creative industry and give a greater understanding of each process to the relevant people, allowing for faster and more accurate future decisions. This research is informing the kind of facilities required by local industry going forward in relation to motion capture technology through any investment from the Belfast City Deal initiative. Retinize Future Screens NI have produced a service that streamlines the production pipeline enabling us the rapid production of content for film, TV, gaming and immersive media which provides clients with the highest quality digital humanoids, in an efficient and cost effective way, that allows them to tell their stories. Retinize then assess their project, storyboards, and ideas, and guide them towards the best method to achieve their vision. The creation of a showcase of the latest techniques of various capture methods (such as volumetric performance capture and various motion capture methods) that would allow for an easy side by side comparison. In order to allow clients and creatives to make an informed choice regarding capture methodologies and pursue the best path forward for their project. An additional benefit is that this showcase acts an educational tool for sectors of the creative industry and give a greater understanding of each process to the relevant people, allowing for faster and more accurate future decisions. This research is informing the kind of facilities required by local industry going forward in relation to motion capture technology through any investment from the Belfast City Deal initiative. The production of real time digital humanoids that are multi-faceted. The techniques applied combine a high resolution hyper realistic photo scan of a performer alongside a motion capture suit and high end smartphone. The motion capture suit will allow for accurate recording of body movements, while the high end smartphone will allow for highly precise facial capture for a relatively low cost (in comparison to existing facial capture methodologies and technologies). This allows an almost true to life capture to be undertaken rapidly but at a vastly reduced cost when compared to current high end options currently on offer, such as pure volumetric capture. This methodology will also help to improve on some of the limitations of these systems, especially facial recordings.
Start Year 2019
 
Description EnterYes, ONAR 
Organisation EnterYes
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution The Future Screens NI team has identified a strong need for R&D with regards to the use of High Definition Rendering Pipelines (HDRP) for use in the games engine Unity. Unity provides a very large number of games development studios with an open source games engine which has a low barrier to entry for cost as well as expertise, this means that it has a very large install base which makes it perfect for experimenting with HDRP as the game indsutry moves more towards wide use of this technique. The R&D challenge was to establish a ray tracing pipeline for Unity in conjunction with HDRP and the NVIDIA RTX (Ray Tracing Card) tp progress and propel Northern Irish games development into a new generation of games graphics with the support of Unity and NVIDIA. The computer graphics industry is transitioning towards a real time ray tracing as standard for rendering computer graphics. Creative studios are now entering an uncertainty and research and development phase when progressing from a standard definition pipeline to a ray tracing High Definition Render Pipeline (HDRP). Technically many established texture formats, exports, file types and artist workflows have changed to accommodate the new level of fidelity and benefits of HDPR which will become standard within the computer games, animation and film sector. Using the expertise of the Future Screens NI team, EnterYes was able to create a solution which automated processes which assisted artists, developers and studios streamline their workflows for transition to the new HDRP pipeline.
Collaborator Contribution EnterYes created a two-minute narrative example (IP) of ray tracing within Unity and was produced over a 4-month period. They were also able to produce documentation (IP) that details the pipeline and workflow required for an artist, developer, and creative studio to streamline the transition from an SD render pipe line to a ray tracing High Definition Render Pipeline (HDRP). In addition to this EnterYes produced a piece of bespoke and licensable software (IP) that automates aspects of texture generation and HDPR conversions required. The market opportunity is multi faceted. Internally this allows Enter Yes to become more competitive within the global video games and computer animation market as both a content provider and service provider. Externally Enter Yes will also benefit from creating licensable software and documentation that generates a potential revenue stream by using the narrative video as marketing material for both internal and external benefits.
Impact EnterYes have been able to successfully produce ray-tracing content with the High Definition Rendering Pipeline and produce documentation for a variety of discriplines showing how it can be done in an effective manner
Start Year 2019
 
Description Enterprise Causeway and Lead2Grow 
Organisation Enterprise Causeway
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution SMEs are crucial to economic growth and development at regional and national levels (Thorpe et al., 2009). Research clearly delineates a lack of leadership capacity and capability as one of the principal causes of small business failure (Jones, 2011; CMI, 2015). The research problem of this proposal considers how existing leadership development programmes focus on larger organisations, failing to accommodate for the unique characteristics and context of micro firms (Reinl and Kelliher, 2014; Armstrong and Page, 2015). Even though micro firms (less than 10 employees) account for 95% of NI's business population (FSB, 2016), aside from Lead2Grow (L2G), in Northern Ireland (NI) there is no leadership intervention targeted at the small business owner. The direct correlation between leadership capability and business growth underpins the urgency and need for a bespoke and tailored leadership programme in NI. However, micro firm entrepreneurs are defined as 'hard to reach' employers, therefore research also underlines the importance of a specific and relevant approach to the marketing and recruitment of participants in such programmes. While leadership development is vital for survival and growth during times of uncertainty (Pinter, 2008; Zemke and Zemke, 2001; Rae, 2012), business leaders in the Creative Industries (CI) in NI encounter a unique set of challenges as a result of size, constant changing economic and political climate, and Brexit. UK CI reports identify how creative businesses specifically lack leadership capabilities (PwC, 2015; Bazalgette, 2017; Matrix, 2018). Not only is there a lack of understanding of this gap (Armstrong and Page, 2015), but there a greater void of leadership development intervention for CI entrepreneurs that deals with growth and performance (NESTA, 2013). It is acknowledged that during initial consultation with CI firms during the early stages of AHRC creative clusters bid application, CI businesses also acknowledge their need for improved leadership ability and knowledge. New products, applications and services are the lifeblood of the CI and the significance of the overall industry on the local economy is further reinforced by recent government reports (DCMS, 2016). More specifically in NI, CI firms are defined 'a key growth sector of the local economy' (Creativity NI, 2019), yet many creative businesses tend to stay small and restrained in terms of growth and productivity (Nesta, 2018). There is a significantly higher number of small firms within the CI in contrast to other industries e.g. 35% of the creative businesses are self-employed, compared to the UK industry average of 15%. Future Screens NI have identified a clear R&D challenge born out of the gap in a leadership intervention model linked to business and industry need. The expertise of the Future Screens NI Team has been directed towards addressing the overall research objective is to improve leadership capability and stimulate sustained improved business performance, by focusing on the creative leader's capacity to learn and then transfer that learning across the business for real impact. In doing so, the research has adapted the existing L2G model (Hutchinson, 2017) addressing leadership ability and working with CI entrepreneurs to improve business growth focusing in this case on micro firms based in the North West. The Future Screens NI team have co-created the solution to the research challenge and development challenge with Enterprise Causeway through the development of a new research model for a leadership programme for creative entrepreneurs. This model seeks to meet the leadership challenges of micro firms in the CI, helping to mitigate business failure, enhance business growth and overcoming misperception in the CI that leadership capability is not important or relevant. It has provided CI leaders with the opportunity to learn the art and craft of leadership by participation in a three day practical workshop programme, one to one executive coaching, and access to an online resource toolkit. Evaluation and feedback are critical in measuring the impact of the programme in terms of performance and growth, which in turn will build the reputation and pipeline for further delivery of the programme across NI. In the UK there is no leadership development programme relevant to the sector. This is emphasised through UK reports which highlight the need for leadership enhancement (Bazalgette Review, 2017; PwC, 2015). Given creative clusters form in various geographic areas (NESTA, 2016a), there is therefore a requirement to develop a programme which is geographically bespoke to each area to ensure the needs of creatives in those areas are identified and the programme content and structure is based around these individual needs. The R&D of content in this programme has been focused upon the art and craft of leadership, providing new learning first in terms of reframing the concept of leadership making it relevant to the CI and then secondly, by learning new tools that bring real business impact: storytelling and creative problem solving. Given creative businesses should be shaped using the creative context (CLP, 2002), video and communication tools will be utilised in developing the leaders story and the future of the business. Moreover, Design Thinking, is used to develop a new creative thought process for entrepreneurs (Ingle, 2013), which has been positively associated with supporting business growth (Leavy, 2012; Deloitte, 2016). Partners from Ulster University via Future Screens NI have shaped the programme content, preparation, delivery and evaluation. Ulster University via Future Screens NI have provided this project with necessary research expertise (including human, facility, technical and financial resources): • Facilitation of workshops by key staff members • Project management from initiation to completion • Research ability and expertise This project has increased the reach of Enterprise North west and Enterprise Causeway's audience and developed market share of participating businesses. Defined as hard to reach employers, the research and development in this project has invested in learning for marketing and recruitment for further programmes attracting a wider range of CI firms and their leaders. Key persons include: • Professor Karise Hutchinson: Professor of Leadership, Provost of Coleraine campus with extensive expertise in research around leadership and small business growth • Dr Justin Magee: Research Director, School of Art & Design • Rachael Fergie: PhD researcher, with in leadership development in the CI sector, Ulster Business School This anticipated enhanced performance has been monitored throughout and beyond the project. Given this programme will be further delivered across NI, audience reach and companies impacted by the Lead2Grow programme has the potential to will grow extensively beyond this project in the following ways: ? Creative firms and entrepreneurs who do not engage with Lead2Grow during this iteration of the programme will ultimately be more encouraged to engage with Enterprise North West, Enterprise Causeway and FSNI in the future ? Publications will be developed with results of programme and as a result, will aid enhancement of learning impact to the CI and thus encourage leadership practices within additional creative firms (beyond the 10 in this programme) e.g. through research and academic papers, publications and reports ? This programme will also significantly impact stakeholders of the businesses involved, e.g. business growth in terms of outputs will yield an increase in business for suppliers The Lead2Grow programme has been developed to generate new leadership models commenced in March 2019 with an initial Lead2Grow Conference which was attended by 211 participants. The Lead2Grow Programme has been delivered to 50 businesses within the North West. The Programme has extended the Future Screens NI Programme into the North West which is an essential aspect of the Future Screens NI Programme. https://vimeo.com/330749212
Collaborator Contribution Micro creative firms are defined by UKCES (2015) as 'hard to reach' employers. The scoping stage of this research has revealed the owners of creative firms are hesitant to accept the term 'leader'. On one hand, while they may realise the importance of leadership in general, it is not linked to their business growth and performance. There is potential this (mis)perception in turn may discourage CI entrepreneurs from investing in leadership development and the L2G programme. However, Enterprise Causeway's track record of delivering leadership programmes to micro firms combined with their experience of working within the CI sector, should help mitigate the risk of non-engagement and poor response rate. Enterprise Causeway have significant experience in meeting needs of the creative micro firms through current business support programmes. Using human, technical and financial resources, Enterprise Causeway will provide the project with: • business review and action planning • management information system to support programme administration, financial management, quality assurance, monitoring and reporting • existing knowledge of creative businesses • monitoring and reporting from project initiation to project completion Enterprise Causeway have extensive experience and a robust management information system to allow tracking of this project performance against agreed targets. Enterprise Causeway have provided the infrastructure to advance the project and the mechanisms through which to engage participants alongside industry focused expertise.
Impact A flagship Lead2Grow Conference was delivered to 211 participants creating the framework for the Lead2Grow Programme. The Lead2Grow Programme has been delivered to 50 participants across the North West 5 participating businesses have adjusted their business model and leadership structure 3 participating businesses have attracted investment 11 new jobs have been created within participating businesses The PhD Researcher has secured a permanent Lecturing position within the Ulster Business School
Start Year 2018
 
Description Experimental Design-Future Belfast 
Organisation Experimental Design
Country United States 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Future Screens NI is a £13mn creative cluster in Northern Ireland. The partnership is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), as well as the industry. It brings together Ulster University, Queen's University Belfast, and key industrial partners, who are at the forefront of the local creative economy. Future Screens NI has the aim of delivering expert technical skills, opportunity and growth across: • Film and broadcast • Animation • Games • Immersive technologies Addressing challenges and building on existing strengths in creative industries in the region, areas of focus 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 • Enhancing the high-level skills pipeline in 2D and 3D animation Ulster University, Experimental Design and Queen's University Belfast are the lead partners in the £13mn UKRI Industrial Challenge Creative Cluster Future Screens NI. Together they competitively secured £6mn from the AHRC, with a further £7mn secured from industry. Together the partnership has supported significant Research and Development Projects within the local creative economy. Together the partnership has attracted significant Global Partners including Experimental Design LA, Disney, HBO, The Romeros, Discovery and Warner Media. In Year 1 alone the Future Screens NI partnership has invested £2mn research undertaken by local SMEs. £0.7mn via the AHRC and £1.2mn from NI Screen and industry partners. This is the first time that both Universities and Industry have collaborated on this scale. This would not have been achieved without NI Screen. The 2016-2017 draft PFG proposes that NI has 'an innovative creative society where people can fulfil their potential'. The draft NI Industrial Strategy and the Invest NI Business Strategy 2017 identify 'digital and creative technologies' as one of six 'broad' areas of the economy where Northern Ireland has 'world-class capabilities, 'further noting that 'NI has gained a global reputation in the creative industries with notable success in the TV and film industry as well as the burgeoning animation sector.' In spite of this there has been significant underinvestment in R&D within the local creative economy. Businesses within the sector face challenges in drawing traditional forms of R&D funding. The Creative Industries Sector Deal (2018) highlights the need to 'provide a more consistent national spread of creative industries' confirming the Belfast region as one of 47 UK creative clusters and noting its 'high concentration and growth'. The Sector Deal states 'The problem is not that London is too big, but that other centres are too small. There is enormous potential to grow other leading hubs across the UK.' Ulster University and NI Screen developed the Future Screens NI Creative Cluster in order to address these challenges by together securing £13mn to invest in R&D within the creative industries in NI. The injection of support on the scale provided by Future Screens NI will drive growth from 0.9% to 2.7% of UK GVA in the sector generating £2.1 billion GVA and creating 20,000 new jobs in NI. Ulster University and NI Screen together nurture the local creative sector and support the development of R&D. The partnership works tightly together meeting on a weekly basis to ensure that the project meets industry research needs and bring the creative industries together at least once a month to drive forward R&D and innovation. Data from DCMS had suggested that Northern Ireland was the only region in the UK to see a decline in GVA for Creative Industries since 2010 (a 11.7% decrease). However, the revised regional GVA data - used in the July 2019 release - has increased both NI's total GVA and the amount generated by Creative Industries, due to a changing estimate of the 'headquarters effect' and other factors. The GVA for Creative Industries in Northern Ireland (NI) in 2017 was 1.07% of the UK's total. This share has remained low for the entire period of 2010-2017, consistently amounting to c1% of the total UK Creative Industries GVA. This size of share is similar to both Wales and the North East, though the growth over the period is closer to the latter rather than the former. These figures illustrate the important role that FSNI can play in facilitating growth within the Creative Industries albeit in the context of a fragile economy and the more pronounced risk of Brexit within the NI context. According to the most recent data produced by DCMS, the Creative Industries has the most jobs (2.0 million). Growth is also apparent within the Digital Sector which accounts for 1.5 million jobs. The number of jobs in the Creative Industries increased by 30.6% from 2011: three times the growth rate of employment in the UK overall (10.1%) (DCMS, 2019[1]). The most recent figures from DCMS show that within Creative Industries, Digital and Telecoms sectors, fewer than 10% of jobs were held by those considered 'less advantaged', compared to the UK average of (32.3%)[2]. The Creative industries and the Digital have higher levels of participation of BAME and a greater proportion of employees who were born outside of the UK. These figures illustrate that capacity exists within the Creative sector to realise diversity and inclusion as exemplified through significant capacity for expansion and some evidence of greater diversity. That said the challenge of delivering diversity and inclusion persists. Nowhere is this challenge more paramount than within the Northern Ireland context. Northern Ireland represents a society transitioning out of a prolonged conflict. Growth and expansion within the Creative Industries within the Northern Ireland context presents the opportunity to create employment that transcends beyond the challenges of sectarian divisions and in doing so presents opportunities to those people and communities who have as yet been unable to fully benefit. Future Screen NI which is a £13mn creative cluster in Northern Ireland funded by the Industrial Strategy via the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), as well as the industry has openly identified this challenge and taken measures to resolve it. These measures although at an early stage of development have the potential to transform both the creative and employment landscape within the NI context. The NI Creative Industries Cluster has the potential to be a sustainable creative ecosystem operating at local, national and international levels. It is built upon well-developed resilient and tacit networks and supports, economic, cultural, and social, whilst also having the clear potential for new, exciting and economically sustainable international capabilities. For a region emerging from a period of conflict and social and cultural division and dysfunction, the creative industries sector offers an alternative and successful paradigm for economic attainment, cultural expression, and personal growth. This has generated the potential for the creative industries to provide a more neutral space in a transitional period (outside the accepted cultures of binary opposition), differences between approaches to education and skills across divided communities, and the impact of deindustrialization (especially in working class communities). Whilst recognising that there is need to construct new narratives for the region, which are grounded in the economic, creative, social, and cultural ecology of Northern Ireland, and to bring these stories to the communities where they can most make a difference. In order to achieve this the project has embarked upon a Future Focused Research and Development Stream with the overall aim of widening participation in the creative industries. This ambitious endeavour is built upon a partnership developed between the Future Screens NI and the World Building Institute in Los Angeles which is led by Future Technologist, Alex McDowell, also well-known for his role as the Creative Director of the Minority Report. World building is a design practice which has been applied to significant societal challenges in a variety of contexts including Berlin and Saudi Arabia. The holistic and collaborative structure which is applied through world building is particularly relevant within the NI context given the unique nature of both the traditional and creative economy, and the significant socio-cultural challenges that persist within a society transitioning from a prolonged conflict. The location of world building within both organic and fluid narrative presents the potential to devise a new framework which can be applied across a variety of significant challenges which persist including the need to generate a social and cultural dividend alongside economic growth, to build inclusivity and to both generate and share prosperity, particularly within communities and populations considered to be left behind. The world building approach both identifies and listens to domain expertise that extends beyond the technical knowledge of both design and production generating seeds which can build a framework with the capacity to propel the development of infrastructure, generate and utilise resources, identify and resolve societal or cultural challenges, empower people and build capacity (McDowell, 2019)[3]. The framework will pioneer new technologies with the overall aim of sharing human and financial resources with those who have as yet been excluded. There are of course already existing examples of good practice within the NI context. The Gaming industry in NI includes a proliferation of young women entrepreneurs who are at the forefront of technical advances within the region. The region is also home to a number of unique initiative which have the overall aim of broadening access to the creative industries. Future Screens NI have funded an initiative with Farset Labs and researchers at Queen's University Belfast which is exploring the ways in which immersive sound spaces can provide an accessible creative space for disabled musicians. The region is also home to Paper Owl who developed the children's TV series Pablo which follows the adventures of a five year old autistic boy. The region also has recognised strengths and unrealised potential in VR/AR, Machine Learning and Data Analytics. Future Screens NI has the potential to act as vehicle to stimulate the creative industries and digital sector in a manner which advances the whole of society whilst recognising the need to apply technology towards addressing economic societal challenges in order to achieve better outcomes for the economy, society and the environment. The World Building has the potential be extended towards addressing both the local and global challenge of developing technology for good. Whilst Future Screens NI identified the need to leverage the social and economic dividend from investment in the Creative industries and is developing a mechanism to deliver greater diversity and inclusion building upon the uniqueness of both the expertise and challenges within the region. Future Screens NI and Experimental Design are collaborating to produce a framework which will act as a catalyst for a new grassroots creative industry. The intention is to empower young people to become the creative force through which to drive a community centred economy through the use of new, immerging and immersive technology. Future Screen NI are providing the academic expertise and place related knowledge that is required to achieve this objective credibly and cognisant of the impact of the conflict. The project is also providing much needed developmental support to the £38mn Screen and Medial Innovation Lab project under City Deals. Achievements specific to the Future Belfast project include: • A 3-day industrial and community site visit in May 2019 in which Future Screens NI and Experimental Design engaged with more than 60 creative industries and community representatives and which ensured that the Future Belfast visit was co-created with local creatives and community organisations. • A public event in which Alex McDowell outlined the World Building Framework and it's potential for application within the NI context which was attended by 110 members of the public, representatives of the creative industries, university representative and community groups. • A 4 day site visit in February 2019 in which Future Screens NI and Experimental Design undertook essential fieldwork activity to develop, test and define the framework. • Future Screens NI and Experimental Design met with Mayor of Belfast in order to explore the potential for joint working. • Future Screens NI and Experimental Design met with Deirdre Hargey, Minister for Communities. Future Screens NI and Experimental Design are continuing to engage with the Minister regarding the future development of the project. • Future Screens NI, Experimental Design and partners won the award for Best International Collaboration at the 2020 Irish Education Awards in recognition of both the excellence and impact of the project. https://www.futurescreens.org/news/2020/2/24/future-screens-ni-and-experimental-design-la-win-best-international-collaboration https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Zv7n_B-vPMU0n9TRfEpjuU-Xdw3qBna6 Future Screens NI, the partnership between Ulster and Experimental Design is a future focused knowledge transfer partnership investing £13mn in R&D within the local creative industries with a view to increasing and sharing the current economic and cultural dividend to previously hard to reach groups. Experimental Design play an essential role in the success and credibility of the project. Together Ulster University, Experimental Design and partners have invested £1.9mn in R&D in Year One. Ulster University is the lead partner and provides leadership, academic expertise, and investment throughout and has achieved the following achievements which would not have been possible without the partnership between Ulster University in the project and which address the challenges outlined in the question above: • Future Screens NI and Experimental Design and partners have established a funding ecosystem to direct and support industry and SMEs within the sector to ensure that there is a funding progression pathway. • The Investment of £1.9 million in the NI Creative Economy in Year One • Created a local Creative Industries Innovation Hub • 25 live R&D projects in gaming, med-tech, immersion, animation, mental health and wellbeing, and pain relief which are at the forefront of R&I within new and emerging technologies • 22 members of academic staff who are leaders in their field working collaboratively with the industry attended by more than 4,000 Creative industries reps and showcasing 30 local R&D projects • 4 PhD students undertaking Future Focused research in Cinematics, Design Thinking and Leadership. • Built a research partnership comprising 20 Lead industry partners including: RTÉ, NI Screen, BBC, BCC, Digital Catapult, Invest NI, Innovate UK, Tourism NI, Retinize, Humain, The Lyric Theatre, and 100 SMEs at the forefront of new immersive and emerging technologies including Alt Animation, Italic Pig Ltd, Taunt Ltd, Sentireal, Sixteen South, Incisiv, PreCog, NEON and JadeBlok. • Built a global partnership involving the World Building Institute, Disney, Warner Media, Industrial Light and Magic, HBO and The Romeros. • Created 79 new R&D led jobs within the creative sector in Year 1. • Developed a bespoke R&D led Leadership programme to 100 local creative industry businesses which has resulted in the development of new business models and created 10 new R&D led jobs • Future Screens NI and Experimental Design have become embedded as a creative industry initiative within the Ormeau Baths Innovation Hub. • The Lead2Grow programme which has been developed to generate new leadership models commenced in March 2019 with an initial Lead2Grow Programme which was attended by 211 participants. The programme will go live in October 2019 with 30 registered participants. • The Future Belfast collaboration with the World Building Institute is well underway. The World Building Framework which is in development has the potential to transform the local creative economy towards prosperity and growth particularly within hard to reach areas. "Working with Future Screens NI and applying World Building to this unique part of the world allows us together to reshape the future, address long standing challenges, build opportunity and make the impossible possible" Alex McDowell, Founder of Experimental Design, Director of the World Building Institute, Future Technologist and Creative Director of the Minority Report. Future Screens NI (Ulster) and Experimental Design together identified the problem of underinvestment in the local creative industries, the need to drive forward research and development within the local creative economy. Together the partnership worked closely with UKRI to ensure that the councils recognised the importance of investing in the regions. The partnership and their credible collaboration helped shape the creative cluster call and ensured that there would be an emphasis on investment outside of London. Together the partnership built a creative cluster comprising 20 Lead industry partners including: RTÉ, NI Screen, BBC, BCC, Digital Catapult, Invest NI, Innovate UK, Tourism NI, Retinize, Humain, The Lyric Theatre, and 100 SMEs at the forefront of new immersive and emerging technologies including Alt Animation, Italic Pig Ltd, Taunt Ltd, Sentireal, Sixteen South, Incisiv, PreCog, NEON and JadeBlok alongside significant global partners including the World Building Institute, Experimental Design, Disney, Warner Media, Industrial Light and Magic, HBO and The Romeros. • Working together Ulster and Experimental Design secured £6m from the AHRC to and a further £7mn to invest in R&D within the sector. • Together Ulster University and Experimental Design and partners have invested £1.9mn. Ulster University and Experimental Design and partners provide a unique funding stream in which 100% of the finance goes to the industry partner to address their R&D led challenge. This investment has generated 79 jobs. • Working together in close partnership Experimental Design and partners have ensured that Future Screens NI is the strongest project within the entire UK Industrial Strategy Programme. This was announced by Professor Andrew Chitty, Challenge Director - Creative Industries Clusters and Audience of the Future Programme at the AHRC Beyond Conference 2019. Future Screens NI at Forefront of the Industrial Strategy Programme • Ulster University, Experimental Design and partners have transformed the local creative sector by providing infrastructure, creating a strong ecosystem, supporting industry to advance along the R&D funding pipeline and to access prestigious funding and mentoring opportunities from Innovate UK and Industrial Light and Magic. Additional Supporting Information https://vimeo.com/372602129 (Video) https://tinyurl.com/vydpuku (images) https://tinyurl.com/rqmkwmy (report) https://creativeindustriesclusters.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Clusters-Booklet-Story-So-Far-FINAL-web.pdf https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZY6eQbPLGU&feature=youtu.be https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42mItwjPW8I&feature=youtu.be
Collaborator Contribution Future Screens NI is a £13mn creative cluster in Northern Ireland. The partnership is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), as well as the industry. It brings together Ulster University, Queen's University Belfast, and key industrial partners, who are at the forefront of the local creative economy. Future Screens NI has the aim of delivering expert technical skills, opportunity and growth across: • Film and broadcast • Animation • Games • Immersive technologies Addressing challenges and building on existing strengths in creative industries in the region, areas of focus 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 • Enhancing the high-level skills pipeline in 2D and 3D animation Ulster University, Experimental Design and Queen's University Belfast are the lead partners in the £13mn UKRI Industrial Challenge Creative Cluster Future Screens NI. Together they competitively secured £6mn from the AHRC, with a further £7mn secured from industry. Together the partnership has supported significant Research and Development Projects within the local creative economy. Together the partnership has attracted significant Global Partners including Experimental Design LA, Disney, HBO, The Romeros, Discovery and Warner Media. In Year 1 alone the Future Screens NI partnership has invested £2mn research undertaken by local SMEs. £0.7mn via the AHRC and £1.2mn from NI Screen and industry partners. This is the first time that both Universities and Industry have collaborated on this scale. This would not have been achieved without NI Screen. The 2016-2017 draft PFG proposes that NI has 'an innovative creative society where people can fulfil their potential'. The draft NI Industrial Strategy and the Invest NI Business Strategy 2017 identify 'digital and creative technologies' as one of six 'broad' areas of the economy where Northern Ireland has 'world-class capabilities, 'further noting that 'NI has gained a global reputation in the creative industries with notable success in the TV and film industry as well as the burgeoning animation sector.' In spite of this there has been significant underinvestment in R&D within the local creative economy. Businesses within the sector face challenges in drawing traditional forms of R&D funding. The Creative Industries Sector Deal (2018) highlights the need to 'provide a more consistent national spread of creative industries' confirming the Belfast region as one of 47 UK creative clusters and noting its 'high concentration and growth'. The Sector Deal states 'The problem is not that London is too big, but that other centres are too small. There is enormous potential to grow other leading hubs across the UK.' Ulster University and NI Screen developed the Future Screens NI Creative Cluster in order to address these challenges by together securing £13mn to invest in R&D within the creative industries in NI. The injection of support on the scale provided by Future Screens NI will drive growth from 0.9% to 2.7% of UK GVA in the sector generating £2.1 billion GVA and creating 20,000 new jobs in NI. Ulster University and NI Screen together nurture the local creative sector and support the development of R&D. The partnership works tightly together meeting on a weekly basis to ensure that the project meets industry research needs and bring the creative industries together at least once a month to drive forward R&D and innovation. Data from DCMS had suggested that Northern Ireland was the only region in the UK to see a decline in GVA for Creative Industries since 2010 (a 11.7% decrease). However, the revised regional GVA data - used in the July 2019 release - has increased both NI's total GVA and the amount generated by Creative Industries, due to a changing estimate of the 'headquarters effect' and other factors. The GVA for Creative Industries in Northern Ireland (NI) in 2017 was 1.07% of the UK's total. This share has remained low for the entire period of 2010-2017, consistently amounting to c1% of the total UK Creative Industries GVA. This size of share is similar to both Wales and the North East, though the growth over the period is closer to the latter rather than the former. These figures illustrate the important role that FSNI can play in facilitating growth within the Creative Industries albeit in the context of a fragile economy and the more pronounced risk of Brexit within the NI context. According to the most recent data produced by DCMS, the Creative Industries has the most jobs (2.0 million). Growth is also apparent within the Digital Sector which accounts for 1.5 million jobs. The number of jobs in the Creative Industries increased by 30.6% from 2011: three times the growth rate of employment in the UK overall (10.1%) (DCMS, 2019[1]). The most recent figures from DCMS show that within Creative Industries, Digital and Telecoms sectors, fewer than 10% of jobs were held by those considered 'less advantaged', compared to the UK average of (32.3%)[2]. The Creative industries and the Digital have higher levels of participation of BAME and a greater proportion of employees who were born outside of the UK. These figures illustrate that capacity exists within the Creative sector to realise diversity and inclusion as exemplified through significant capacity for expansion and some evidence of greater diversity. That said the challenge of delivering diversity and inclusion persists. Nowhere is this challenge more paramount than within the Northern Ireland context. Northern Ireland represents a society transitioning out of a prolonged conflict. Growth and expansion within the Creative Industries within the Northern Ireland context presents the opportunity to create employment that transcends beyond the challenges of sectarian divisions and in doing so presents opportunities to those people and communities who have as yet been unable to fully benefit. Future Screen NI which is a £13mn creative cluster in Northern Ireland funded by the Industrial Strategy via the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), as well as the industry has openly identified this challenge and taken measures to resolve it. These measures although at an early stage of development have the potential to transform both the creative and employment landscape within the NI context. The NI Creative Industries Cluster has the potential to be a sustainable creative ecosystem operating at local, national and international levels. It is built upon well-developed resilient and tacit networks and supports, economic, cultural, and social, whilst also having the clear potential for new, exciting and economically sustainable international capabilities. For a region emerging from a period of conflict and social and cultural division and dysfunction, the creative industries sector offers an alternative and successful paradigm for economic attainment, cultural expression, and personal growth. This has generated the potential for the creative industries to provide a more neutral space in a transitional period (outside the accepted cultures of binary opposition), differences between approaches to education and skills across divided communities, and the impact of deindustrialization (especially in working class communities). Whilst recognising that there is need to construct new narratives for the region, which are grounded in the economic, creative, social, and cultural ecology of Northern Ireland, and to bring these stories to the communities where they can most make a difference. In order to achieve this the project has embarked upon a Future Focused Research and Development Stream with the overall aim of widening participation in the creative industries. This ambitious endeavour is built upon a partnership developed between the Future Screens NI and the World Building Institute in Los Angeles which is led by Future Technologist, Alex McDowell, also well-known for his role as the Creative Director of the Minority Report. World building is a design practice which has been applied to significant societal challenges in a variety of contexts including Berlin and Saudi Arabia. The holistic and collaborative structure which is applied through world building is particularly relevant within the NI context given the unique nature of both the traditional and creative economy, and the significant socio-cultural challenges that persist within a society transitioning from a prolonged conflict. The location of world building within both organic and fluid narrative presents the potential to devise a new framework which can be applied across a variety of significant challenges which persist including the need to generate a social and cultural dividend alongside economic growth, to build inclusivity and to both generate and share prosperity, particularly within communities and populations considered to be left behind. The world building approach both identifies and listens to domain expertise that extends beyond the technical knowledge of both design and production generating seeds which can build a framework with the capacity to propel the development of infrastructure, generate and utilise resources, identify and resolve societal or cultural challenges, empower people and build capacity (McDowell, 2019)[3]. The framework will pioneer new technologies with the overall aim of sharing human and financial resources with those who have as yet been excluded. There are of course already existing examples of good practice within the NI context. The Gaming industry in NI includes a proliferation of young women entrepreneurs who are at the forefront of technical advances within the region. The region is also home to a number of unique initiative which have the overall aim of broadening access to the creative industries. Future Screens NI have funded an initiative with Farset Labs and researchers at Queen's University Belfast which is exploring the ways in which immersive sound spaces can provide an accessible creative space for disabled musicians. The region is also home to Paper Owl who developed the children's TV series Pablo which follows the adventures of a five year old autistic boy. The region also has recognised strengths and unrealised potential in VR/AR, Machine Learning and Data Analytics. Future Screens NI has the potential to act as vehicle to stimulate the creative industries and digital sector in a manner which advances the whole of society whilst recognising the need to apply technology towards addressing economic societal challenges in order to achieve better outcomes for the economy, society and the environment. The World Building has the potential be extended towards addressing both the local and global challenge of developing technology for good. Whilst Future Screens NI identified the need to leverage the social and economic dividend from investment in the Creative industries and is developing a mechanism to deliver greater diversity and inclusion building upon the uniqueness of both the expertise and challenges within the region. Experimental Design, visualise, humanise and make understandable and increasingly complex world in which technological progress is accelerating as fast as problems are increasing. Experimental Design create worlds that are emotionally engaging, technologically informed , narratively rich, adaptive and evolutionary. The definition and use of world building as a narrative design system was created and developed by Experimental creative director Alex McDowell, in the first year of the 21st Century. Like any powerful methodology, it continues to evolve. World building combines the power of rigorous research, systems design, and collective storytelling to make sense of the rapidly changing world. In this unique time of exponential progress and massive disruption, world building enables organizations to envision, design, and experience preferred futures - and create the stable steps to realize these futures. Stories define the vision of Experimental Design which position the studio as an ideal partner in an economic development programme operating within the NI context in which narrative and storytelling has a unique power in the context of both reconciliation and community empowerment. World building is equal parts science and art, empirical and poetic. Worlds create a visual common language that can be understood across an organisation or a society. Stories are used to debate and discuss the future, helping to inspire new approaches to external and internal communications, strategic business planning and partnership development. World building is built upon the premise of future building. World building exists at the intersection of design, technology, and storytelling. In its ability to enable and conjure deeply considered holistic worlds, it represents the foundational narrative and design practice for transmedia, spherical storytelling, and the post-cinematic. World building takes a lateral anthropological stance, borrowing specifically from ethnographic practice to contextualize speculative designs in real world research. World builders as designers then use this ethnographic groundwork as a place from which to begin imagining future possibilities. This process allows designers to intelligently project plausible scenarios and outcomes through the creation of diegetic prototypes and models backed by rigorous research, envisioning desirable futures and the steps taken to realise them. Any storyteller can weave a compelling narrative, but world builders create story worlds that support myriad stories by multiple storytellers across disparate platforms - including those platforms that may not yet be named. Such world building becomes even more powerful when it moves beyond transmedia entertainment experiences and tackles real-world challenges in realworld environments. It is this unique aspect of the world building framework which is crucial in the context of divided contexts which may persist within NI. World building employs a collaborative, ethnographic design methodology that incorporates extensive research at the individual, community, and world scales; a constant redefinition of research questions; a research and world map; as well as expert interviews, speculative fiction, character lenses and development, narrative design, and rapid prototyping. This is the approach that has been adopted by Experimental Design within the NI Context. Future Screens NI and Experimental Design are collaborating to produce a framework which will act as a catalyst for a new grassroots creative industry. The intention is to empower young people to become the creative force through which to drive a community centred economy through the use of new, immerging and immersive technology. Future Screen NI are providing the academic expertise and place related knowledge that is required to achieve this objective credibly and cognisant of the impact of the conflict. The project is also providing much needed developmental support to the £38mn Screen and Medial Innovation Lab project under City Deals. Achievements specific to the Future Belfast project include: • A 3-day industrial and community site visit in May 2019 in which Future Screens NI and Experimental Design engaged with more than 60 creative industries and community representatives and which ensured that the Future Belfast visit was co-created with local creatives and community organisations. • A public event in which Alex McDowell outlined the World Building Framework and it's potential for application within the NI context which was attended by 110 members of the public, representatives of the creative industries, university representative and community groups. • A 4 day site visit in February 2019 in which Future Screens NI and Experimental Design undertook essential fieldwork activity to develop, test and define the framework. • Future Screens NI and Experimental Design met with Mayor of Belfast in order to explore the potential for joint working. • Future Screens NI and Experimental Design met with Deirdre Hargey, Minister for Communities. Future Screens NI and Experimental Design are continuing to engage with the Minister regarding the future development of the project. • Future Screens NI, Experimental Design and partners won the award for Best International Collaboration at the 2020 Irish Education Awards in recognition of both the excellence and impact of the project. https://www.futurescreens.org/news/2020/2/24/future-screens-ni-and-experimental-design-la-win-best-international-collaboration https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Zv7n_B-vPMU0n9TRfEpjuU-Xdw3qBna6 Future Screens NI, the partnership between Ulster and Experimental Design is a future focused knowledge transfer partnership investing £13mn in R&D within the local creative industries with a view to increasing and sharing the current economic and cultural dividend to previously hard to reach groups. Experimental Design play an essential role in the success and credibility of the project. Together Ulster University, Experimental Design and partners have invested £1.9mn in R&D in Year One. Ulster University is the lead partner and provides leadership, academic expertise, and investment throughout and has achieved the following achievements which would not have been possible without the partnership between Ulster University in the project and which address the challenges outlined in the question above: • Future Screens NI and Experimental Design and partners have established a funding ecosystem to direct and support industry and SMEs within the sector to ensure that there is a funding progression pathway. • The Investment of £1.9 million in the NI Creative Economy in Year One • Created a local Creative Industries Innovation Hub • 25 live R&D projects in gaming, med-tech, immersion, animation, mental health and wellbeing, and pain relief which are at the forefront of R&I within new and emerging technologies • 22 members of academic staff who are leaders in their field working collaboratively with the industry attended by more than 4,000 Creative industries reps and showcasing 30 local R&D projects • 4 PhD students undertaking Future Focused research in Cinematics, Design Thinking and Leadership. • Built a research partnership comprising 20 Lead industry partners including: RTÉ, NI Screen, BBC, BCC, Digital Catapult, Invest NI, Innovate UK, Tourism NI, Retinize, Humain, The Lyric Theatre, and 100 SMEs at the forefront of new immersive and emerging technologies including Alt Animation, Italic Pig Ltd, Taunt Ltd, Sentireal, Sixteen South, Incisiv, PreCog, NEON and JadeBlok. • Built a global partnership involving the World Building Institute, Disney, Warner Media, Industrial Light and Magic, HBO and The Romeros. • Created 79 new R&D led jobs within the creative sector in Year 1. • Developed a bespoke R&D led Leadership programme to 100 local creative industry businesses which has resulted in the development of new business models and created 10 new R&D led jobs • Future Screens NI and Experimental Design have become embedded as a creative industry initiative within the Ormeau Baths Innovation Hub. • The Lead2Grow programme which has been developed to generate new leadership models commenced in March 2019 with an initial Lead2Grow Programme which was attended by 211 participants. The programme will go live in October 2019 with 30 registered participants. • The Future Belfast collaboration with the World Building Institute is well underway. The World Building Framework which is in development has the potential to transform the local creative economy towards prosperity and growth particularly within hard to reach areas. "Working with Future Screens NI and applying World Building to this unique part of the world allows us together to reshape the future, address long standing challenges, build opportunity and make the impossible possible" Alex McDowell, Founder of Experimental Design, Director of the World Building Institute, Future Technologist and Creative Director of the Minority Report. Future Screens NI (Ulster) and Experimental Design together identified the problem of underinvestment in the local creative industries, the need to drive forward research and development within the local creative economy. Together the partnership worked closely with UKRI to ensure that the councils recognised the importance of investing in the regions. The partnership and their credible collaboration helped shape the creative cluster call and ensured that there would be an emphasis on investment outside of London. Together the partnership built a creative cluster comprising 20 Lead industry partners including: RTÉ, NI Screen, BBC, BCC, Digital Catapult, Invest NI, Innovate UK, Tourism NI, Retinize, Humain, The Lyric Theatre, and 100 SMEs at the forefront of new immersive and emerging technologies including Alt Animation, Italic Pig Ltd, Taunt Ltd, Sentireal, Sixteen South, Incisiv, PreCog, NEON and JadeBlok alongside significant global partners including the World Building Institute, Experimental Design, Disney, Warner Media, Industrial Light and Magic, HBO and The Romeros. • Working together Ulster and Experimental Design secured £6m from the AHRC to and a further £7mn to invest in R&D within the sector. • Together Ulster University and Experimental Design and partners have invested £1.9mn. Ulster University and Experimental Design and partners provide a unique funding stream in which 100% of the finance goes to the industry partner to address their R&D led challenge. This investment has generated 79 jobs. • Working together in close partnership Experimental Design and partners have ensured that Future Screens NI is the strongest project within the entire UK Industrial Strategy Programme. This was announced by Professor Andrew Chitty, Challenge Director - Creative Industries Clusters and Audience of the Future Programme at the AHRC Beyond Conference 2019. Future Screens NI at Forefront of the Industrial Strategy Programme • Ulster University, Experimental Design and partners have transformed the local creative sector by providing infrastructure, creating a strong ecosystem, supporting industry to advance along the R&D funding pipeline and to access prestigious funding and mentoring opportunities from Innovate UK and Industrial Light and Magic. Additional Supporting Information https://vimeo.com/372602129 (Video) https://tinyurl.com/vydpuku (images) https://tinyurl.com/rqmkwmy (report) https://creativeindustriesclusters.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Clusters-Booklet-Story-So-Far-FINAL-web.pdf https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZY6eQbPLGU&feature=youtu.be https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42mItwjPW8I&feature=youtu.be
Impact • A 3-day industrial and community site visit in May 2019 in which Future Screens NI and Experimental Design engaged with more than 60 creative industries and community representatives and which ensured that the Future Belfast visit was co-created with local creatives and community organisations. • A public event in which Alex McDowell outlined the World Building Framework and it's potential for application within the NI context which was attended by 110 members of the public, representatives of the creative industries, university representative and community groups. • A 4 day site visit in February 2019 in which Future Screens NI and Experimental Design undertook essential fieldwork activity to develop, test and define the framework. • Future Screens NI and Experimental Design met with Mayor of Belfast in order to explore the potential for joint working. • Future Screens NI and Experimental Design met with Deirdre Hargey, Minister for Communities. Future Screens NI and Experimental Design are continuing to engage with the Minister regarding the future development of the project. • Future Screens NI, Experimental Design and partners won the award for Best International Collaboration at the 2020 Irish Education Awards in recognition of both the excellence and impact of the project. https://www.futurescreens.org/news/2020/2/24/future-screens-ni-and-experimental-design-la-win-best-international-collaboration https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Zv7n_B-vPMU0n9TRfEpjuU-Xdw3qBna6 • Future Screens NI and Experimental Design and partners have established a funding ecosystem to direct and support industry and SMEs within the sector to ensure that there is a funding progression pathway. • The Investment of £1.9 million in the NI Creative Economy in Year One • Created a local Creative Industries Innovation Hub • 25 live R&D projects in gaming, med-tech, immersion, animation, mental health and wellbeing, and pain relief which are at the forefront of R&I within new and emerging technologies • 22 members of academic staff who are leaders in their field working collaboratively with the industry attended by more than 4,000 Creative industries reps and showcasing 30 local R&D projects • 4 PhD students undertaking Future Focused research in Cinematics, Design Thinking and Leadership. • Built a research partnership comprising 20 Lead industry partners including: RTÉ, NI Screen, BBC, BCC, Digital Catapult, Invest NI, Innovate UK, Tourism NI, Retinize, Humain, The Lyric Theatre, and 100 SMEs at the forefront of new immersive and emerging technologies including Alt Animation, Italic Pig Ltd, Taunt Ltd, Sentireal, Sixteen South, Incisiv, PreCog, NEON and JadeBlok. • Built a global partnership involving the World Building Institute, Disney, Warner Media, Industrial Light and Magic, HBO and The Romeros. • Created 79 new R&D led jobs within the creative sector in Year 1. • Developed a bespoke R&D led Leadership programme to 100 local creative industry businesses which has resulted in the development of new business models and created 10 new R&D led jobs • Future Screens NI and Experimental Design have become embedded as a creative industry initiative within the Ormeau Baths Innovation Hub. • The Lead2Grow programme which has been developed to generate new leadership models commenced in March 2019 with an initial Lead2Grow Programme which was attended by 211 participants. The programme will go live in October 2019 with 30 registered participants. • The Future Belfast collaboration with the World Building Institute is well underway. The World Building Framework which is in development has the potential to transform the local creative economy towards prosperity and growth particularly within hard to reach areas. • Working together Ulster and Experimental Design secured £6m from the AHRC to and a further £7mn to invest in R&D within the sector. • Together Ulster University and Experimental Design and partners have invested £1.9mn. Ulster University and Experimental Design and partners provide a unique funding stream in which 100% of the finance goes to the industry partner to address their R&D led challenge. This investment has generated 79 jobs. • Working together in close partnership Experimental Design and partners have ensured that Future Screens NI is the strongest project within the entire UK Industrial Strategy Programme. This was announced by Professor Andrew Chitty, Challenge Director - Creative Industries Clusters and Audience of the Future Programme at the AHRC Beyond Conference 2019. Future Screens NI at Forefront of the Industrial Strategy Programme • Ulster University, Experimental Design and partners have transformed the local creative sector by providing infrastructure, creating a strong ecosystem, supporting industry to advance along the R&D funding pipeline and to access prestigious funding and mentoring opportunities from Innovate UK and Industrial Light and Magic. Additional Supporting Information https://vimeo.com/372602129 (Video) https://tinyurl.com/vydpuku (images) https://tinyurl.com/rqmkwmy (report) https://creativeindustriesclusters.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Clusters-Booklet-Story-So-Far-FINAL-web.pdf https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZY6eQbPLGU&feature=youtu.be https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42mItwjPW8I&feature=youtu.be
Start Year 2018
 
Description Future Screens NI and HUMAIN 
Organisation HUMAIN Limited
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Future Screens NI have funded a character rigging demo which allows the excellence of HUMAIN to be easily understood and accessed.
Collaborator Contribution HUMAIN founded by Greg Maguire provides facial and body rigs that result in realistic, emotional and expressive characters for gaming, animation and VFX. Combining Psychology and anatomy, with animation, coding and art HUMAIN produce rigs which are expressive, fast and intuitive increasing capacity and capability of animation, gaming and production teams. Founder and CEO Greg Maguire has been instrumental in the launch and development of numerous heavy-hitters of animation including Walt Disney Feature Animation, Industrial Light & Magic, Lucasfilm Animation and Digital Domain. His film credits include Academy Award-nominated Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Academy Award-winning Happy Feet and Avatar. He was R&D Supervisor at Lucasfilm Animation and a Creature Supervisor at Industrial Light & Magic. As Professor of Animation at Ulster University, he founded the 3D computer animation program at Ulster University and led its research cluster, Future and Virtual Worlds. He sits on the board of directors of Northern Ireland Screen, is a member of the Visual Effects Society and MIT alumnus. Alongside delivering cutting edge innovation with a world leading product, HUMAIN are core to the virtual production infrastructure in the region and ongoing Belfast City Deal Developments. As leader in innovation Greg has provided leadership to the cluster and supported the advancement of Future Screens NI Fellows, Award Holders and Future Creatives.
Impact The Character Rigging Film was shown at the Global Conference AI Con which was attended by 300 global representatives of the AI Community. The partnership is multidisciplinary in nature employing animation, artificial intelligence, machine learning, psychology, film making and rigging.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Future Screens NI and Queen's University Belfast 
Organisation Queen's University Belfast
Department Sonic Arts Research Centre (SARC)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Ulster University, Experimental Design, NI Screen and Queen's University Belfast are the lead partners in the £13mn UKRI Industrial Challenge Creative Cluster Future Screens NI. The 2016-2017 draft PFG proposes that NI has 'an innovative creative society where people can fulfil their potential'. The draft NI Industrial Strategy and the Invest NI Business Strategy 2017 identify 'digital and creative technologies' as one of six 'broad' areas of the economy where Northern Ireland has 'world-class capabilities, 'further noting that 'NI has gained a global reputation in the creative industries with notable success in the TV and film industry as well as the burgeoning animation sector.' In spite of this there has been significant underinvestment in R&D within the local creative economy. Businesses within the sector face challenges in drawing traditional forms of R&D funding. The Creative Industries Sector Deal (2018) highlights the need to 'provide a more consistent national spread of creative industries' confirming the Belfast region as one of 47 UK creative clusters and noting its 'high concentration and growth'. The Sector Deal states 'The problem is not that London is too big, but that other centres are too small. There is enormous potential to grow other leading hubs across the UK.' Ulster University and NI Screen developed the Future Screens NI Creative Cluster in order to address these challenges by together securing £13mn to invest in R&D within the creative industries in NI. The injection of support on the scale provided by Future Screens NI will drive growth from 0.9% to 2.7% of UK GVA in the sector generating £2.1 billion GVA and creating 20,000 new jobs in NI. Ulster University and NI Screen together nurture the local creative sector and support the development of R&D. The partnership works tightly together meeting on a weekly basis to ensure that the project meets industry research needs and bring the creative industries together at least once a month to drive forward R&D and innovation. Data from DCMS had suggested that Northern Ireland was the only region in the UK to see a decline in GVA for Creative Industries since 2010 (a 11.7% decrease). However, the revised regional GVA data - used in the July 2019 release - has increased both NI's total GVA and the amount generated by Creative Industries, due to a changing estimate of the 'headquarters effect' and other factors. The GVA for Creative Industries in Northern Ireland (NI) in 2017 was 1.07% of the UK's total. This share has remained low for the entire period of 2010-2017, consistently amounting to c1% of the total UK Creative Industries GVA. This size of share is similar to both Wales and the North East, though the growth over the period is closer to the latter rather than the former. These figures illustrate the important role that FSNI can play in facilitating growth within the Creative Industries albeit in the context of a fragile economy and the more pronounced risk of Brexit within the NI context. Future Screens NI is a £13mn creative cluster in Northern Ireland. The partnership is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), as well as the industry. It brings together Ulster University, Queen's University Belfast, and key industrial partners, who are at the forefront of the local creative economy. Future Screens NI has the aim of delivering expert technical skills, opportunity and growth across: • Film and broadcast • Animation • Games • Immersive technologies Addressing challenges and building on existing strengths in creative industries in the region, areas of focus 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 • Enhancing the high-level skills pipeline in 2D and 3D animation Future Screens NI, the partnership between Ulster University and Queen's University Belfast is a knowledge transfer partnership investing £13mn in R&D within the local creative industries. Together Ulster University, Queen's University Belfast and partners have invested £1.9mn in R&D in Year One. Ulster University is the lead partner and provides leadership, academic expertise, and investment throughout and has achieved the following achievements which would not have been possible without the partnership between Ulster University in the project and which address the challenges outlined in the question above: • Future Screens NI and Queen's University Belfast have established a funding ecosystem to direct and support industry and SMEs within the sector to ensure that there is a funding progression pathway. • The Investment of £1.9 million in the NI Creative Economy in Year One • Created a local Creative Industries Innovation Hub • 25 live R&D projects in gaming, med-tech, immersion, animation, mental health and wellbeing, and pain relief which are at the forefront of R&I within new and emerging technologies • Future Screens NI and Queen's University have hosted over 20 R&D lead events attended by more than 5,000 creative industry representatives and academics • 22 members of academic staff who are leaders in their field working collaboratively with the industry attended by more than 4,000 Creative industries reps and showcasing 30 local R&D projects • 4 PhD students undertaking Future Focused research in Cinematics, Design Thinking and Leadership. • Built a research partnership comprising 20 Lead industry partners including: RTÉ, NI Screen, BBC, BCC, Digital Catapult, Invest NI, Innovate UK, Tourism NI, Retinize, Humain, The Lyric Theatre, and 100 SMEs at the forefront of new immersive and emerging technologies including Alt Animation, Italic Pig Ltd, Taunt Ltd, Sentireal, Sixteen South, Incisiv, PreCog, NEON and JadeBlok. • Built a global partnership involving the World Building Institute, Experimental Design, Disney, Warner Media, Industrial Light and Magic, HBO and The Romeros. • Worked with NI Screen to develop the Pixel Mill which is an R&D led Gaming and Innovation Hub which is home to 18 businesses and provides accommodation, mentoring, expertise and leadership development. Including building an R&D led network. • Created 79 new R&D led jobs within the creative sector in Year 1. • Future Screens NI and Queen's University Belfast have become embedded as a creative industry initiative within the Ormeau Baths Innovation Hub. • Developed The Hearios has the potential to stimulate listening skills at pre-school age • Future Screens NI and Queen's University Belfast have participated in a series of well-received showcases at SXSW, and New York-New Belfast and is building strong collaborative partnerships with NY, Pennsylvania Los Angeles and China. Therefore network has been established towards realising the Global potential of the project. • A number of public and sectoral engagement events are in development in partnership with the BBC. Future Screens NI (Ulster) and Queen's University Belfast and partners have together identified the problem of underinvestment in the local creative industries, the need to drive forward research and development within the local creative economy. Together the partnership worked closely with UKRI to ensure that the councils recognised the importance of investing in the regions. The partnership and their credible collaboration helped shape the creative cluster call and ensured that there would be an emphasis on investment outside of London. Together the partnership have built a creative cluster comprising 20 Lead industry partners including: RTÉ, NI Screen, BBC, BCC, Digital Catapult, Invest NI, Innovate UK, Tourism NI, Retinize, Humain, The Lyric Theatre, and 100 SMEs at the forefront of new immersive and emerging technologies including Alt Animation, Italic Pig Ltd, Taunt Ltd, Sentireal, Sixteen South, Incisiv, PreCog, NEON and JadeBlok alongside significant global partners including the World Building Institute, Experimental Design, Disney, Warner Media, Industrial Light and Magic, HBO and The Romeros. • Working together Ulster University, Queen's University Belfast and NI Screen secured £6m from the AHRC to which NI Screen Northern Ireland Screen is the national screen agency for Northern Ireland committed a further £4.8mn to invest in R&D within the sector. • Working together Ulster University and Queen's University Belfast and NI Screen secured a further £2.2mn from additional industry partners. • Ulster University, Queen's University Belfast and NI Screen have developed a strong working partnership that meets weekly in order to drive forward local R&D investment and to ensure that once businesses have completed the application and verification processes, they can access finance quickly and efficiently. • Ulster University and Queen's University work together to ensure that industry applicants are effectively matched to Academic Collaborators to ensure that R&D led projects are co-created, meet the excellence requirements of the AHRC, are deliverable and address industry requirements. • Together Ulster University, Queen's University Belfast NI Screen have invested £1.9mn. Ulster University, Queen's University Belfast and NI Screen provide a unique funding stream in which 100% of the finance goes to the industry partner to address their R&D led challenge. This investment has generated 79 jobs. • Working together in close partnership Ulster University and Queen's University Belfast have ensured that Future Screens NI is the strongest project within the entire UK Industrial Strategy Programme. This was announced by Professor Andrew Chitty, Challenge Director - Creative Industries Clusters and Audience of the Future Programme at the AHRC Beyond Conference 2019. Future Screens NI at Forefront of the Industrial Strategy Programme • Ulster University, Queen's University and NI Screen have transformed the local creative sector by providing infrastructure, creating a strong ecosystem, supporting industry to advance along the R&D funding pipeline and to access prestigious funding and mentoring opportunities from Innovate UK and Industrial Light and Magic. • Future Screens NI, Ulster University, Queen's University and NI Screen hosted the NI Assembly STEM All-Party Group in order to ensure that the local STEM ecosystem and Political Structures understand the important role of the Creative Industries in the generation and application of new and emerging technologies. • Queen's University Belfast, NI Screen and Future Screens NI have developed the Storytelling for the Futures project. Northern Ireland Screen's strategy sets out to develop six 'sectors' within the Northern Ireland screen industries: 1. Large-scale (film and television projects with budgets over $35m) 2. Animation (feature films and series) 3. Television Drama (including children's drama) 4. Independent film (including feature documentary) 5. Interactive (games, VR and AR) 6. Factual and Entertainment Television Northern Ireland Screen, the Seamus Heaney Centre and Future Screens NI have collaborated in order to determine what the storytelling challenges within each of the six sectors are, how they might be overcome, and what the future opportunities for writers might be. In doing so the partnership has delivered six storytelling workshops attended by 300 participants. 4 participants from the programme have identified storytelling challenges and successfully secured funding from Future Screens NI to address these challenges. • Future Screens NI, Queen's University Belfast, NI Screen and Future Screens NI are collaborating on The Hearios. The Hearios is a new and exciting stop motion animation and live action mixed media series aimed at a pre-school audience featuring a family of musical moles who teach children the important developmental skill of active listening. Future. In order to make The Hearios stand out from its competitors, have carried out user testing with the target audience, in collaboration with QUB, to provide information about the existing listening skills and vocabulary of pre-schoolers and how they are affected by the central conceit of the show. The series has been designed to improve children's active listening skills which have been shown to assist with their development in areas such as speech, language skills and memory. ALT have conducted user testing in order to establish the effectiveness of the show in capturing children's attention to the sounds presented and their development of a vocabulary of sounds. Educational aspects of a series are of huge importance to broadcasters, especially public service broadcasters who have a particular remit to inspire and educate their audiences. https://altanimation.wetransfer.com/downloads/46cb97ed83a61c13dc7d757eb5d6172220191028135926/da75d8 • NI Screen, Future Screens NI, Queen's University Belfast and Sixteen South are collaborating in order to develop and implement new software which will be instrumental in creating a new and bespoke workflow, purely designed to create animated content that can reach its audience directly through a streaming platform which will have a 48 hour turnover for each episode. • NI Screen, Future Screens NI, Queen's University Belfast and Darkley Films are collaborating to deliver a 5 minute live action therapeutic VR experience for victims and perpetrators of mental abuse. This will deliver a training tool for frontline medical and care staff. It is the first VR platform targeted to mental abuse. • Queen's University Belfast and Farset Labs are collaborating on the Immersive Interactive Performances: Strategies for developing gesture-based, inclusive VR Experiences project. This project in volves Maker events with disabled musicians (supported by Drake Music NI), SARC and Farset Labs, and selected partner stakeholders across the artistic, disability-care and technical community. The partnership is investigating useful gesture information and exploring options for how to map and implement these into Virtual Immersive Environments using frameworks such as the Unity platform. Unity developer Richard Tongeman - Far Few Giants is collaborating in the partnership in order to better understand the needs of the musicians and to creatively engage in developing the required Unity add-ons. Dr Franciska Schroeder is providing her expertise develop an immersive VR space in which musicians' movements are visually engaging from audience point of view while the musician is navigating / using VR controllers and to ensure that this can be harnessed as further input data for generating either additional audio channels/effects, or contributing a dynamic visual element to an immersive experience as an integral part of a performance. • Queen's University Belfast are collaborating with Darkley Films in order to development and application of a working prototype aimed at developing a training platform within VR to address mental abuse and the trauma relating to it. The team are working together to identify and address the challenges of the design and development required to establish a tailored VR experience within this area. The current VR projects on the market similar to this do not meet the market gap that was addressed, for several reasons. Firstly, they are dealing with physical assault and physical domestic violence rather than mental abuse. This platform solves the problems of access to diagnosis, healthcare and education as it is a low cost, flexible and scalable tool for use in a therapy or training context. Therapists, abuse counsellors and therapy groups can use it to work with both victims (via exposure therapy) and perpetrators (through empathy enhancement/rehabilitation therapy). GPs, social workers and other healthcare professionals can use it to train themselves and their staff in understanding and responding to patients who have experienced emotional abuse. Complex healthcare, financial and family relationship problems that result from mental abuse such as anxiety, depression, self-harm and financial hardship could be prevented through appropriate education in the patterns of mental abuse for those experiencing it, and those treating it or dealing with its after effects. Users include members of the public (initially a non-clinical sample with no previous experience of abuse) and medical and care professionals such as GPs, therapists and social workers. Additional Supporting Information https://vimeo.com/372602129 (Video) https://tinyurl.com/vydpuku (images) https://tinyurl.com/rqmkwmy (report) https://creativeindustriesclusters.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Clusters-Booklet-Story-So-Far-FINAL-web.pdf https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZY6eQbPLGU&feature=youtu.be https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42mItwjPW8I&feature=youtu.be
Collaborator Contribution Ulster University, Experimental Design, NI Screen and Queen's University Belfast are the lead partners in the £13mn UKRI Industrial Challenge Creative Cluster Future Screens NI. The 2016-2017 draft PFG proposes that NI has 'an innovative creative society where people can fulfil their potential'. The draft NI Industrial Strategy and the Invest NI Business Strategy 2017 identify 'digital and creative technologies' as one of six 'broad' areas of the economy where Northern Ireland has 'world-class capabilities, 'further noting that 'NI has gained a global reputation in the creative industries with notable success in the TV and film industry as well as the burgeoning animation sector.' In spite of this there has been significant underinvestment in R&D within the local creative economy. Businesses within the sector face challenges in drawing traditional forms of R&D funding. The Creative Industries Sector Deal (2018) highlights the need to 'provide a more consistent national spread of creative industries' confirming the Belfast region as one of 47 UK creative clusters and noting its 'high concentration and growth'. The Sector Deal states 'The problem is not that London is too big, but that other centres are too small. There is enormous potential to grow other leading hubs across the UK.' Ulster University and NI Screen developed the Future Screens NI Creative Cluster in order to address these challenges by together securing £13mn to invest in R&D within the creative industries in NI. The injection of support on the scale provided by Future Screens NI will drive growth from 0.9% to 2.7% of UK GVA in the sector generating £2.1 billion GVA and creating 20,000 new jobs in NI. Ulster University and NI Screen together nurture the local creative sector and support the development of R&D. The partnership works tightly together meeting on a weekly basis to ensure that the project meets industry research needs and bring the creative industries together at least once a month to drive forward R&D and innovation. Data from DCMS had suggested that Northern Ireland was the only region in the UK to see a decline in GVA for Creative Industries since 2010 (a 11.7% decrease). However, the revised regional GVA data - used in the July 2019 release - has increased both NI's total GVA and the amount generated by Creative Industries, due to a changing estimate of the 'headquarters effect' and other factors. The GVA for Creative Industries in Northern Ireland (NI) in 2017 was 1.07% of the UK's total. This share has remained low for the entire period of 2010-2017, consistently amounting to c1% of the total UK Creative Industries GVA. This size of share is similar to both Wales and the North East, though the growth over the period is closer to the latter rather than the former. These figures illustrate the important role that FSNI can play in facilitating growth within the Creative Industries albeit in the context of a fragile economy and the more pronounced risk of Brexit within the NI context. Future Screens NI is a £13mn creative cluster in Northern Ireland. The partnership is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), as well as the industry. It brings together Ulster University, Queen's University Belfast, and key industrial partners, who are at the forefront of the local creative economy. Future Screens NI has the aim of delivering expert technical skills, opportunity and growth across: • Film and broadcast • Animation • Games • Immersive technologies Addressing challenges and building on existing strengths in creative industries in the region, areas of focus 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 • Enhancing the high-level skills pipeline in 2D and 3D animation Future Screens NI, the partnership between Ulster University and Queen's University Belfast is a knowledge transfer partnership investing £13mn in R&D within the local creative industries. Together Ulster University, Queen's University Belfast and partners have invested £1.9mn in R&D in Year One. Ulster University is the lead partner and provides leadership, academic expertise, and investment throughout and has achieved the following achievements which would not have been possible without the partnership between Ulster University in the project and which address the challenges outlined in the question above: • Future Screens NI and Queen's University Belfast have established a funding ecosystem to direct and support industry and SMEs within the sector to ensure that there is a funding progression pathway. • The Investment of £1.9 million in the NI Creative Economy in Year One • Created a local Creative Industries Innovation Hub • 25 live R&D projects in gaming, med-tech, immersion, animation, mental health and wellbeing, and pain relief which are at the forefront of R&I within new and emerging technologies • Future Screens NI and Queen's University have hosted over 20 R&D lead events attended by more than 5,000 creative industry representatives and academics • 22 members of academic staff who are leaders in their field working collaboratively with the industry attended by more than 4,000 Creative industries reps and showcasing 30 local R&D projects • 4 PhD students undertaking Future Focused research in Cinematics, Design Thinking and Leadership. • Built a research partnership comprising 20 Lead industry partners including: RTÉ, NI Screen, BBC, BCC, Digital Catapult, Invest NI, Innovate UK, Tourism NI, Retinize, Humain, The Lyric Theatre, and 100 SMEs at the forefront of new immersive and emerging technologies including Alt Animation, Italic Pig Ltd, Taunt Ltd, Sentireal, Sixteen South, Incisiv, PreCog, NEON and JadeBlok. • Built a global partnership involving the World Building Institute, Experimental Design, Disney, Warner Media, Industrial Light and Magic, HBO and The Romeros. • Worked with NI Screen to develop the Pixel Mill which is an R&D led Gaming and Innovation Hub which is home to 18 businesses and provides accommodation, mentoring, expertise and leadership development. Including building an R&D led network. • Created 79 new R&D led jobs within the creative sector in Year 1. • Future Screens NI and Queen's University Belfast have become embedded as a creative industry initiative within the Ormeau Baths Innovation Hub. • Developed The Hearios has the potential to stimulate listening skills at pre-school age • Future Screens NI and Queen's University Belfast have participated in a series of well-received showcases at SXSW, and New York-New Belfast and is building strong collaborative partnerships with NY, Pennsylvania Los Angeles and China. Therefore network has been established towards realising the Global potential of the project. • A number of public and sectoral engagement events are in development in partnership with the BBC. Future Screens NI (Ulster) and Queen's University Belfast and partners have together identified the problem of underinvestment in the local creative industries, the need to drive forward research and development within the local creative economy. Together the partnership worked closely with UKRI to ensure that the councils recognised the importance of investing in the regions. The partnership and their credible collaboration helped shape the creative cluster call and ensured that there would be an emphasis on investment outside of London. Together the partnership have built a creative cluster comprising 20 Lead industry partners including: RTÉ, NI Screen, BBC, BCC, Digital Catapult, Invest NI, Innovate UK, Tourism NI, Retinize, Humain, The Lyric Theatre, and 100 SMEs at the forefront of new immersive and emerging technologies including Alt Animation, Italic Pig Ltd, Taunt Ltd, Sentireal, Sixteen South, Incisiv, PreCog, NEON and JadeBlok alongside significant global partners including the World Building Institute, Experimental Design, Disney, Warner Media, Industrial Light and Magic, HBO and The Romeros. • Working together Ulster University, Queen's University Belfast and NI Screen secured £6m from the AHRC to which NI Screen Northern Ireland Screen is the national screen agency for Northern Ireland committed a further £4.8mn to invest in R&D within the sector. • Working together Ulster University and Queen's University Belfast and NI Screen secured a further £2.2mn from additional industry partners. • Ulster University, Queen's University Belfast and NI Screen have developed a strong working partnership that meets weekly in order to drive forward local R&D investment and to ensure that once businesses have completed the application and verification processes, they can access finance quickly and efficiently. • Ulster University and Queen's University work together to ensure that industry applicants are effectively matched to Academic Collaborators to ensure that R&D led projects are co-created, meet the excellence requirements of the AHRC, are deliverable and address industry requirements. • Together Ulster University, Queen's University Belfast NI Screen have invested £1.9mn. Ulster University, Queen's University Belfast and NI Screen provide a unique funding stream in which 100% of the finance goes to the industry partner to address their R&D led challenge. This investment has generated 79 jobs. • Working together in close partnership Ulster University and Queen's University Belfast have ensured that Future Screens NI is the strongest project within the entire UK Industrial Strategy Programme. This was announced by Professor Andrew Chitty, Challenge Director - Creative Industries Clusters and Audience of the Future Programme at the AHRC Beyond Conference 2019. Future Screens NI at Forefront of the Industrial Strategy Programme • Ulster University, Queen's University and NI Screen have transformed the local creative sector by providing infrastructure, creating a strong ecosystem, supporting industry to advance along the R&D funding pipeline and to access prestigious funding and mentoring opportunities from Innovate UK and Industrial Light and Magic. • Future Screens NI, Ulster University, Queen's University and NI Screen hosted the NI Assembly STEM All-Party Group in order to ensure that the local STEM ecosystem and Political Structures understand the important role of the Creative Industries in the generation and application of new and emerging technologies. • Queen's University Belfast, NI Screen and Future Screens NI have developed the Storytelling for the Futures project. Northern Ireland Screen's strategy sets out to develop six 'sectors' within the Northern Ireland screen industries: 1. Large-scale (film and television projects with budgets over $35m) 2. Animation (feature films and series) 3. Television Drama (including children's drama) 4. Independent film (including feature documentary) 5. Interactive (games, VR and AR) 6. Factual and Entertainment Television Northern Ireland Screen, the Seamus Heaney Centre and Future Screens NI have collaborated in order to determine what the storytelling challenges within each of the six sectors are, how they might be overcome, and what the future opportunities for writers might be. In doing so the partnership has delivered six storytelling workshops attended by 300 participants. 4 participants from the programme have identified storytelling challenges and successfully secured funding from Future Screens NI to address these challenges. • Future Screens NI, Queen's University Belfast, NI Screen and Future Screens NI are collaborating on The Hearios. The Hearios is a new and exciting stop motion animation and live action mixed media series aimed at a pre-school audience featuring a family of musical moles who teach children the important developmental skill of active listening. Future. In order to make The Hearios stand out from its competitors, have carried out user testing with the target audience, in collaboration with QUB, to provide information about the existing listening skills and vocabulary of pre-schoolers and how they are affected by the central conceit of the show. The series has been designed to improve children's active listening skills which have been shown to assist with their development in areas such as speech, language skills and memory. ALT have conducted user testing in order to establish the effectiveness of the show in capturing children's attention to the sounds presented and their development of a vocabulary of sounds. Educational aspects of a series are of huge importance to broadcasters, especially public service broadcasters who have a particular remit to inspire and educate their audiences. https://altanimation.wetransfer.com/downloads/46cb97ed83a61c13dc7d757eb5d6172220191028135926/da75d8 • NI Screen, Future Screens NI, Queen's University Belfast and Sixteen South are collaborating in order to develop and implement new software which will be instrumental in creating a new and bespoke workflow, purely designed to create animated content that can reach its audience directly through a streaming platform which will have a 48 hour turnover for each episode. • NI Screen, Future Screens NI, Queen's University Belfast and Darkley Films are collaborating to deliver a 5 minute live action therapeutic VR experience for victims and perpetrators of mental abuse. This will deliver a training tool for frontline medical and care staff. It is the first VR platform targeted to mental abuse. • Queen's University Belfast and Farset Labs are collaborating on the Immersive Interactive Performances: Strategies for developing gesture-based, inclusive VR Experiences project. This project in volves Maker events with disabled musicians (supported by Drake Music NI), SARC and Farset Labs, and selected partner stakeholders across the artistic, disability-care and technical community. The partnership is investigating useful gesture information and exploring options for how to map and implement these into Virtual Immersive Environments using frameworks such as the Unity platform. Unity developer Richard Tongeman - Far Few Giants is collaborating in the partnership in order to better understand the needs of the musicians and to creatively engage in developing the required Unity add-ons. Dr Franciska Schroeder is providing her expertise develop an immersive VR space in which musicians' movements are visually engaging from audience point of view while the musician is navigating / using VR controllers and to ensure that this can be harnessed as further input data for generating either additional audio channels/effects, or contributing a dynamic visual element to an immersive experience as an integral part of a performance. • Queen's University Belfast are collaborating with Darkley Films in order to development and application of a working prototype aimed at developing a training platform within VR to address mental abuse and the trauma relating to it. The team are working together to identify and address the challenges of the design and development required to establish a tailored VR experience within this area. The current VR projects on the market similar to this do not meet the market gap that was addressed, for several reasons. Firstly, they are dealing with physical assault and physical domestic violence rather than mental abuse. This platform solves the problems of access to diagnosis, healthcare and education as it is a low cost, flexible and scalable tool for use in a therapy or training context. Therapists, abuse counsellors and therapy groups can use it to work with both victims (via exposure therapy) and perpetrators (through empathy enhancement/rehabilitation therapy). GPs, social workers and other healthcare professionals can use it to train themselves and their staff in understanding and responding to patients who have experienced emotional abuse. Complex healthcare, financial and family relationship problems that result from mental abuse such as anxiety, depression, self-harm and financial hardship could be prevented through appropriate education in the patterns of mental abuse for those experiencing it, and those treating it or dealing with its after effects. Users include members of the public (initially a non-clinical sample with no previous experience of abuse) and medical and care professionals such as GPs, therapists and social workers. Additional Supporting Information https://vimeo.com/372602129 (Video) https://tinyurl.com/vydpuku (images) https://tinyurl.com/rqmkwmy (report) https://creativeindustriesclusters.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Clusters-Booklet-Story-So-Far-FINAL-web.pdf https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZY6eQbPLGU&feature=youtu.be https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42mItwjPW8I&feature=youtu.be
Impact Together Ulster University, Queen's University Belfast and partners have invested £1.9mn in R&D in Year One. Ulster University is the lead partner and provides leadership, academic expertise, and investment throughout and has achieved the following achievements which would not have been possible without the partnership between Ulster University in the project and which address the challenges outlined in the question above: • Future Screens NI and Queen's University Belfast have established a funding ecosystem to direct and support industry and SMEs within the sector to ensure that there is a funding progression pathway. • The Investment of £1.9 million in the NI Creative Economy in Year One • Created a local Creative Industries Innovation Hub • 25 live R&D projects in gaming, med-tech, immersion, animation, mental health and wellbeing, and pain relief which are at the forefront of R&I within new and emerging technologies • Future Screens NI and Queen's University have hosted over 20 R&D lead events attended by more than 5,000 creative industry representatives and academics • 22 members of academic staff who are leaders in their field working collaboratively with the industry attended by more than 4,000 Creative industries reps and showcasing 30 local R&D projects • 4 PhD students undertaking Future Focused research in Cinematics, Design Thinking and Leadership. • Built a research partnership comprising 20 Lead industry partners including: RTÉ, NI Screen, BBC, BCC, Digital Catapult, Invest NI, Innovate UK, Tourism NI, Retinize, Humain, The Lyric Theatre, and 100 SMEs at the forefront of new immersive and emerging technologies including Alt Animation, Italic Pig Ltd, Taunt Ltd, Sentireal, Sixteen South, Incisiv, PreCog, NEON and JadeBlok. • Built a global partnership involving the World Building Institute, Experimental Design, Disney, Warner Media, Industrial Light and Magic, HBO and The Romeros. • Worked with NI Screen to develop the Pixel Mill which is an R&D led Gaming and Innovation Hub which is home to 18 businesses and provides accommodation, mentoring, expertise and leadership development. Including building an R&D led network. • Created 79 new R&D led jobs within the creative sector in Year 1. • Future Screens NI and Queen's University Belfast have become embedded as a creative industry initiative within the Ormeau Baths Innovation Hub. • Developed The Hearios has the potential to stimulate listening skills at pre-school age • Future Screens NI and Queen's University Belfast have participated in a series of well-received showcases at SXSW, and New York-New Belfast and is building strong collaborative partnerships with NY, Pennsylvania Los Angeles and China. Therefore network has been established towards realising the Global potential of the project. • A number of public and sectoral engagement events are in development in partnership with the BBC. Future Screens NI (Ulster) and Queen's University Belfast and partners have together identified the problem of underinvestment in the local creative industries, the need to drive forward research and development within the local creative economy. Together the partnership worked closely with UKRI to ensure that the councils recognised the importance of investing in the regions. The partnership and their credible collaboration helped shape the creative cluster call and ensured that there would be an emphasis on investment outside of London. Together the partnership have built a creative cluster comprising 20 Lead industry partners including: RTÉ, NI Screen, BBC, BCC, Digital Catapult, Invest NI, Innovate UK, Tourism NI, Retinize, Humain, The Lyric Theatre, and 100 SMEs at the forefront of new immersive and emerging technologies including Alt Animation, Italic Pig Ltd, Taunt Ltd, Sentireal, Sixteen South, Incisiv, PreCog, NEON and JadeBlok alongside significant global partners including the World Building Institute, Experimental Design, Disney, Warner Media, Industrial Light and Magic, HBO and The Romeros. • Working together Ulster University, Queen's University Belfast and NI Screen secured £6m from the AHRC to which NI Screen Northern Ireland Screen is the national screen agency for Northern Ireland committed a further £4.8mn to invest in R&D within the sector. • Working together Ulster University and Queen's University Belfast and NI Screen secured a further £2.2mn from additional industry partners. • Ulster University, Queen's University Belfast and NI Screen have developed a strong working partnership that meets weekly in order to drive forward local R&D investment and to ensure that once businesses have completed the application and verification processes, they can access finance quickly and efficiently. • Ulster University and Queen's University work together to ensure that industry applicants are effectively matched to Academic Collaborators to ensure that R&D led projects are co-created, meet the excellence requirements of the AHRC, are deliverable and address industry requirements. • Together Ulster University, Queen's University Belfast NI Screen have invested £1.9mn. Ulster University, Queen's University Belfast and NI Screen provide a unique funding stream in which 100% of the finance goes to the industry partner to address their R&D led challenge. This investment has generated 79 jobs. • Working together in close partnership Ulster University and Queen's University Belfast have ensured that Future Screens NI is the strongest project within the entire UK Industrial Strategy Programme. This was announced by Professor Andrew Chitty, Challenge Director - Creative Industries Clusters and Audience of the Future Programme at the AHRC Beyond Conference 2019. Future Screens NI at Forefront of the Industrial Strategy Programme • Ulster University, Queen's University and NI Screen have transformed the local creative sector by providing infrastructure, creating a strong ecosystem, supporting industry to advance along the R&D funding pipeline and to access prestigious funding and mentoring opportunities from Innovate UK and Industrial Light and Magic. • Future Screens NI, Ulster University, Queen's University and NI Screen hosted the NI Assembly STEM All-Party Group in order to ensure that the local STEM ecosystem and Political Structures understand the important role of the Creative Industries in the generation and application of new and emerging technologies. • Queen's University Belfast, NI Screen and Future Screens NI have developed the Storytelling for the Futures project. Northern Ireland Screen's strategy sets out to develop six 'sectors' within the Northern Ireland screen industries: 1. Large-scale (film and television projects with budgets over $35m) 2. Animation (feature films and series) 3. Television Drama (including children's drama) 4. Independent film (including feature documentary) 5. Interactive (games, VR and AR) 6. Factual and Entertainment Television Northern Ireland Screen, the Seamus Heaney Centre and Future Screens NI have collaborated in order to determine what the storytelling challenges within each of the six sectors are, how they might be overcome, and what the future opportunities for writers might be. In doing so the partnership has delivered six storytelling workshops attended by 300 participants. 4 participants from the programme have identified storytelling challenges and successfully secured funding from Future Screens NI to address these challenges. • Future Screens NI, Queen's University Belfast, NI Screen and Future Screens NI are collaborating on The Hearios. The Hearios is a new and exciting stop motion animation and live action mixed media series aimed at a pre-school audience featuring a family of musical moles who teach children the important developmental skill of active listening. Future. In order to make The Hearios stand out from its competitors, have carried out user testing with the target audience, in collaboration with QUB, to provide information about the existing listening skills and vocabulary of pre-schoolers and how they are affected by the central conceit of the show. The series has been designed to improve children's active listening skills which have been shown to assist with their development in areas such as speech, language skills and memory. ALT have conducted user testing in order to establish the effectiveness of the show in capturing children's attention to the sounds presented and their development of a vocabulary of sounds. Educational aspects of a series are of huge importance to broadcasters, especially public service broadcasters who have a particular remit to inspire and educate their audiences. https://altanimation.wetransfer.com/downloads/46cb97ed83a61c13dc7d757eb5d6172220191028135926/da75d8 • NI Screen, Future Screens NI, Queen's University Belfast and Sixteen South are collaborating in order to develop and implement new software which will be instrumental in creating a new and bespoke workflow, purely designed to create animated content that can reach its audience directly through a streaming platform which will have a 48 hour turnover for each episode. • NI Screen, Future Screens NI, Queen's University Belfast and Darkley Films are collaborating to deliver a 5 minute live action therapeutic VR experience for victims and perpetrators of mental abuse. This will deliver a training tool for frontline medical and care staff. It is the first VR platform targeted to mental abuse. • Queen's University Belfast and Farset Labs are collaborating on the Immersive Interactive Performances: Strategies for developing gesture-based, inclusive VR Experiences project. This project in volves Maker events with disabled musicians (supported by Drake Music NI), SARC and Farset Labs, and selected partner stakeholders across the artistic, disability-care and technical community. The partnership is investigating useful gesture information and exploring options for how to map and implement these into Virtual Immersive Environments using frameworks such as the Unity platform. Unity developer Richard Tongeman - Far Few Giants is collaborating in the partnership in order to better understand the needs of the musicians and to creatively engage in developing the required Unity add-ons. Dr Franciska Schroeder is providing her expertise develop an immersive VR space in which musicians' movements are visually engaging from audience point of view while the musician is navigating / using VR controllers and to ensure that this can be harnessed as further input data for generating either additional audio channels/effects, or contributing a dynamic visual element to an immersive experience as an integral part of a performance. • Queen's University Belfast are collaborating with Darkley Films in order to development and application of a working prototype aimed at developing a training platform within VR to address mental abuse and the trauma relating to it. The team are working together to identify and address the challenges of the design and development required to establish a tailored VR experience within this area. The current VR projects on the market similar to this do not meet the market gap that was addressed, for several reasons. Firstly, they are dealing with physical assault and physical domestic violence rather than mental abuse. This platform solves the problems of access to diagnosis, healthcare and education as it is a low cost, flexible and scalable tool for use in a therapy or training context. Therapists, abuse counsellors and therapy groups can use it to work with both victims (via exposure therapy) and perpetrators (through empathy enhancement/rehabilitation therapy). GPs, social workers and other healthcare professionals can use it to train themselves and their staff in understanding and responding to patients who have experienced emotional abuse. Complex healthcare, financial and family relationship problems that result from mental abuse such as anxiety, depression, self-harm and financial hardship could be prevented through appropriate education in the patterns of mental abuse for those experiencing it, and those treating it or dealing with its after effects. Users include members of the public (initially a non-clinical sample with no previous experience of abuse) and medical and care professionals such as GPs, therapists and social workers. Additional Supporting Information https://vimeo.com/372602129 (Video) https://tinyurl.com/vydpuku (images) https://tinyurl.com/rqmkwmy (report) https://creativeindustriesclusters.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Clusters-Booklet-Story-So-Far-FINAL-web.pdf https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZY6eQbPLGU&feature=youtu.be https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42mItwjPW8I&feature=youtu.be
Start Year 2018
 
Description Harper the Wonder Dog partnership with the Department of Education Northern Ireland 
Organisation Government of the UK
Department Department of Education Northern Ireland
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Future Screens NI provided £5,000 in cash and academic expertise to develop the digital delivery of Harper the Wonder Dog in the context of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Harper, Emer and Lorcan puppets are currently being used in all Nursery schools, Primary schools and Early Years organisations in west Belfast and are in all educational resources developed and designed by WBPB and Yellow design and distributed city-wide and regionally. Therefore they are familiar to the target audience of pre-Nursery, Nursery and Year 1 children and parents. The proposed project will be a new type of digitally creative educational content which will respond to the current Covid-19 crisis as families and communities respond to a new way of learning and teaching outside the classroom. The project content will remain relevant and compliment classroom teaching when schools reopen. A scoping exercise was undertaken with the Departments of Education and Health, as well as with 25 Nursery schools, 19 Primary schools and 12 SureStart and community Early Years providers and the challenges below have been identified in relation to the theme of education, including health messages: • The move from physical to digital delivery of key health and education messages with age appropriate messaging for early years, Nursery and Foundation Stage children and parents • Due to Covid-19 how to deliver key messages through a virtual and digital space to the greatest possible number of young children who are currently learning at home. • How to enable new technical modes of delivery as new ways of learning are implemented at home. • How to future proof digital delivery of key messages in the event of a second wave of Covid-19. • How to reach the maximum audience of children and families as this is not effective during the current Covid-19 crisis through hard copy and face-to-face delivery. • How to reduce anxiety of both children and parents regarding return to school and transition to Nursery and from Nursery to Year 1 • How to ensure that the resources proposed are inclusive of all children, including those living in areas of socio-economic disadvantage and new comer families. A new mode of digital delivery which was adapted to home learning in the current Covid-19 crisis and will remain appropriate and relevant post Covid-19. The move to virtual and digital has been tested with local organisations prior to the submission of this proposal and the following have been developed as a sample by Yellow Design based on a brief developed by WBPB in partnership with the Department of Education. Short films have been produced to support Early Years children and children transitioning to Nursery and from Nursery to Year 1 and their parents. with age appropriate messaging in line with government guidelines, taking in to consideration key safety and education messages. West Belfast has a robust community and school infrastructure and WBPB has a proven track record of success in terms of education outcomes for children, young people and families. The work has been undertaken with the Department of Education, Public Health Agency, Nursery and Primary schools, Early Years providers and community organisations. • The move from physical to digital programme delivery • A series of films "The Adventures of Harper the Wonder Dog with Emer and Lorcan" with age appropriate education and health messages in relation to Covid-19 The films were delivered to an extensive professional network which includes of 5 Nursery schools, 19 Primary schools and 30+ community groups with Early Years provision with a reach of over 3000 children and families in west Belfast. Work was undertaken on a city-wide and regional basis on programme delivery and sharing of best practice with similar community organisations and schools in Northern Ireland. It is through these networks that the project accessed, 23,576 Pre-school children and their families in their transition from Pre-School to Primary One ensuring they are supported safely at home. 250 iPads were distributed to the homes of children identified by local schools as in need of digital devices to continue their education and stay connected to reduce the digital divide in areas of deprivation.
Collaborator Contribution The Department of Education provided funding and support for the digital delivery of Harper the Wonder Dog. Harper, Emer and Lorcan puppets are currently being used in all Nursery schools, Primary schools and Early Years organisations in west Belfast and are in all educational resources developed and designed by WBPB and Yellow design and distributed city-wide and regionally. Therefore they are familiar to the target audience of pre-Nursery, Nursery and Year 1 children and parents. The proposed project will be a new type of digitally creative educational content which will respond to the current Covid-19 crisis as families and communities respond to a new way of learning and teaching outside the classroom. The project content will remain relevant and compliment classroom teaching when schools reopen. A scoping exercise was undertaken with the Departments of Education and Health, as well as with 25 Nursery schools, 19 Primary schools and 12 SureStart and community Early Years providers and the challenges below have been identified in relation to the theme of education, including health messages: • The move from physical to digital delivery of key health and education messages with age appropriate messaging for early years, Nursery and Foundation Stage children and parents • Due to Covid-19 how to deliver key messages through a virtual and digital space to the greatest possible number of young children who are currently learning at home. • How to enable new technical modes of delivery as new ways of learning are implemented at home. • How to future proof digital delivery of key messages in the event of a second wave of Covid-19. • How to reach the maximum audience of children and families as this is not effective during the current Covid-19 crisis through hard copy and face-to-face delivery. • How to reduce anxiety of both children and parents regarding return to school and transition to Nursery and from Nursery to Year 1 • How to ensure that the resources proposed are inclusive of all children, including those living in areas of socio-economic disadvantage and new comer families. A new mode of digital delivery which was adapted to home learning in the current Covid-19 crisis and will remain appropriate and relevant post Covid-19. The move to virtual and digital has been tested with local organisations prior to the submission of this proposal and the following have been developed as a sample by Yellow Design based on a brief developed by WBPB in partnership with the Department of Education. Short films have been produced to support Early Years children and children transitioning to Nursery and from Nursery to Year 1 and their parents. with age appropriate messaging in line with government guidelines, taking in to consideration key safety and education messages. West Belfast has a robust community and school infrastructure and WBPB has a proven track record of success in terms of education outcomes for children, young people and families. The work has been undertaken with the Department of Education, Public Health Agency, Nursery and Primary schools, Early Years providers and community organisations. • The move from physical to digital programme delivery • A series of films "The Adventures of Harper the Wonder Dog with Emer and Lorcan" with age appropriate education and health messages in relation to Covid-19 The films were delivered to an extensive professional network which includes of 5 Nursery schools, 19 Primary schools and 30+ community groups with Early Years provision with a reach of over 3000 children and families in west Belfast. Work was undertaken on a city-wide and regional basis on programme delivery and sharing of best practice with similar community organisations and schools in Northern Ireland. It is through these networks that the project accessed, 23,576 Pre-school children and their families in their transition from Pre-School to Primary One ensuring they are supported safely at home. 250 iPads were distributed to the homes of children identified by local schools as in need of digital devices to continue their education and stay connected to reduce the digital divide in areas of deprivation.
Impact The series of films "The Adventures of Harper the Wonder Dog with Emer and Lorcan" with age appropriate education and health messages in relation to Covid-19 The films were delivered to an extensive professional network which includes of 5 Nursery schools, 19 Primary schools and 30+ community groups with Early Years provision with a reach of over 3000 children and families in west Belfast. The films were delivered to an extensive professional network which includes of 5 Nursery schools, 19 Primary schools and 30+ community groups with Early Years provision with a reach of over 3000 children and families in west Belfast. The project was delivered on a city-wide and regional basis on programme delivery and sharing of best practice with similar community organisations and schools in Northern Ireland. It is through these networks that the project accessed, 23,576 Pre-school children and their families in their transition from Pre-School to Primary One ensuring they are supported safely at home. .250 iPads were distributed to the homes of children identified by local schools as in need of digital devices to continue their education and stay connected to reduce the digital divide in areas of deprivation.
Start Year 2020
 
Description Immersive Interactive Performances: Strategies for developing gesture-based, inclusive VR Experiences 
Organisation Farset Labs
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Future Screens NI are investing £10,000 cash and £29,250 in academic, research and administrative staff time in the Immersive Interactive Performances: Strategies for developing gesture-based inclusive VR experiences. The project in volves Maker events with disabled musicians (supported by Drake Music NI), SARC and Farset Labs, and selected partner stakeholders across the artistic, disability-care and technical community. The partnership is investigating useful gesture information and exploring options for how to map and implement these into Virtual Immersive Environments using frameworks such as the Unity platform. Unity developer Richard Tongeman - Far Few Giants is collaborating in the partnership in order to better understand the needs of the musicians and to creatively engage in developing the required Unity add-ons. Dr Franciska Schroeder is providing her expertise develop an immersive VR space in which musicians' movements are visually engaging from audience point of view while the musician is navigating / using VR controllers and to ensure that this can be harnessed as further input data for generating either additional audio channels/effects, or contributing a dynamic visual element to an immersive experience as an integral part of a performance. Current academic and industrial research into the burgeoning field of VR interaction design (Such as the recently published, Sherburg and Craig [2018]) has focused almost exclusively on: 1. Directly skeuomorphic interaction models; where there is a 1-to-1 mapping between motions, shapes and physical modelling characteristics of objects, characters and avatars in the "Virtual" world, as those objects' analogues in the "Real" world. 2. Total direct replication/mapping of physical environments in the Virtual world (such as telepresence applications) 3. Multiplicative augmentations of skills/capabilities based on a normal body/mental capability model (eg video games giving enhanced "Jump" abilities and super-strength in the virtual world) These approaches, and therefore their recommendations and outcomes, are difficult to directly map onto those with different physical and cognitive capabilities. The field of VR music is burgeoning (see recent AES Immersive, Interactive Audio conference, York (http://www.aes.org/conferences/2019/immersive ), where yet another VR music instrument was launched: "MuX: https://store.steampowered.com/app/673970/MuX/ . VR researchers are only now starting to meaningfully take into account different body-models, such as amputation or colour-blindness. This needs to be done as part of the development of these fundamental environmental designs, rather than as an 'accessibility' afterthought. Very few immersive experiences are being designed and built with body-model variations in mind. The proposed VR design focuses on exploring different body abilities as the team work with disabled musicians who may not use VR in a 'standard' way (i.e. using only one hand, or using upper body movements only); thus the project also expect to contribute to user design strategies in more general. Concerning those with different physical and/or mental abilities, the diminished direct capability for individual, independent, expression is a known driver of stress and frustration, and one area of particular frustration is the general incapability or extreme effort required for any creative expression such as music, art or dance. In order to develop remediating strategies for these frustrations, Farset Labs has been collaborating with the Sonic Arts Research Centre (SARC,QUB) led by Dr Schroeder since the beginning of this year. VR instrumenst for disabled musicians, is the first of its kind adapted for the HTC VIVE used in Northern Ireland (delivered in 2018). This was achieved through an ongoing partnership between SARC and Drake Music NI with content designer "BeAnotherLab" as integral industry partner. SARC and Drake NI have been collaborating on designing inclusive accessible music technologies since 2015 through their "Performance without Barriers" research group. Farset Labs is supporting the user community and is providing training support in key skills and techniques that underlie the breadth of the project (Embedded and Sensor electronics via our Maker Electronics events and 3D Modelling and Design for VR via Unity Workshops, which are running throughout March and April 2019). Through ideation sessions with disabled musicians, coders, artists and gamers (February 2019 Maker event: https://www.meetup.com/VRIMM_NI ), Farset Labs identified gestural movements (often pronounced in musicians with for example cerebral palsy) as potentially exciting mapping mechanism for expanding the VR instrument, which tends to be rather unique only for the musician using it. The musicians' movements while navigating / using VR controllers are visually engaging from an audience point of view and could be harnessed as further input data for generating either additional audio channels/effects, or contributing a dynamic visual element to an immersive experience as an integral part of a performance. It could also provide some engaging audience interaction and open path to new participatory immersive, and inclusive performances. The main objective of the current collaboration is to to establish how best to map gestural information to VR platforms, in particular to more affordable platforms such as Oculus Go. The collaboration have developed a VR platform app which is an open source so as to allow the wider coding / maker community to upscale and improve the code. Ultimately, the app is in development towards a commercial standard to include a visualisation system and to allow for both local and remote audience engagement, as well as providing options to customise the experience to individual performers. The collaboration aim to develop the app in the cross-platform 3D framework, Unity (co-developed between disabled musicians and coders). The collaboration have engaged Unity wizzard Richard Tongeman to oversee and implement this aspect of the work programme. Richard has great expertise in developing award-winning VR projects. The app will have a "play" mode for the performers and a "participate" mode for the audience. The "play" mode will be used by the performers to trigger a visualisation system (in-world and for visual display outside of VR), while the "participate" mode will include phone based interaction (screen, movement, position, etc), adding extra information to the overall visual outputs (visual or sonic). Questions such as how open participation and best to capture smartphone/wearable electronics based gestures (interface-based navigation and actions such as tap, drag, swipe, pinch, rotate, scroll, but also position, and acceleration) and / or whether to provide a haptic feedback loop to the musicians (retro-mapping the musician's movement to the VR controllers for instance) will help defining the two modes of interaction: "play" and "participate" to be shared between musicians and audience respectively. With this proof of concept, the partnership are exploring, validating and demonstrating innovative interaction design and collaborative composition strategies that the current state-of-the-art VR world does not yet satisfy. From the existing partnerships and events, the partnership have already demonstrated that an interdisciplinary, iterative co-design approach between musicians, technologists and industry stakeholders yields innovative, practical, cost-effective solutions. This approach has stood the test of time, with previous collaborations with Ulster University and the Bryson group (and other stakeholders) on developing reablement strategies for transitioning primary-healthcare users to community health support services via web/mobile based app-platforms, and collaborations with the Department of Finance on the use of Open Data within government departments. Farset Labs' diverse community of technologists provide their experience and expertise in highly specific areas, but this is tempered with direct interaction with stakeholders and target-users (in this case, these will be differently abled musicians and their carers) to match the "state of the art" in fields such as wearable sensor technology, musical composition methodologies, visual artists etc, with the individual and collective needs of those stakeholders. These iterations and consultations operate on a tight feedback loop via the use of rapid prototyping capabilities in the Labs, to maximise efficiency and minimise waste, both in terms of time, expense, and inconvenience to stakeholders. The Farset Labs community also hosts both the Code4GoodNI project (targeting the use of technology for social good, such as a series of hackathons targeting sufferers of chronic pain and using VR and software interaction technologies for treatment and education) and the Open Industry Network, a professional community of open source practitioners and industrial users, and these networks will be leveraged to provide maximum ongoing impact to this project. The partnership have very close connections to the local visual artists/games development ecosystem, with previous partnerships with The Digital Catapult Immersive Labs, PixelMill, Vault Artist Studios (previously Belfast Bankers), Digital Arts Studios, and Visual Artists Ireland; these partners will also be consulted to leverage their creativity experience and skills in mapping the abstract intentionality of the gestures collected by the technology components of the project into engaging, immersive, interactive experiences, both for musicians and audience participants. Immersive technologies such as VR and AR are starting to be twisted and bent into new and unexpected forms, creating wholly original ways to engage audiences with stories and experiences; and the immersive sector thrives by bringing together artistic talent with technical innovation. As such partnerships between public, private and third sector organisations, working towards common aims, will be crucial in driving progress in the sector. Goldman Sachs forecasts that the global VR/AR/Immersive market could be worth as much as $95 billion in 2025, while TechCrunch estimates the combined virtual reality/augmented reality market will reach $108 billion in 2021. However, the skills required to realise this potential are disparate, and will require levels of inter-industrial collaboration not normally seen. Farset Labs' neutral collaboration status puts us in a unique position to foster such connections. The partnership directly contributes to the organisations charitable aims of increasing the use and access to technology and technology solutions to real-world challenges. As a side impact to this project, the intention is that the techniques, outputs, and findings developed will be retained and shared across the wider community, to be able to inform and augment other openly-developed projects. The team will be continuing and extending our partnerships with SARC and DrakeNI directly, as well as engaging with the wider musical, visual arts, and technology communities. This will increase both Farset Lab' profile in general, but also strengthen the links we have developed between the normally siloed academic, technology and artistic communities. https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1b29guejPvBhn1wbIaUxK38CELV0IASw8Xjg3TN8YwCk/edit?usp=sharing
Collaborator Contribution Future Screens NI are investing £10,000 cash and £29,250 in academic, research and administrative staff time in the Immersive Interactive Performances: Strategies for developing gesture-based inclusive VR experiences. The project in volves Maker events with disabled musicians (supported by Drake Music NI), SARC and Farset Labs, and selected partner stakeholders across the artistic, disability-care and technical community. The partnership is investigating useful gesture information and exploring options for how to map and implement these into Virtual Immersive Environments using frameworks such as the Unity platform. Unity developer Richard Tongeman - Far Few Giants is collaborating in the partnership in order to better understand the needs of the musicians and to creatively engage in developing the required Unity add-ons. Dr Franciska Schroeder is providing her expertise develop an immersive VR space in which musicians' movements are visually engaging from audience point of view while the musician is navigating / using VR controllers and to ensure that this can be harnessed as further input data for generating either additional audio channels/effects, or contributing a dynamic visual element to an immersive experience as an integral part of a performance. Current academic and industrial research into the burgeoning field of VR interaction design (Such as the recently published, Sherburg and Craig [2018]) has focused almost exclusively on: 1. Directly skeuomorphic interaction models; where there is a 1-to-1 mapping between motions, shapes and physical modelling characteristics of objects, characters and avatars in the "Virtual" world, as those objects' analogues in the "Real" world. 2. Total direct replication/mapping of physical environments in the Virtual world (such as telepresence applications) 3. Multiplicative augmentations of skills/capabilities based on a normal body/mental capability model (eg video games giving enhanced "Jump" abilities and super-strength in the virtual world) These approaches, and therefore their recommendations and outcomes, are difficult to directly map onto those with different physical and cognitive capabilities. The field of VR music is burgeoning (see recent AES Immersive, Interactive Audio conference, York (http://www.aes.org/conferences/2019/immersive ), where yet another VR music instrument was launched: "MuX: https://store.steampowered.com/app/673970/MuX/ . VR researchers are only now starting to meaningfully take into account different body-models, such as amputation or colour-blindness. This needs to be done as part of the development of these fundamental environmental designs, rather than as an 'accessibility' afterthought. Very few immersive experiences are being designed and built with body-model variations in mind. The proposed VR design focuses on exploring different body abilities as the team work with disabled musicians who may not use VR in a 'standard' way (i.e. using only one hand, or using upper body movements only); thus the project also expect to contribute to user design strategies in more general. Concerning those with different physical and/or mental abilities, the diminished direct capability for individual, independent, expression is a known driver of stress and frustration, and one area of particular frustration is the general incapability or extreme effort required for any creative expression such as music, art or dance. In order to develop remediating strategies for these frustrations, Farset Labs has been collaborating with the Sonic Arts Research Centre (SARC,QUB) led by Dr Schroeder since the beginning of this year. VR instrumenst for disabled musicians, is the first of its kind adapted for the HTC VIVE used in Northern Ireland (delivered in 2018). This was achieved through an ongoing partnership between SARC and Drake Music NI with content designer "BeAnotherLab" as integral industry partner. SARC and Drake NI have been collaborating on designing inclusive accessible music technologies since 2015 through their "Performance without Barriers" research group. Farset Labs is supporting the user community and is providing training support in key skills and techniques that underlie the breadth of the project (Embedded and Sensor electronics via our Maker Electronics events and 3D Modelling and Design for VR via Unity Workshops, which are running throughout March and April 2019). Through ideation sessions with disabled musicians, coders, artists and gamers (February 2019 Maker event: https://www.meetup.com/VRIMM_NI ), Farset Labs identified gestural movements (often pronounced in musicians with for example cerebral palsy) as potentially exciting mapping mechanism for expanding the VR instrument, which tends to be rather unique only for the musician using it. The musicians' movements while navigating / using VR controllers are visually engaging from an audience point of view and could be harnessed as further input data for generating either additional audio channels/effects, or contributing a dynamic visual element to an immersive experience as an integral part of a performance. It could also provide some engaging audience interaction and open path to new participatory immersive, and inclusive performances. The main objective of the current collaboration is to to establish how best to map gestural information to VR platforms, in particular to more affordable platforms such as Oculus Go. The collaboration have developed a VR platform app which is an open source so as to allow the wider coding / maker community to upscale and improve the code. Ultimately, the app is in development towards a commercial standard to include a visualisation system and to allow for both local and remote audience engagement, as well as providing options to customise the experience to individual performers. The collaboration aim to develop the app in the cross-platform 3D framework, Unity (co-developed between disabled musicians and coders). The collaboration have engaged Unity wizzard Richard Tongeman to oversee and implement this aspect of the work programme. Richard has great expertise in developing award-winning VR projects. The app will have a "play" mode for the performers and a "participate" mode for the audience. The "play" mode will be used by the performers to trigger a visualisation system (in-world and for visual display outside of VR), while the "participate" mode will include phone based interaction (screen, movement, position, etc), adding extra information to the overall visual outputs (visual or sonic). Questions such as how open participation and best to capture smartphone/wearable electronics based gestures (interface-based navigation and actions such as tap, drag, swipe, pinch, rotate, scroll, but also position, and acceleration) and / or whether to provide a haptic feedback loop to the musicians (retro-mapping the musician's movement to the VR controllers for instance) will help defining the two modes of interaction: "play" and "participate" to be shared between musicians and audience respectively. With this proof of concept, the partnership are exploring, validating and demonstrating innovative interaction design and collaborative composition strategies that the current state-of-the-art VR world does not yet satisfy. From the existing partnerships and events, the partnership have already demonstrated that an interdisciplinary, iterative co-design approach between musicians, technologists and industry stakeholders yields innovative, practical, cost-effective solutions. This approach has stood the test of time, with previous collaborations with Ulster University and the Bryson group (and other stakeholders) on developing reablement strategies for transitioning primary-healthcare users to community health support services via web/mobile based app-platforms, and collaborations with the Department of Finance on the use of Open Data within government departments. Farset Labs' diverse community of technologists provide their experience and expertise in highly specific areas, but this is tempered with direct interaction with stakeholders and target-users (in this case, these will be differently abled musicians and their carers) to match the "state of the art" in fields such as wearable sensor technology, musical composition methodologies, visual artists etc, with the individual and collective needs of those stakeholders. These iterations and consultations operate on a tight feedback loop via the use of rapid prototyping capabilities in the Labs, to maximise efficiency and minimise waste, both in terms of time, expense, and inconvenience to stakeholders. The Farset Labs community also hosts both the Code4GoodNI project (targeting the use of technology for social good, such as a series of hackathons targeting sufferers of chronic pain and using VR and software interaction technologies for treatment and education) and the Open Industry Network, a professional community of open source practitioners and industrial users, and these networks will be leveraged to provide maximum ongoing impact to this project. The partnership have very close connections to the local visual artists/games development ecosystem, with previous partnerships with The Digital Catapult Immersive Labs, PixelMill, Vault Artist Studios (previously Belfast Bankers), Digital Arts Studios, and Visual Artists Ireland; these partners will also be consulted to leverage their creativity experience and skills in mapping the abstract intentionality of the gestures collected by the technology components of the project into engaging, immersive, interactive experiences, both for musicians and audience participants. Immersive technologies such as VR and AR are starting to be twisted and bent into new and unexpected forms, creating wholly original ways to engage audiences with stories and experiences; and the immersive sector thrives by bringing together artistic talent with technical innovation. As such partnerships between public, private and third sector organisations, working towards common aims, will be crucial in driving progress in the sector. Goldman Sachs forecasts that the global VR/AR/Immersive market could be worth as much as $95 billion in 2025, while TechCrunch estimates the combined virtual reality/augmented reality market will reach $108 billion in 2021. However, the skills required to realise this potential are disparate, and will require levels of inter-industrial collaboration not normally seen. Farset Labs' neutral collaboration status puts us in a unique position to foster such connections. The partnership directly contributes to the organisations charitable aims of increasing the use and access to technology and technology solutions to real-world challenges. As a side impact to this project, the intention is that the techniques, outputs, and findings developed will be retained and shared across the wider community, to be able to inform and augment other openly-developed projects. The team will be continuing and extending our partnerships with SARC and DrakeNI directly, as well as engaging with the wider musical, visual arts, and technology communities. This will increase both Farset Lab' profile in general, but also strengthen the links we have developed between the normally siloed academic, technology and artistic communities. https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1b29guejPvBhn1wbIaUxK38CELV0IASw8Xjg3TN8YwCk/edit?usp=sharing
Impact nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn
Start Year 2019
 
Description Innovate UK Family Meeting 
Organisation Innovate UK
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Innovate UK Host a family meeting that brings together UK wide funding initiatives in order to develop the local funding pipeline and to consider ways in which to engage industry and others within it. The meeting is attended by the KTB network, the Space Agency, the EEN, the British Business Bank, TechNation and other. Future Screens NI delivered a presentation to the network on the 29th of October 2019. Following the presentation Future Screens NI have become part of the network and now co-host the meeting in Ormeau Baths in partnership with Innovate UK. Future Screens NI now provide the meeting room and space and Innovate UK continue to co-ordinate the meeting. This partnership approach has resulted in: • Enhanced understanding of the funding pipeline amongst the Future Screens NI Cluster including distinct streams and progression pathways • 2 Future Screens NI partners accessing Innovate UK funding • A co-hosted Research Development workshop which will be delivered on April 3rd.
Collaborator Contribution Innovate UK Host a family meeting that brings together UK wide funding initiatives in order to develop the local funding pipeline and to consider ways in which to engage industry and others within it. The meeting is attended by the KTB network, the Space Agency, the EEN, the British Business Bank, TechNation and other. Future Screens NI delivered a presentation to the network on the 29th of October 2019. Following the presentation Future Screens NI have become part of the network and now co-host the meeting in Ormeau Baths in partnership with Innovate UK.Future Screens NI now provide the meeting room and space and Innovate UK continue to co-ordinate the meeting. This partnership approach has resulted in: • Enhanced understanding of the funding pipeline amongst the Future Screens NI Cluster including distinct streams and progression pathways • 2 Future Screens NI partners accessing Innovate UK funding • A co-hosted Research Development workshop which will be delivered on April 3rd.
Impact This partnership approach has resulted in: • Enhanced understanding of the funding pipeline amongst the Future Screens NI Cluster including distinct streams and progression pathways • 2 Future Screens NI partners accessing Innovate UK funding • A co-hosted Research Development workshop which will be delivered on April 3rd.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Italic Pig, The Infinite Hotel 
Organisation Italic Pig
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Future Screens NI have invested £62,400 in the Infinite Hotel Project. This includes an R&D grant of £22,475 and academic and research expertise and academic support. Future Screens NI and Italic Pig identified a clear R&D challenge born out of the requirement to have proceedural character generation which uses as few game assets as possible by using Machine Learning to create truly random characters. The expertise of the Future Screens NI team has been directed towards this research objective as it contains many parts which need to be operational in order for the full system to be effective in meeting the requirements as outline by Italic Pig. Darryl Charles from the Future Screen NI team was heavily involved in the creation of this project due to his expertise in both the games industry and Machine Learning and was able to provide invaluable knowledge to Italic Pig. The creation of this project as mentioned before, would require several systems to work in tandem. This included creation of a scalable uniform rig that would work alongside any assets that the team placed on the mesh. Following this a system was created through a combination of randomisation, artistic assistance and informed design, this will generate a reproducible character from a seed. The intention with this is to create an app that can be used to help teach the machine learning algorithm and define which characters are visually appealing to the users which is then fed back into the algorithm to make better informed decisions upon the next generation of a character. The point of this being that the more the algorithm learns what makes an appealing character for the users the more of these appealing characters it will be able to produce and in greater variety. Once this had been completed the application could now: - Randomly choose a seed, build a state, send that into the network - Predict a yes/no based on previous crowd feedback - If yes, build random character from seed and store in game - If no, choose new seed and repeat This system adds a new layer of depth to standardised character generation in the games industry by using learning reinforced algorithms it creates the potential to have characters be generated on the fly and used in games which aids in a greater sense of immersion and interest for the players due to randomised nature of them.
Collaborator Contribution Italic Pig had three challenges to overcome: 1. Creating visually believable characters with randomisation 2. Creating a wide range of diverse characters 3. Simplifying the animation pipeline so that interactions and responsiveness are simulated with the least amount of bespoke work. Their current system relies on assembly from a pool of resources, but for our second-gen system we have been making strides using skeletal rigs and blending to create body deformations for a range of sculpted "species", each with a collection of assets that may be attached anywhere. They have also experimented with manipulating these skeletons with an overlaid low-resolution spine rig that will allow one set of animation tracks to drive all characters. Once their new visual approach was implemented, They tried to teach the system to filter good from bad design (human appeal) using an evolutionary neural network for seed filtration, trained through crowdsourcing. Emerging machine learning techniques, such as Deep Learning Neural network blended with evolving neural network topologies offer a more robust and reliable solution than previous attempts at solving this problem. The character generation is created from a "seed" - a random string that can be saved and recalled to generate the same result. If a seed yields the same predictable result in every instance, it's a basis for pattern recognition. Finally, for the Infinite Hotel, the character design had been dynamic from the start and the team was aware that they had the freedom to adapt the character design in any direction that shows promise. It is this unique approach to randomised character design, and the deconstruction of the traditional pipeline, that eliminates the possibility of off-the-shelf solutions.
Impact Winner of "Big Indie Pitch" 2019 for Infinite Hotel Northern Ireland Game Studio of the year 2019 Winner of "Best Immersive Game" at Raindance Immersive Summit 2019
Start Year 2019
 
Description JadeBlok, Creative Content Compliance Gateway 
Organisation Jadeblok
Sector Private 
PI Contribution The Team at Future Screens NI identified a path to research and development with this project from JadeBlok. Content / Data Compliance Gateways are the stepping stones for next generation tech development that will facilitate geographically dispersed participants to create / engage within a virtual space with real-time event interaction across disparate platforms. The technical challenges presented by digital content are made more difficult by the imposition of varying regulatory protocols across different jurisdictions that have different rules for content access. A key requirement for seamless regulatory alignment is the availability of a solution which can build trust between systems and allow the flow of critical information across a collaborative network which creates value for each component in the value chain. Such a solution could provide the infrastructure for a range of linked aggregated content services for virtual concerts, galleries, exhibitions, films and gaming. This virtual space, or 'Metaverse', has only been enabled by a few large gaming companies so far in 2019. However the issues will rapidly multiply soon when smaller gaming companies adopt this model. These issues prevent such games reaching the maximum number of users across the globe, unless a ruled-based data gateway is implemented. It is critical for content creators, for example game developers, to have this system in place to allow safe and regulated access to the diversified content, facilitating the highest sales potential. This project necessitated the development of a dynamic middleware solution in the form of a modular Distributed Ledger Technology protocol. The specialised use of Distributed Ledger Technology involved processing of messaging protocols to map and regulate communication between participants. This facilitates consensus, tracking and provenance, smart contracts, third party interoperability, sanction and reward systems and deliver trust ratings through a non-invasive API interface that supports interaction between platforms which host aggregated content services. The middleware solution provides: • Effective age restriction protocols that operate automatically and adjust for context across disparate jurisdictions and platforms; • Regulatory compliance for access to digital content that ensures data privacy based upon smart contract use; • Provenance of content origin and migration in relation to digital uploads, sharing and distribution; The project will involve: • Identification and rating of content and information sources by dynamic reporting and consensus building; • Monitoring and regulating content access using Distributed Ledger Technology; • Devising and implementing rule-based gateway systems that are effective in establishing and maintaining trust and supporting collaboration; • Tracking and analysis of user behaviour and information exchange to provide dynamic decision making through the mapping and provision of business intelligence. The detailed development and implementation process is as follows: 1. Collaboration with Sentireal® on selection of its existing VR applications that contain multiple characters and diverse content; 2. Categorized and labeled different characters and content within the app, based on fictional regulations devised around suitability for varied user age groups and geographic locations; 3. Developed an API to connect the users' profiles (age and location) to the app; 4. Developed an automated logic-reasoning (Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning) to identify what content the users can have access to based on each profile. On top of this layer, DLT technology gives the permission to the content access enquiries from each user, tracking and analysing user behaviour and information exchange. This model can also be replicated in AR and in other immersive and gaming environments. The result of this development is that the high-risk of violating such complex regulations is alleviated for the developers. The more scenarios this prospective system processes, the faster and more cost-effective it will be, due to the large data pool the system will gather and its self-learning capability. Darryl Charles (AI, Co-Investigator) provided expertise in the application of data analytics, distributed ledger technology and machine learning to facilitate interoperability as a part of middleware solution that privileges content access based on consensus and rule-based protocol.
Collaborator Contribution The R&D was clearly focused on developing a technical middleware solution which establishes the context and framework for interoperability between multiple users or content platforms operating across differing jurisdictions and variable contexts/sectors. The tasks which were performed: • Resource Mapping • Contracts, Agreements, Policies • Team Engagement - Roles & Responsibilities • Tasks & Schedules JadeBlok partnered with academics from Ulster University's Creative Industries Institute and Computer Science Research Institute to support, enhance and advise on the development of an Interoperable Data Gateway System to be trialled in a live environment on completion. Partnership with Sentireal will facilitate the development of a live testbed for solution testing. By 2025, the global immersive content market is expected to be worth over £30 billion and the value of the gaming industry is expected to reach £232 billion. Based on the emerging trends in 2019 the future of gaming is transitioning to a 'Metaverse' approach, where diverse content from different origins are brought together in one virtual space. The R&D undertaken by JadeBlok is pivotal for game and immersive content which contains components that are marketed at diverse user groups and which could be at risk of violating regulation(s).
Impact JadeBlok have created a system by which content can be used to dynamically reporting and consensus building, in addition to monitoring and regulating content access using Distributed Ledger Technology (Block-Chain)
Start Year 2019
 
Description Neon, Talking Sense 
Organisation Neon
Sector Private 
PI Contribution The team at Future Screens NI were able to see a clear path to an R&D approach which could be used in the creation of this project by Neon. Talking Sense is an augmented reality conversation training tool that using artificial intelligence technology that enables dynamic machine learning conversation processes with the aim of supporting parents to better understand the behaviour of their children with autism. The benefits of Talking Sense to the creative industries is as a "serious game" or "applied game" designed for a primary purpose other than pure entertainment. This is a way to expand the expertise of creative industries in NI. With immersive, it is clear that as a society we are at the forefront of a cross disciplinary approach between linear storytelling, experience and gaming. In order to develop this AR application Neon partnered with industry and Future Screens NI's team of experts in the field of animation and games design. The principal Co-Investigator was Alec Parkin who has a wealth of knowledge in the field from working with industry leaders in addition to teach the animation course at Ulster University. Due to this Neon was well positioned to undertake this research and development, the result of which being that the creation of proof of concept piece which uses an integrated dialogue engine with a natural language program. In normal human interactions there are between 3-4 pathways for conversation flow and then one "other" option where human conversations tend to work in a programatic manner, where people are taken down a particular pathway. Talking Sense is at the intersection of creativity, innovation, artificial intelligence, machine learning, health and wellbeing and is a cutting edge R&D initiative that has the potential to benefit and raise learning across the entire creative industries. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) refers to a set of related conditions that affect social interaction, communication and behaviour. The impact can range from mild to severe. It mostly appears in early childhood and it normally continues into adulthood. Apart from difficulties with social communication, people with ASD tend to have restricted interests. Other key features include repetitive behaviour and a need for routine. There are 700,000 people on the autism spectrum in the UK which is more than 1 in 100. But if we include their families, autism is a part of daily life for 2.8 million people. Bringing up a child with autism can be challenging for parents, especially when other people do not understand the issues. Children with ASD experience the world differently from most people. They often have difficulty expressing themselves. Sensory issues can affect how they smell, hear or see things. They may find it impossible to eat foods of a particular colour, for example. A great concern for many parents is that some of their son or daughter's behaviours may make it difficult for their child to integrate fully as a member of their local community. Parents of children with ASD have poorer mental health outcomes when compared to the general population. Not understanding why their child engages in certain behaviours and feeling powerless to intervene has a hugely negative impact on parental wellbeing. Giving parents access to proactive strategies to help with their child's needs has been shown to have positive mental health benefits for parents. Talking Sense is a training support tool to enable parents to better understand the behaviour of their children with ASD. By using both AR and the machine learning analytics engine it is possible to evaluate whether an interactive conversation with an AR character can help improve parents' understanding of their child's' behaviour; it gives the ability to measure the effectiveness this platform has on the parents capacity to understand and cope and also understand the emotional stress points in parental learning. The parent will engage in a conversation with an AR character who is representing their child, to practice in real time real life challenging behaviour scenarios and strategies for supporting and understanding their child. This technological solution does not currently exist in the market and is new. Talking Sense is based on web based Simple Steps Autism, which gives parents information that they need to taking the first steps to becoming a parent-therapist and helping their child. Talking Sense is based upon strong academic and research foundations to validate the outcomes that demonstrate from this proof of concept. The methodology is based on understanding the science of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA). The process is simple but requires dedication and determination on behalf of the parent. Simple Steps Autism is an introduction to something much bigger and it is not designed to replace a full-time ABA Therapist but to provide a practical way forward for parents.
Collaborator Contribution The project took 3 months for Neon to complete. Neon is bought the Charisma.ai story editor license for 3 months from To Play For as well as gaining their expertise, workshop input and technical support. The first part of the R&D activity was a scoping workshop delivered by Annette Parry from To Play For in Belfast along with Neon and Ulster University academics Stephen Gallagher and Micky Keenan. This outlined the considerations in terms of thinking about the sorts of conversations that parents may have on the AR platform. Following the workshop Neon also consulted with parents of children with ASD and autism charities to ensure that real needs are being met. Parents said what help they need and the ongoing conversation is based on pre-recorded conversation pathways. They then analysed the impact of this conversation AR training tool by analysing the levels of increased understanding and insight into parents' experience, interaction, emotion and mood through the following dynamic machine learning processes and analytics which enabled detection of words used and also detected facial expressions through the emotion engine where it is possible to: monitor whole experience; analyse specific words used; track the whole story; analyse which words affect which emotion; through the platform detect whether dialogue makes person happy or unhappy; and awareness of changes in the emotion of the person. The end user data is all anonymised Neon records outputs from all workshop activities. Once signed off, Neon then set up second workshop with Annette Parry, Brian Coyle and Alec Parkin to scope the approach to building the AR app. Following this they applied to R&D Apple Enterprise Account for limited distribution so that Neon could demo the proof of concept on a phone/ipad. User testing was integrated at each key phase of the proof of concept build. Once the proof of concept was complete Neon then facilitated the final testing with 10 parents of children with ASD.
Impact Neon was able to successfully create a 'Serious Game' which was designed to help people with Autism improve their conversational skills using a combined method of Augmented Reality and Machine Learning.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Ormeau Baths Innovation Hub 
Organisation Ormeau Baths
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Future Screens NI has located a Creative Industries Innovation Hub within Ormeau Baths Innovation Hub. In the context of Northern Ireland, the creative industries are more than just another key economic sector, generating, according to DCMS figures, £1.01 billion in gross added value of the NI economy, and employing 2.9% of the entire NI workforce. For a region emerging from a period of profound conflict, and social and cultural division and dysfunction, the creative industries sector has continued to offer an alternative and successful paradigm, a new model for cultural expression, personal growth, and economic attainment. Ormeau Baths provides a perfectly appointed space through which to develop and build the Future Screens NI Creative Cluster based upon these objectives. The cluster of organisations involved in Future Screens NI may be defined as: (a) audiovisual-led, complemented by the strength of the digital sector and the impact of technology in other more traditional sectors, eg. in tourism, heritage, textiles and crafts; (b) operating across NI as a region, driven by the Belfast travel-to-work-area (add ref to NESTA) but with a region-wide remit linking, in particular, to the North West of the province; c) a spatially defined multi-industry cluster that is distinctive within the UK, shaped by the complexity of cultural space in the aftermath of 20th-century conflict, a plurality of commercial and cultural relationships including across the border with the Republic of Ireland, the role of economic development bodies such as Invest NI and Catalyst Inc., and the significant investment of the HEIs and FE colleges in the creative industries; d) comprising emerging animation, games and immersive technologies industries, which although small by international standards, is one of the fastest growing sectors of the NI economy. The overarching aim of Future Screens NI is to develop a new understanding of the role the creative industries can play in advancing the NI economy both in terms of financial growth and the creation of new employment opportunities. It will do this by researching new technologies and opportunities, developing appropriate educational and training models, placing NI creative businesses in front of international markets, and working with government and other key agencies to ensure sustained growth. Future Screens NI (Ulster) and Ormeau together identified the problem of underinvestment in, and an absence of infrastructure for the local creative industries, and need to drive forward research and development within the local creative economy. Together the partnership have developed the infrastructure and a site of engagement for the local creative industries. Ormeau Baths and Future Screens NI work collaboratively in order to build and support the network and drive forward a culture of public engagement. The partnership between Future Screens NI and Ormeau Baths have resulted in more than 60 EOIs to the Future Screens NI Open Call and 25 live projects. Future Screens NI provide the academic and research expertise to drive forward the cluster and Ormeau Baths provide the necessary infrastructure and support required to build the local creative cluster. The importance of the partnership between Future Screens NI and the Ormeau Baths Innovation Hub is that it establishes the creative industries in NI as a neutral space located in accessible area within Belfast City Centre where contemporary and emerging industrial forms can be advanced in secure settings in a transitional period which is still informed by underlying political tensions. The role of the Cluster as a safe space for high-risk creative endeavour in a low-risk innovation environment, one that fosters experiment and cultural opportunity, cannot be overestimated. As BenedictAnderson (1991) has shown, communities interact through concepts of imagined connection and Future Screens NI and Ormeau Baths together will actively work as a hub to create new forms of imagined community which advance and normalise political stability while creating real employment and building economic growth. Together the partnership build a creative cluster comprising 20 Lead industry partners including: RTÉ, NI Screen, BBC, BCC, Digital Catapult, Invest NI, Innovate UK, Tourism NI, Retinize, Humain, The Lyric Theatre, and 100 SMEs at the forefront of new immersive and emerging technologies including Alt Animation, Italic Pig Ltd, Taunt Ltd, Sentireal, Sixteen South, Incisiv, PreCog, NEON and JadeBlok alongside significant global partners including the World Building Institute, Experimental Design, Disney, Warner Media, Industrial Light and Magic, HBO and The Romeros. In doing so Future Screens NI and Ormeau Baths have established a network consisting of: • 25 live R&D projects in gaming, med-tech, immersion, animation, mental health and wellbeing, and pain relief which are at the forefront of R&I within new and emerging technologies • Future Screens NI and Ormeau Baths have hosted over 20 R&D lead events attended by more than 5,000 creative industry representatives and academics • Established the regular Future Tuesdays Series which takes place on the second Tuesday of every month and is attended by an average of 60 representative • 22 members of academic staff who are leaders in their field working collaboratively with the industry attended by more than 4,000 Creative industries reps and showcasing 30 local R&D projects • 4 PhD students undertaking Future Focused research in Cinematics, Design Thinking and Leadership. • Built a research partnership comprising 20 Lead industry partners including: RTÉ, NI Screen, BBC, BCC, Digital Catapult, Invest NI, Innovate UK, Tourism NI, Retinize, Humain, The Lyric Theatre, and 100 SMEs at the forefront of new immersive and emerging technologies including Alt Animation, Italic Pig Ltd, Taunt Ltd, Sentireal, Sixteen South, Incisiv, PreCog, NEON and JadeBlok. • Built a global partnership involving the World Building Institute, Experimental Design, Disney, Warner Media, Industrial Light and Magic, HBO and The Romeros. • Developed the Pixel Mill which is an R&D led Gaming and Innovation Hub which is home to 18 businesses and provides accommodation, mentoring, expertise and leadership development. Including building an R&D led network. • Created 79 new R&D led jobs within the creative sector in Year 1. • Developed a bespoke R&D led Leadership programme to 100 local creative industry businesses which has resulted in the development of new business models and created 10 new R&D led jobs • Developed the Hearios has the potential to stimulate listening skills at pre-school age • The Lead2Grow programme which has been developed to generate new leadership models commenced in March 2019 with an initial Lead2Grow Programme which was attended by 211 participants. The programme will go live in October 2019 with 30 registered participants. • Future Screens NI and co-located with the Propel Pre-accaeleratior at Ormeau Baths. The Propel Pre-Accelerator is home to 21 new programmes. The Propel Pre-Accelerator is delivered by IGNITE, a UK based start up support and investment network. • Working together in close partnership Ormeau Baths have ensured that Future Screens NI is the strongest project within the entire UK Industrial Strategy Programme. This was announced by Professor Andrew Chitty, Challenge Director - Creative Industries Clusters and Audience of the Future Programme at the AHRC Beyond Conference 2019. Future Screens NI at Forefront of the Industrial Strategy Programme • Ulster University and Ormeau Baths have established the Pixel Mill, a unique R&D led Gaming Incubation Hub home to 18 businesses. • Ulster University and Ormeau Baths have transformed the local creative sector by providing infrastructure, creating a strong ecosystem, supporting industry to advance along the R&D funding pipeline and to access prestigious funding and mentoring opportunities from Innovate UK and Industrial Light and Magic. • Future Screens NI and Ormeau Baths hosted the NI Assembly STEM All-Party Group in order to ensure that the local STEM ecosystem and Political Structures understand the important role of the Creative Industries in the generation and application of new and emerging technologies. 20-21 November 2019 in Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh. https://beyondconference.org/showcase/the-infinite-hotel/ • Ormeau Baths and Future Screens NI are collaborating on The Hearios. The Hearios is a new and exciting stop motion animation and live action mixed media series aimed at a pre-school audience featuring a family of musical moles who teach children the important developmental skill of active listening. Future. In order to make The Hearios stand out from its competitors, have carried out user testing with the target audience, in collaboration with QUB, to provide information about the existing listening skills and vocabulary of pre-schoolers and how they are affected by the central conceit of the show. The series has been designed to improve children's active listening skills which have been shown to assist with their development in areas such as speech, language skills and memory. ALT have conducted user testing in order to establish the effectiveness of the show in capturing children's attention to the sounds presented and their development of a vocabulary of sounds. Educational aspects of a series are of huge importance to broadcasters, especially public service broadcasters who have a particular remit to inspire and educate their audiences. https://altanimation.wetransfer.com/downloads/46cb97ed83a61c13dc7d757eb5d6172220191028135926/da75d8 Other specific impacts have included: • Enhancement and expansion of R&D capacity, knowledge and skills of CI businesses (micro and SMEs) and their owner/managers. The embedding of new knowledge and core technical/business enterprise skills will bring an in-depth understanding of the commercial reality of doing business in CI in a way that will foster collaboration and growth resulting in improved productivity and efficiency at an individual firm level and, in turn across sub-sectors. • Commercialisation and exploitation of technical/expert knowledge leading to spin out companies, as well as the creation of new processes, products and services. • Development of the international commercial capabilities of CI business owners to aid the sector to attract R&D investment from global business. • Increased wealth generation and economic prosperity, evident in the creation and growth of companies and jobs, and the enhancement of business revenue and innovative capacity in high performing CI sub-sectors in NI. • Establishment of specialised physical Creative Innovation Hubs in Belfast • Development of innovative hardware and software solutions for application in creative contexts. • Increased productivity of individual high performing (or potential high growth) CI firms. • Increased number of ideas driven through to successful product development and commercialisation. • New frameworks of leadership development for the CI sector to facilitate collaboration between micro-businesses via HE, local authorities and enterprise agencies to ensure training, advice and mentoring that is fit for purpose. • Connection of pockets of excellence across the region harnessing the opportunities afforded through the partnership with Ormeau Baths. Additional Supporting Information https://vimeo.com/372602129 (Video) https://tinyurl.com/vydpuku (images) https://tinyurl.com/rqmkwmy (report) https://creativeindustriesclusters.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Clusters-Booklet-Story-So-Far-FINAL-web.pdf https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZY6eQbPLGU&feature=youtu.be https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42mItwjPW8I&feature=youtu.be https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jgEYcVlpmY
Collaborator Contribution Future Screens NI has located a Creative Industries Innovation Hub within Ormeau Baths Innovation Hub. In the context of Northern Ireland, the creative industries are more than just another key economic sector, generating, according to DCMS figures, £1.01 billion in gross added value of the NI economy, and employing 2.9% of the entire NI workforce. For a region emerging from a period of profound conflict, and social and cultural division and dysfunction, the creative industries sector has continued to offer an alternative and successful paradigm, a new model for cultural expression, personal growth, and economic attainment. Ormeau Baths provides a perfectly appointed space through which to develop and build the Future Screens NI Creative Cluster based upon these objectives. Ormeau Baths is an entrepreneurial campus located in Belfast City Centre. The founders of Ormeau Baths understand the value of social inclusion and the need to drive forward economic growth and stimulate creativity in the way campus has been created in order to maximise the sharing of collective knowledge for collaborative impact. These objectives match those of Future Screens NI. Ormeau Baths support start-ups who are working on a range of projects including those focused upon 'tech for good'. The team at Ormeau Baths work with Future Screens NI to encourage the Universities corporates, public sector organisations and SMEs to use technology as an enabler of social innovation and to work collectively to establish new ways to provide technology to those who have no access to it. The cluster of organisations involved in Future Screens NI may be defined as: (a) audiovisual-led, complemented by the strength of the digital sector and the impact of technology in other more traditional sectors, eg. in tourism, heritage, textiles and crafts; (b) operating across NI as a region, driven by the Belfast travel-to-work-area (add ref to NESTA) but with a region-wide remit linking, in particular, to the North West of the province; c) a spatially defined multi-industry cluster that is distinctive within the UK, shaped by the complexity of cultural space in the aftermath of 20th-century conflict, a plurality of commercial and cultural relationships including across the border with the Republic of Ireland, the role of economic development bodies such as Invest NI and Catalyst Inc., and the significant investment of the HEIs and FE colleges in the creative industries; d) comprising emerging animation, games and immersive technologies industries, which although small by international standards, is one of the fastest growing sectors of the NI economy. The overarching aim of Future Screens NI is to develop a new understanding of the role the creative industries can play in advancing the NI economy both in terms of financial growth and the creation of new employment opportunities. It will do this by researching new technologies and opportunities, developing appropriate educational and training models, placing NI creative businesses in front of international markets, and working with government and other key agencies to ensure sustained growth. Future Screens NI (Ulster) and Ormeau together identified the problem of underinvestment in, and an absence of infrastructure for the local creative industries, and need to drive forward research and development within the local creative economy. Together the partnership have developed the infrastructure and a site of engagement for the local creative industries. Ormeau Baths and Future Screens NI work collaboratively in order to build and support the network and drive forward a culture of public engagement. The partnership between Future Screens NI and Ormeau Baths have resulted in more than 60 EOIs to the Future Screens NI Open Call and 25 live projects. Future Screens NI provide the academic and research expertise to drive forward the cluster and Ormeau Baths provide the necessary infrastructure and support required to build the local creative cluster. The importance of the partnership between Future Screens NI and the Ormeau Baths Innovation Hub is that it establishes the creative industries in NI as a neutral space located in accessible area within Belfast City Centre where contemporary and emerging industrial forms can be advanced in secure settings in a transitional period which is still informed by underlying political tensions. The role of the Cluster as a safe space for high-risk creative endeavour in a low-risk innovation environment, one that fosters experiment and cultural opportunity, cannot be overestimated. As BenedictAnderson (1991) has shown, communities interact through concepts of imagined connection and Future Screens NI and Ormeau Baths together will actively work as a hub to create new forms of imagined community which advance and normalise political stability while creating real employment and building economic growth. Together the partnership build a creative cluster comprising 20 Lead industry partners including: RTÉ, NI Screen, BBC, BCC, Digital Catapult, Invest NI, Innovate UK, Tourism NI, Retinize, Humain, The Lyric Theatre, and 100 SMEs at the forefront of new immersive and emerging technologies including Alt Animation, Italic Pig Ltd, Taunt Ltd, Sentireal, Sixteen South, Incisiv, PreCog, NEON and JadeBlok alongside significant global partners including the World Building Institute, Experimental Design, Disney, Warner Media, Industrial Light and Magic, HBO and The Romeros. In doing so Future Screens NI and Ormeau Baths have established a network consisting of: • 25 live R&D projects in gaming, med-tech, immersion, animation, mental health and wellbeing, and pain relief which are at the forefront of R&I within new and emerging technologies • Future Screens NI and Ormeau Baths have hosted over 20 R&D lead events attended by more than 5,000 creative industry representatives and academics • Established the regular Future Tuesdays Series which takes place on the second Tuesday of every month and is attended by an average of 60 representative • 22 members of academic staff who are leaders in their field working collaboratively with the industry attended by more than 4,000 Creative industries reps and showcasing 30 local R&D projects • 4 PhD students undertaking Future Focused research in Cinematics, Design Thinking and Leadership. • Built a research partnership comprising 20 Lead industry partners including: RTÉ, NI Screen, BBC, BCC, Digital Catapult, Invest NI, Innovate UK, Tourism NI, Retinize, Humain, The Lyric Theatre, and 100 SMEs at the forefront of new immersive and emerging technologies including Alt Animation, Italic Pig Ltd, Taunt Ltd, Sentireal, Sixteen South, Incisiv, PreCog, NEON and JadeBlok. • Built a global partnership involving the World Building Institute, Experimental Design, Disney, Warner Media, Industrial Light and Magic, HBO and The Romeros. • Developed the Pixel Mill which is an R&D led Gaming and Innovation Hub which is home to 18 businesses and provides accommodation, mentoring, expertise and leadership development. Including building an R&D led network. • Created 79 new R&D led jobs within the creative sector in Year 1. • Developed a bespoke R&D led Leadership programme to 100 local creative industry businesses which has resulted in the development of new business models and created 10 new R&D led jobs • Developed the Hearios has the potential to stimulate listening skills at pre-school age • The Lead2Grow programme which has been developed to generate new leadership models commenced in March 2019 with an initial Lead2Grow Programme which was attended by 211 participants. The programme will go live in October 2019 with 30 registered participants. • Future Screens NI and co-located with the Propel Pre-accaeleratior at Ormeau Baths. The Propel Pre-Accelerator is home to 21 new programmes. The Propel Pre-Accelerator is delivered by IGNITE, a UK based start up support and investment network. • Working together in close partnership Ormeau Baths have ensured that Future Screens NI is the strongest project within the entire UK Industrial Strategy Programme. This was announced by Professor Andrew Chitty, Challenge Director - Creative Industries Clusters and Audience of the Future Programme at the AHRC Beyond Conference 2019. Future Screens NI at Forefront of the Industrial Strategy Programme • Ulster University and Ormeau Baths have established the Pixel Mill, a unique R&D led Gaming Incubation Hub home to 18 businesses. • Ulster University and Ormeau Baths have transformed the local creative sector by providing infrastructure, creating a strong ecosystem, supporting industry to advance along the R&D funding pipeline and to access prestigious funding and mentoring opportunities from Innovate UK and Industrial Light and Magic. • Future Screens NI and Ormeau Baths hosted the NI Assembly STEM All-Party Group in order to ensure that the local STEM ecosystem and Political Structures understand the important role of the Creative Industries in the generation and application of new and emerging technologies. 20-21 November 2019 in Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh. https://beyondconference.org/showcase/the-infinite-hotel/ • Ormeau Baths and Future Screens NI are collaborating on The Hearios. The Hearios is a new and exciting stop motion animation and live action mixed media series aimed at a pre-school audience featuring a family of musical moles who teach children the important developmental skill of active listening. Future. In order to make The Hearios stand out from its competitors, have carried out user testing with the target audience, in collaboration with QUB, to provide information about the existing listening skills and vocabulary of pre-schoolers and how they are affected by the central conceit of the show. The series has been designed to improve children's active listening skills which have been shown to assist with their development in areas such as speech, language skills and memory. ALT have conducted user testing in order to establish the effectiveness of the show in capturing children's attention to the sounds presented and their development of a vocabulary of sounds. Educational aspects of a series are of huge importance to broadcasters, especially public service broadcasters who have a particular remit to inspire and educate their audiences. https://altanimation.wetransfer.com/downloads/46cb97ed83a61c13dc7d757eb5d6172220191028135926/da75d8 Other specific impacts have included: • Enhancement and expansion of R&D capacity, knowledge and skills of CI businesses (micro and SMEs) and their owner/managers. The embedding of new knowledge and core technical/business enterprise skills will bring an in-depth understanding of the commercial reality of doing business in CI in a way that will foster collaboration and growth resulting in improved productivity and efficiency at an individual firm level and, in turn across sub-sectors. • Commercialisation and exploitation of technical/expert knowledge leading to spin out companies, as well as the creation of new processes, products and services. • Development of the international commercial capabilities of CI business owners to aid the sector to attract R&D investment from global business. • Increased wealth generation and economic prosperity, evident in the creation and growth of companies and jobs, and the enhancement of business revenue and innovative capacity in high performing CI sub-sectors in NI. • Establishment of specialised physical Creative Innovation Hubs in Belfast • Development of innovative hardware and software solutions for application in creative contexts. • Increased productivity of individual high performing (or potential high growth) CI firms. • Increased number of ideas driven through to successful product development and commercialisation. • New frameworks of leadership development for the CI sector to facilitate collaboration between micro-businesses via HE, local authorities and enterprise agencies to ensure training, advice and mentoring that is fit for purpose. • Connection of pockets of excellence across the region harnessing the opportunities afforded through the partnership with Ormeau Baths. Additional Supporting Information https://vimeo.com/372602129 (Video) https://tinyurl.com/vydpuku (images) https://tinyurl.com/rqmkwmy (report) https://creativeindustriesclusters.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Clusters-Booklet-Story-So-Far-FINAL-web.pdf https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZY6eQbPLGU&feature=youtu.be https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42mItwjPW8I&feature=youtu.be https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jgEYcVlpmY
Impact Future Screens NI and Ormeau Baths have established a network consisting of: • 25 live R&D projects in gaming, med-tech, immersion, animation, mental health and wellbeing, and pain relief which are at the forefront of R&I within new and emerging technologies • Future Screens NI and Ormeau Baths have hosted over 20 R&D lead events attended by more than 5,000 creative industry representatives and academics • Established the regular Future Tuesdays Series which takes place on the second Tuesday of every month and is attended by an average of 60 representative • 22 members of academic staff who are leaders in their field working collaboratively with the industry attended by more than 4,000 Creative industries reps and showcasing 30 local R&D projects • 4 PhD students undertaking Future Focused research in Cinematics, Design Thinking and Leadership. • Built a research partnership comprising 20 Lead industry partners including: RTÉ, NI Screen, BBC, BCC, Digital Catapult, Invest NI, Innovate UK, Tourism NI, Retinize, Humain, The Lyric Theatre, and 100 SMEs at the forefront of new immersive and emerging technologies including Alt Animation, Italic Pig Ltd, Taunt Ltd, Sentireal, Sixteen South, Incisiv, PreCog, NEON and JadeBlok. • Built a global partnership involving the World Building Institute, Experimental Design, Disney, Warner Media, Industrial Light and Magic, HBO and The Romeros. • Developed the Pixel Mill which is an R&D led Gaming and Innovation Hub which is home to 18 businesses and provides accommodation, mentoring, expertise and leadership development. Including building an R&D led network. • Created 79 new R&D led jobs within the creative sector in Year 1. • Developed a bespoke R&D led Leadership programme to 100 local creative industry businesses which has resulted in the development of new business models and created 10 new R&D led jobs • Developed the Hearios has the potential to stimulate listening skills at pre-school age • The Lead2Grow programme which has been developed to generate new leadership models commenced in March 2019 with an initial Lead2Grow Programme which was attended by 211 participants. The programme will go live in October 2019 with 30 registered participants. • Future Screens NI and co-located with the Propel Pre-accaeleratior at Ormeau Baths. The Propel Pre-Accelerator is home to 21 new programmes. The Propel Pre-Accelerator is delivered by IGNITE, a UK based start up support and investment network. • Working together in close partnership Ormeau Baths have ensured that Future Screens NI is the strongest project within the entire UK Industrial Strategy Programme. This was announced by Professor Andrew Chitty, Challenge Director - Creative Industries Clusters and Audience of the Future Programme at the AHRC Beyond Conference 2019. Future Screens NI at Forefront of the Industrial Strategy Programme • Ulster University and Ormeau Baths have established the Pixel Mill, a unique R&D led Gaming Incubation Hub home to 18 businesses. • Ulster University and Ormeau Baths have transformed the local creative sector by providing infrastructure, creating a strong ecosystem, supporting industry to advance along the R&D funding pipeline and to access prestigious funding and mentoring opportunities from Innovate UK and Industrial Light and Magic. • Future Screens NI and Ormeau Baths hosted the NI Assembly STEM All-Party Group in order to ensure that the local STEM ecosystem and Political Structures understand the important role of the Creative Industries in the generation and application of new and emerging technologies. 20-21 November 2019 in Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh. https://beyondconference.org/showcase/the-infinite-hotel/ • Ormeau Baths and Future Screens NI are collaborating on The Hearios. The Hearios is a new and exciting stop motion animation and live action mixed media series aimed at a pre-school audience featuring a family of musical moles who teach children the important developmental skill of active listening. Future. In order to make The Hearios stand out from its competitors, have carried out user testing with the target audience, in collaboration with QUB, to provide information about the existing listening skills and vocabulary of pre-schoolers and how they are affected by the central conceit of the show. The series has been designed to improve children's active listening skills which have been shown to assist with their development in areas such as speech, language skills and memory. ALT have conducted user testing in order to establish the effectiveness of the show in capturing children's attention to the sounds presented and their development of a vocabulary of sounds. Educational aspects of a series are of huge importance to broadcasters, especially public service broadcasters who have a particular remit to inspire and educate their audiences. https://altanimation.wetransfer.com/downloads/46cb97ed83a61c13dc7d757eb5d6172220191028135926/da75d8 Other specific impacts have included: • Enhancement and expansion of R&D capacity, knowledge and skills of CI businesses (micro and SMEs) and their owner/managers. The embedding of new knowledge and core technical/business enterprise skills will bring an in-depth understanding of the commercial reality of doing business in CI in a way that will foster collaboration and growth resulting in improved productivity and efficiency at an individual firm level and, in turn across sub-sectors. • Commercialisation and exploitation of technical/expert knowledge leading to spin out companies, as well as the creation of new processes, products and services. • Development of the international commercial capabilities of CI business owners to aid the sector to attract R&D investment from global business. • Increased wealth generation and economic prosperity, evident in the creation and growth of companies and jobs, and the enhancement of business revenue and innovative capacity in high performing CI sub-sectors in NI. • Establishment of specialised physical Creative Innovation Hubs in Belfast • Development of innovative hardware and software solutions for application in creative contexts. • Increased productivity of individual high performing (or potential high growth) CI firms. • Increased number of ideas driven through to successful product development and commercialisation. • New frameworks of leadership development for the CI sector to facilitate collaboration between micro-businesses via HE, local authorities and enterprise agencies to ensure training, advice and mentoring that is fit for purpose. • Connection of pockets of excellence across the region harnessing the opportunities afforded through the partnership with Ormeau Baths. Additional Supporting Information https://vimeo.com/372602129 (Video) https://tinyurl.com/vydpuku (images) https://tinyurl.com/rqmkwmy (report) https://creativeindustriesclusters.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Clusters-Booklet-Story-So-Far-FINAL-web.pdf https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZY6eQbPLGU&feature=youtu.be https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42mItwjPW8I&feature=youtu.be https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jgEYcVlpmY
Start Year 2018
 
Description Taunt 
Organisation Taunt
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Future Screens NI clearly identified a strong R&D challenge with an evergrowing need for real time rendering which is hampered by three factors; Cost, Time and Quality. The expertise fo the Future Screens NI team was employed towards addressing the three main factors that are currently holding this form of rendering back. Alec Parkin was the Future Screens NI Co-Investigator for this piece and was able to lend his vast knowledge of this particular factor of the animation industry having worked for major players in this market. The first problem presented by this project with Taunt LTD was how can a real time rendering workflow be used to improve the effeciency of a small animation studio, such as Taunt LTD. It goes without saying that rendering takes up a significant amount of time and resources for these small animation studios and as such being able to render out their work in real-time would be extremely beneficial not only because it allows for agile development of projects but also because it removes the need for the animators to wait very long periods of time before being able to see their work as intended. It has been shown to be the case that the initial barrier to entry for exploring the use of real time rendering is the prohibitive cost as most of the industry based softwares that are used for rendering are CPU based renderers rather than GPU based, this therefore hinders the ability of smaller teams to be able to use real-time rendering due to infastructure problems. The final aspect to the R&D challenge was to test the technical limitations of real-time rendering, this was to discover if the quality of the animations produced in this way by GPU rendering and if they were better than those produced by rendering them out in a CPU. A detailed assessment was then undertaken to identify the drawbacks of using a GPU for the use in this type of animation rendering. Overall this research was primarily undertaken to figure out if it is indeed possible to create a real time rendering hub in Belfast which could then do the rendering for these small animation studios on their behalf, therefore removing the need for these smaller studios to buy very expensive equipment in order to keep up with industry demand. Real-time rendering is currently being adapted in larger studios for major productions such as Blade Runner, The Jungle Book and Ready Player One. It was possible for Future Screens NI and TAunt LTD to reach out to Epic (creators of the unreal engine for games production) to open up a collaborative relationship with them for the project, in the hope that they will include the pilot amongst their real-time showcases. This will granted an introduction to new customer segments, such as the game cinematic industry and previsualisation for feature film. Beyond the games industry, it allows other similar sized studios to access the film and VFX industry, which up until now, due to the complex nature of the projects and the tight turnaround of the deliveries has been increasingly difficult for smaller studios to make a name in.
Collaborator Contribution Taunt LTD is a creative production studio, founded by Tom Getty and Fiona McLaughlin. They are a purposefully small but friendly bunch, producing everything from commercials to their own original short form content. They create work across Animation, both 2D and 3D, VFX, Games and interactive. Ennui is a real-time rendered pilot, created to stand alongside existing non real-time films, visually, technically and narratively. During the development process of this project, they expected to find that the introduction of a Real-Time rendering pipeline in the studio would be able to help with a number of existing bottlenecks. By regaining the time that would have previously been lost to rendering, project turnover are reduced, thus opening up opportunities for more work. In addition to this, the client offering will have a higher quality as a photo-realistic style is more feasible within the same time-frame. This will to lead to growth within the animation industry in Northern Ireland industry as a whole and increasing the demand for a skilled workforce in this area. The shift into Real-Time rendering is a growing technical solution that is well under way in larger creative cities such as London and Dublin, and for good reason. It is to be expected that the solutions obtained through this process will be reflected in other companies in the local Northern Ireland industry, allowing the sector to keep up with the bleeding edge of technological progress in animation and film. The current off the shelf solutions that exist are; rendering projects locally using our in house PCs, using online render farms or investing in an in-house renderfarm. These solutions work to some extent but have quite a number of drawbacks. Using local PCs results in studio resources being out of service for the duration of the render time. With many shots taking at least 12 hours to render, often overnight, it's not possible to avoid this eating into work-time. Equally lacking in efficiency is the online render farm approach. This incurs a large cost per use, that offers only a short-term fix per project and does not invest in long-term sustainability or growth. Online render farms are also unreliable. The method relies heavily on internet speeds, as well as a queue based system on the render farm side. This is less than adequate as there is always a chance you will be down a long queue and especially in a time sensitive project. This can have a detrimental impact on the end result. Studios that have invested in an in-house CPU based render farm solution is something that also requires has a substantial upfront cost, requires a lot of space, needing it's own dedicated air conditioned room, and is a technology that has an increasing short lifespan as newer and better things are produced so rapidly. We expect to discover that while the ideal approach would be to setup in-house GPU based render facilities, this will not always be possible for certain studios. This could be due to the training required for the staff, or potentially large initial costs if a company has already invested in a CPU based approach.
Impact Work is having a significant impact on the animation and rendering industries in Northern Ireland.
Start Year 2019
 
Description The Pixel Mill 
Organisation Pixel Mill
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution The Pixel Mill is a collaborative co-working space in the Ormeau Baths Innovation Centre for game development teams from across Northern Ireland delivered in partnership with NI Screen and Future Screens NI. Offering a ground-breaking incubation programme for UK and Ireland with industry mentorship, access to funding and links to local Universities. Future Screens NI provide academic expertise and cash resources to the value of £100,000 to Pixel Mill. The PI and Co-I support the companies to engage in R&D activity through knowledge exchange activity. This is in the form of Research led activities including AI, Machine Learning, Animation, 3D Graphics, IP support and support for commercialisation.
Collaborator Contribution The Pixel Mill have provided £2,000,000 in resources to the Pixel and an in kind contribution of £500,000. he Pixel Mill also serves a larger role as a gaming community meeting place which is currently virtual due to the ongoing pandemic and a platform for local gaming initiatives. Gaming companies have access to office space (virtual doing the pandemic), project development funding with a contribution ranging from £9,000 to £50,000 depending on project size and production development loans of up to £500,000. The Pixel Mill also offers Platform which is an accelerator programme for game companies which offers three companies the opportunity to build their team and publish their game with £60,000 available to each company and 12 months access to office space (virtual during the ongoing crisis).
Impact The Pixel Mill has hosted 40 companies to date. This has included companies transitioning to sustainable outcomes by accessing their own premises and securing publication deals which have brought additional investment and economic growth to the region. The Pixel Mill has been home to companies like Brain and Nerd and supported companies like Italic Pig who have transitioned on to access significant resources from Creative Europe. The Pixel Mill has also been to home to INCISIV which is an incredibly successful VR company leading innovation in concussion, elite support and brain decision making. Founder Professor Cathy Craig has recently secured a Royal Academy of Engineering Enterprise Fellow. Access to funding and lab space through the Pixel Mill has acted as a significant pump priming to stimulate the gaming industry and local economy. This has been extremely significant in the context of the ongoing Covid-19 crisis. A significant number of companies supported through the Pixel Mill have been shortlisted for both local, national and global awards. In 2019 Ahead of the conference, Italic Pig was selected as a winner of GDC Best in Play; a prestigious accolade presented to only eight companies attending the event. Future Screens NI in collaboration with the Pixel Mills has assisted the gaming industry to build 35 globally recognised companies providing employment to 77 employees and generating £5.6mn in GVA. The partnership is multi-disciplinary involving Business, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Animation, Gaming, Rigging and Programming.
Start Year 2018
 
Description The Puttnam Scholarship Programme 
Organisation Atticus Education LLC
Country United Arab Emirates 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Future Screens NI, Northern Ireland Screen and Screen Ireland collaborated with Atticus Education to appoint four Puttnam Scholars who accessed a bursary and attended 6 two hour online masterclasses delivered by Lord David Puttnam Oscar-winning producer of Chariots of Fire, The Mission, The Killing Fields and Midnight Express, former Digital Champion and entrepreneur within the creative industries. Future Screen NI offered financial resources to the value of £50,000 which were matched by partners.
Collaborator Contribution The partnership allowed new film makers to engage directly with Lord David Puttnam within a series of masterclasses which have had a transformative impact upon their career. The masterclasses addressed the following topics: 1. The Origin: Why does film matter? Using his own experience of growing up with the cinema of the 1950s, Lord Puttnam assisted participants to discover how important memory, community, collaboration, and risk-taking are to successful filmmaking. 2. The Power of Identity: How can film make the personal universal? Lord Puttnam encouraged participants to consider their own voice, what it is they are trying to say, and how their experiences and ambitions are best manifested on screen. 3. From Plot to Premier: Using the case-study of Local Hero, Lord Puttnam walked participants through a unique filmic record covering each step of the process on a practical level, illustrating how a small idea can make its journey to the screen, and through to the global marketplace. 4. The Evolution of Creativity: What is creativity? Is it something we are born with, or can it be developed? Participants learned about the importance of becoming creatively resilient as a filmmaker, and how to cultivate ideas and innovation on set. Lord Puttnam considered how a filmmaker can escape the belief that a piece of work has to be either art or commerce. 5. Music and Meaning: How do you know what you want your film to sound like? Participants learned about how a filmmaker interacts with music; how music can support the narrative, and how to go about creating the right score for each an individual film, TV series or video game. 6. Interpreting the Future: Participants enhanced their understanding of how ongoing changes across the screen industries have been accelerated by the global pandemic. Lord Puttnam explained why it is critical for creators of content to keep abreast of the evolving market, and the new opportunities it constantly brings.
Impact Increased skills and capacity for film makers Increased credibility of the partnership
Start Year 2020
 
Description Transforming the Creative Industries in Partnership with Arts Council NI 
Organisation Arts Council of Northern Ireland
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Future Screens NI provided pump priming resources to the artistic and creative community in response to industry identified need. This stimulated a co-investment partnership through which Future Screens Ni have supported both DfC and the Arts Council NI to transform funding call and approaches. This has included a greater emphasis on the role of new, emerging and immersive technology and the need to pivot in the context of Covid-19. Future Screens NI have played a significant role in building the sustainability of the creative economy in partnership with Arts Council NI. Most notably 4 funding calls have been co-created and co-delivered with the Future Screens NI team providing review support and direction.
Collaborator Contribution Arts Council NI are the funding development agency for the Arts in Northern Ireland with a responsibility for investing in the local creative industries. Initially Future Screens NI partnered with the Arts Council to deliver the Creative Industries SEED fund. This fund was established in order to drive forward knowledge transfer and innovation led R&D within the creative sector. This collaborative call resulted in the joint investment of £365,000 in the local Creative Industries. £87,500 from Future Screens Ni and £277,500 from the Arts Council NI. Each project was then provided with a knowledge transfer package (£12.500 large projects and £7,500 smaller scale projects) resulting in a total investment of £595,000. This resulted in7 large scale transformative projects across art, theatre, audience development, craft making, mixed and alternative reality and VR film making combining the very best of talent within the creative industries, the artist community, community sector with local academic and research experts and 19 smaller scale projects across art, immersive technology, festivals, music technology and craft making. The onset of the Covid-19 crisis stimulated a direct collaboration with the Minister and Department for Communities (DfC) establishing Future Screens NI as a key cultural broker within the region delivering finance, expertise, innovation which has stimulated a collaborative ecosystem positioning arts and culture at the centre of developments within new and emerging technology within the region. This partnership stimulated a partnership approach between DfC, ACNI and Future Screens that has overseen the development and implementation of innovative emergency relief programmes across the region establishing 1089 R&D projects allowing individuals to innovate and sustain during the ongoing crisis.
Impact This collaboration has: Increased engagement within the traditional arts and craft sector and new, emerging and immersive technology Increased the sustainability of the arts sector and the creative economy Provided a much needed stimulus for economic recovery Resulted in significant transformation within theatre, visual art, music and traditional craft sector Resilience in the context of Covid-19 Increasing skills, capacity and technical ability This collaboration is multi-disciplinary and involves the following disciplines: economics, art, visual arts, traditional craft, AI, Machine Learning, music, gaming, programming, education, language, virtual production, animation, sound, dance, performance, culture and heritage.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Unity- Capacity Development and Growth for the Creative Industries 
Organisation Unity Technologies
Country United States 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Future Screens NI have invested £50,000 in the partnership with Unity. Alec Parkin and Declan Keeney have delivered R&D led innovation and support. Northern Ireland Screen, Future Screens NI and the Digital Catapult NI have partnered with Unity to deliver the Unity Developer Programme which is a skills development programme for interactive and immersive content developers to work towards becoming certified as Unity Developers.
Collaborator Contribution Unity have delivered a blend of online classes and self-guided learning. Participants then had the opportunity to become complete the Unity Certified Programmer exam which is an industry recognised qualification. The training covered six topic areas: 1. Programming core interactions 2. Working in the art pipeline 3. Developing application systems 4. Programming for scene and environment design 5. Optimising for performance and platforms 6. Working in professional software development teams Participants were challenged to build two complete Unity projects, implementing core interactivity, supporting systems and platform optimisations.
Impact This collaboration has developed infrastructure for gaming stimulating the economy, providing qualifications and contributing to the growth in virtual production.
Start Year 2020
 
Description Unreal Engine 
Organisation Epic Games Inc
Department Unreal Engine
Country United States 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Ulster Screen Academy, Epic Games, the creators of Fortnite and Unreal Engine, the world's most open and advanced real-time 3D tool, hand Ulster University have collaborated to develop a Virtual Production Studio with an additional £1mn invested by Ulster University. This facility offers access to worlds most open and advanced real time 3D tools to support the animation and gaming industry to respond to the real-time revolution taking place across film, television, games, and animation production. The new facility will also support leading-edge research in virtual production for use in the screen industries. The state-of-the-art facility encompasses an LED wall with camera tracking technology, full-body motion capture, facial capture, large green screen and virtual cameras. The industries are contributing over £1 billion GVA to the NI economy and employing around 26,000 people. The Virtual Productions Studio fosters talent by developing a workforce ready to meet the demand and growth in these industries of the future in a sustainable way supporting the ambitions of the Ulster University-led £65 million Screen Media Innovation Lab (SMIL), a world class Virtual Production facility and part of the Belfast Region City Deal.
Collaborator Contribution Ulster Screen Academy, Epic Games, the creators of Fortnite and Unreal Engine, the world's most open and advanced real-time 3D tool, hand Ulster University have collaborated to develop a Virtual Production Studio with an additional £1mn invested by Ulster University. This facility offers access to worlds most open and advanced real time 3D tools to support the animation and gaming industry to respond to the real-time revolution taking place across film, television, games, and animation production. The new facility will also support leading-edge research in virtual production for use in the screen industries. The state-of-the-art facility encompasses an LED wall with camera tracking technology, full-body motion capture, facial capture, large green screen and virtual cameras. The industries are contributing over £1 billion GVA to the NI economy and employing around 26,000 people. The Virtual Productions Studio fosters talent by developing a workforce ready to meet the demand and growth in these industries of the future in a sustainable way supporting the ambitions of the Ulster University-led £65 million Screen Media Innovation Lab (SMIL), a world class Virtual Production facility and part of the Belfast Region City Deal.
Impact Increased infrastructure to support the growing virtual production industry. Increased investment in the industry.
Start Year 2021
 
Title Action Sense- Glove Play Pain Relief Glov 
Description Action Sense have developed a methodology which appliesgame technology to provide pain relief during clinically prescribed home exercise routines. Through this unique provision of tailored computer games ActionSense can enhance engagement and completion of prescribed exercises using gamified processes and tasks to aid motivation; also this unique provision will add 3D graphics to augment the presentation of feedback and continuous real-time visualization of clinical data. One of the core challenges is in designing game mechanics that require very spe-cific physical movements as game inputs. In the case of hand and finger-based exercises for arthritis management, sensing hand flexing and extension needs to be the basis of a game control mechanism. This is very specific game input signal. - The motion that generates the input can vary between people due to differing de-grees of arthritis and pain affecting range of movement. Thus, input control must be tailored to each person and adapted over time. - Rehabilitation exercises usually require a focus on repetition, which can also vary per person. Timing and accuracy are often important game control factors that are commonly paired with repetition. However, due to restricted motion of the hand and fingers of a person affected by arthritis, the design of game mechanics need to be focused predominantly on repetition. This restricts the types of games that can be designed and is it more challenging to create fun gameplay. - A core technical challenge is in the real-time transmission of the data from the glove sensors (or other sensors) to the computer in such a way that it is accessible to a game engine. There are two aspects to this: in accessing the data via the communication channel and translating in into a suitable data format, and in ensur-ing real-time performance. User finger joint positions will be used as the basis for the animation of 3d hand models in real time and need to responsive to user movement - i.e. limited lag and suitably high framerate. A suitable means of providing real-time and summative aesthetic performance on a VR or flat screen display, and outcome feedback will need to investigated and tested. Action Sense have pioneered technology which captures finger movement and records data, and supports the guided and gamified exercise. The approach supports real-time visual replaying of user motion alongside rich 3D visualization. This com-bined solution is unique in the data glove market. Currently clinicians use goni-ometers to measure perceived stiffness in patients joint mobility - the latest Action-Sense data glove facilitates automated and intelligent stiffness measurement with cloud storage of patient data. This additional gaming feature will enhance the Action-Sense product offering. 
Type Therapeutic Intervention - Physical
Current Stage Of Development Refinement. Non-clinical
Year Development Stage Completed 2020
Development Status Actively seeking support
Impact ActionSense have developed a cost-effective efficient sensor system for the monitoring of exercise and rehabilitation of rheumatology patients remotely at home. Most arthritic patients suffer with pain, swelling and stiffness but current outcomes tend to focus on pain and swelling as opposed to stiffness. Where clinicians have sought to measure joint movement in arthritic patients, they continue to rely on manual goniometry. This however is widely seen as having fundamental deficiencies in terms of accuracy, time taken and lack of adaptability. Action Sense have pioneered technology which captures finger movement and records data, and supports the guided and gamified exercise. The approach supports real-time visual replaying of user motion alongside rich 3D visualization. This combined solution is unique in the data glove market. Currently clinicians use goni-ometers to measure perceived stiffness in patients joint mobility - the latest Action-Sense data glove facilitates automated and intelligent stiffness measurement with cloud storage of patient data. This additional gaming feature will enhance the Action-Sense product offering. ActionSense have developed a cost-effective efficient sensor system for the monitoring of exercise and rehabilitation of rheumatology patients remotely at home. Most arthritic patients suffer with pain, swelling and stiffness but current outcomes tend to focus on pain and swelling as opposed to stiffness. Where clinicians have sought to measure joint movement in arthritic patients, they continue to rely on manual goniometry. This however is widely seen as having fundamental deficiencies in terms of accuracy, time taken and lack of adaptability. 
URL https://www.actionsense.org/
 
Title HeartAttach: Cardiology Guidewire Separator 
Description The Cardiology department at the Western Health and Social Care Trust (WHSCT) has teamed up with Ulster University's Belfast School of Art to co-design a new device to improve the clinical operator workflows for Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI). Dr Aaron Peace, (cardiologist) and Dr Justin Magee (product designer) have worked together towards innovative new product development and subsequently, workflow service improvements. PCI is a procedure where stents are inserted into narrowed heart blood vessels that limit blood flow. A tactile responsive coronary guidewire, usually measuring 0.014' in diameter is used to guide stents into final position which results in widening and increased blood flow - resulting in relief of symptoms for patients. In Europe there are 1.1 Million PCI's (2018) with 27.7K increase per year (Eurostats, 2020). A major workflow issue arises in that the wires, regardless of manufacturer, look very similar in appearance. They are difficult to see and it can be difficult to recall which wire is in which blood vessel especially in dimly lit catheterisation laboratories or operation theatres. This adds to the cognitive clutter that an operator experiences while viewing moving real time images of the heart on screen, while simultaneously performing an procedure below their line of vision. The associated uncertainty adds to the increased risk of medical errors which are a major concern throughout the clinical profession. Within this context 'cardiac catheterization are significant sources of medical cardiovascular liability' (Rodziewicz & Hipskind 2020). Currently interventional cardiologists may use a piece of gauze to help identify a specific guidewire as no current solution is adequate to enable an uninterrupted operator workflow. Furthermore, a gauze may accidentally be removed during an operation during hygiene protocols, incurring corrective delays and error may introduce microfilaments into the body. 
Type Therapeutic Intervention - Medical Devices
Current Stage Of Development Small-scale adoption
Year Development Stage Completed 2020
Development Status Under active development/distribution
Impact The Design and its Benefits Observation analysis of the operator procedures was conducted at WHSCT. This informed design decision making within a co-creative process between design and clinical experts. An innovative product was iteratively developed under critical review and functional testing by a team of consultant cardiologists. Novel features were defined and incorporated permitting normal operative workflow of individual guidewires. The benefits of the novel product design includes: Enablement of an unobtrusive workflow environment permitting normal operative procedures Visually identifies the artery of insertion, clarifying which wire is in which artery. Permits one hand relocation and full control of the guidewire while the device is in use Avoids entanglements and unintentional removal errors related to guide wires where multiple wires are in use. Avoids touching or over manipulation of the wire thus avoiding kinking and damage to the wire Offers guidewire management where multiple wires are in use for all diameters of wires and associated equipment. Any vascular procedure using any wire diameter can benefit from this design system The HeartAttach product addresses this clinical need. The improvements embodied in this product meet recommendation 240 of the Francis Inquiry (Francis, 2013) including improvement of clinical workflow management, operative communication, hygiene best practice, and reduction of cognitive clutter. The product has been developed through several prototype variations following clinical feedback, and exists as an injection moulded prototype. 
URL https://pure.ulster.ac.uk/ws/portalfiles/portal/88386139/HeartAttach_HSC_Case_Study_FINAL_v2.pdf
 
Title Retinize Startle Effect 
Description Virtual Startle Effect is an immersive experience to concentrate on the very specific, moment-critical juncture, in which a startle effect happens and crucial the team around a surgeon react, to mitigate loss of life. The provision of a Virtual Immersive Training Environment for surgical team members with potential for adoption across further first responders 
Type Support Tool - For Medical Intervention
Current Stage Of Development Initial development
Year Development Stage Completed 2020
Development Status Under active development/distribution
Impact The provision of a Virtual Immersive Training Environment for surgical team members with potential for adoption across further first responders 
URL https://www.retinize.com/
 
Title Adaptive Immersive Content and Software Authoring for Safety-Critical Training 
Description Sentireal have created an Adaptive Immersive Content and Software Authoring for Safety-Critical Training with funding from Future Screens NI. Sentireal have develop a training domain and subset of training scenarios within social work. Social work training was chosen as the initial training domain because social workers cannot currently develop their decision-making skills for complex cases involving issues such as dementia, mental health and child protection in a safe, virtual environment. The majority of the 106,000 social workers currently employed in the UK did not have early access to realistic training covering particularly challenging and safety-critical scenarios, often creating hesitancy and stress when such scenarios are encountered in daily practice. Key social work education reviews published in recent years have highlighted digitalization of training information as a key area for development. 
Type Of Technology New/Improved Technique/Technology 
Year Produced 2020 
Impact 106,000 social workers currently employed in the UK now have access to realistic training covering particularly challenging and safety-critical scenarios, often creating hesitancy and stress when such scenarios are encountered in daily practice with accompanied societal benefits and economic returns. 
 
Title Digital Humanoids 
Description Retinize in partnership with Future Screens NI have produced real time digital humanoids that are multi-faceted. The techniques applied combine a high resolution hyper realistic photo scan of a performer alongside a motion capture suit and high end smartphone. The motion capture suit will allow for accurate recording of body movements, while the high end smartphone will allow for highly precise facial capture for a relatively low cost (in comparison to existing facial capture methodologies and technologies). This allows an almost true to life capture to be undertaken rapidly but at a vastly reduced cost when compared to current high end options currently on offer, such as pure volumetric capture. This methodology will also help to improve on some of the limitations of these systems, especially facial recordings. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2020 
Impact Retinize and Future Screens NI have addressed this issue by creating a service that streamlines this whole pipeline enabling us to rapidly produce content for film, TV, gaming and immersive media which provides clients with the highest quality digital humanoids, in an efficient and cost effective way, that allows them to tell their stories. Retinize then assess their project, storyboards, and ideas, and guide them towards the best method to achieve their vision. With subsequent increases in quality and decreases in production time. Together they have created a showcase of the latest techniques of various capture methods (such as volumetric performance capture and various motion capture methods) that would allow for an easy side by side comparison. In order to allow clients and creatives to make an informed choice regarding capture methodologies and pursue the best path forward for their project. An additional benefit is that this showcase acts an educational tool for sectors of the creative industry and give a greater understanding of each process to the relevant people, allowing for faster and more accurate future decisions. This research is informing the kind of facilities required by local industry going forward in relation to motion capture technology through any investment from the Belfast City Deal initiative. Retinize Future Screens NI have produced a service that streamlines the production pipeline enabling us the rapid production of content for film, TV, gaming and immersive media which provides clients with the highest quality digital humanoids, in an efficient and cost effective way, that allows them to tell their stories. Retinize then assess their project, storyboards, and ideas, and guide them towards the best method to achieve their vision. The creation of a showcase of the latest techniques of various capture methods (such as volumetric performance capture and various motion capture methods) that would allow for an easy side by side comparison. In order to allow clients and creatives to make an informed choice regarding capture methodologies and pursue the best path forward for their project. An additional benefit is that this showcase acts an educational tool for sectors of the creative industry and give a greater understanding of each process to the relevant people, allowing for faster and more accurate future decisions. This research is informing the kind of facilities required by local industry going forward in relation to motion capture technology through any investment from the Belfast City Deal initiative. The production of real time digital humanoids that are multi-faceted. The techniques applied combine a high resolution hyper realistic photo scan of a performer alongside a motion capture suit and high end smartphone. The motion capture suit will allow for accurate recording of body movements, while the high end smartphone will allow for highly precise facial capture for a relatively low cost (in comparison to existing facial capture methodologies and technologies). This allows an almost true to life capture to be undertaken rapidly but at a vastly reduced cost when compared to current high end options currently on offer, such as pure volumetric capture. This methodology will also help to improve on some of the limitations of these systems, especially facial recordings. Future Screens have provided the academic expertise via Dr Declan Keeney to deviese a practice-based approach to this R&D activity, exploring each of the processes for creating realistic digital humanoids. This has included different options for volumetric and motion capture that are currently on the market. The team have the trialed various hardware options (e.g. XSens Motion Capture suit) using our own internal equipment, trialling additional equipment and working with project partners who own and are willing to rent additional equipment to conduct the research. SDKs and frameworks have been downloaded and explored to analyse the best software offerings for volumetric and motion capture. Where possible we will maintain a dialogue with the software development companies to establish best practice for using their toolsets. Retinize's has a dual business model, commercial content creation and original content creation. This business model has allowed Retinize to create content for a wide range of industries ranging from broadcasters, car brands, charities and tourism destinations. Within both sides of the business the demand for realistic animation models has increased and become more and more important. Retinize's commercial business focuses on the advertising, museums and tourism industry were project briefs are asking for every increasing realistic environments and characters. Within the advertising industry retail and cosmetic brands want realistic 3D avatars with which they can display their products digital, digital is increasingly seen as an key avenue for engaging with consumers. Digital displays in shops, AR apps which can be accessed at home, even VR fashion shows are becoming more popular. Future Screens NI and Retinize have worked together to identify and address the key challenges associated with making the products look as real digitally as they do in real life and a key component of this is having realistic avatars. Within the museum sector realistic avatars are seen as a potentially important, and cost effective component to bringing exhibits to life. Having realistic digital characters on display that reflect the artefacts can drive visitor engagement and enhance the visitor experience. Also having the characters digital captured means that new content can be created easily meaning that exhibits can be continually updated to keep them engaging for visitors. Using digital technology to engage with the next generation of visitors is seen as increasingly important as they are the generation that has grown up with digital content and now expect any learning to be delivered through the same methods. Within the Tourism sector AR has become an area of interest for providing guides for visitors. We are currently working with a number of tourism bodies to deliver AR guides and feedback that Retinize have received is that realistic digital guides are important. It is the position of Retinize that the significantly increased level of realism achieved with AR avatars resulting from this project will open up a number of commercial avenues for AR tourism not just in the UK but globally 
URL https://www.retinize.com/
 
Title Randos 
Description Italic Pig have developed an AI powered Character Generator which applies machine learning to generate characters in immersive worlds. This product address the challenge or producing bespoke content, addresses challenges associated with labour and cost providing an automated approach. The product provides ? custom rigging solution allowing for rapid base-layer generation ? real-time skin binding for fluid animation ? larger tank of skeletal and textural assets (understanding that a degree of selection is necessary but not the answer) ? hybridisation of bespoke animations with procedural in-game responsiveness ? seed-based algorithm to ensure maximum diversity and recall ? crowd-based filtration system (Rando-Tinder) to weed out seeds that break suspension of disbelief ? tailored viable character design using case-based machine learning via evolutionary neural network 
Type Of Technology New/Improved Technique/Technology 
Year Produced 2020 
Impact This product reduces the cost in production and rapidly advances the creation of characters within gaming. This product has played a role in increasing the economic return of the gaming industry. Rendering minimizes the time and costs to develop video-game assets, which assists small game studios and indie game developers survive in the competitive video-game industry. The product provides a low cost solution to generating gaming assets in a short time without any sacrifice to the experience of the game or game performance. The gaming industry continues to experience significant growth regionally and globally with increasing demands for sophisticated content. This tool addresses these challenges. 
URL http://www.italicpig.com
 
Title Startle Effect 
Description Virtual Startle Effect is an immersive experience to concentrate on the very specific, moment-critical juncture, in which a startle effect happens and crucial the team around a surgeon react, to mitigate loss of life. The provision of a Virtual Immersive Training Environment for surgical team members with potential for adoption across further first responders 
Type Of Technology New/Improved Technique/Technology 
Year Produced 2020 
Impact The provision of a Virtual Immersive Training Environment for surgical team members with potential for adoption across further first responders 
URL https://www.retinize.com/
 
Title VR Workflow Environment 
Description Stephanie Heckman in partnership with Future Screens NI has created live time-lapse animations and a VR environment that visualizes the collective thought process in videoconferencing meetings in the context of Covid-19. When COVID and the ensuing lockdowns hit all that changed. Our ability to collective ideate, plan, coordinate, and evaluate was compromised at a time of high need across all sectors, as we navigated the pandemic. Organisations everywhere needed to find ways to keep their teams and stakeholders collaborating effectively from a distance for the foreseeable future. People turned to videoconferencing platforms. Soon 'Zoom fatigue' was gripping the nation. Stephanie developed a visual facilitation environment to address this challenge. Stephanie has created a VR environment to facilitate this. 
Type Of Technology New/Improved Technique/Technology 
Year Produced 2021 
Impact The creation of an environment which assists those working together to build workflow and address gaps in communication whilst generating connection in the context of the ongoing pandemic. 
URL https://www.stephanieheckman.com/visualpractice
 
Title VR-HIT 
Description INCISIV Support have developed VR-HIT which is a standardised approach that improves validity, reliability and reproducibility of concussion test data. INCISIV have developed and verified low cost sensor low-cost VR sensor data as a reliable means of measuring balance and movement in VR environments and developed a VR test for concussion. 
Type Of Technology New/Improved Technique/Technology 
Year Produced 2020 
Impact Improved diagnostic pathways Improvements in clinical assessment Improved concussion diagnosis and management through a comprehensive testing system rather than specific components The creation of customised, controlled and safe testing environment with sound psychometric properties and validity Preservation of life and capacity Reduction in healthcare costs Increased returns to the local economy 
URL https://incisiv.tech/
 
Description AHRC award holders workshop/delegation 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact 8 Members were invited from each of the creative clusters by the AHRC to Belfast for workshops to develop support for the creative industries nationwide. During this time the attendees were also shown around the city to provide them with a sense of how strong the creative industries are in Northern Ireland and to see how they could be further developed here in order to make them the new heavy industries for the region.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Belfast Media Festival XR alley and Panel 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The Belfast Media Festival is a hub for engagement, education and empowerment and welcomes hundreds of people through its doors, increasing annually, including students, freelancers, Indies, broadcasters and commissioners.

At the Festival Future Screens NI coordinated a panel which discussed the uses and developments in creative XR experiences with an audience of around 150 in attendance on the day, the panel created a lot of discussion from the audience which was facilitated through through an audience Q&A

Future Screens also hosted Brenda and John Romero panel at the festival with a similar turnout to that of the creative XR panel which once again had a Q7A panel for the audience to interact with the Romeros and generated a lot of discussion on what future screens can do for the local creative economy

In addition to all of this Future Screens in asscociation with RainDance set up an XR alley which was designed to be a space at the festival for the attendees to play around with the various local XR companies and their poducts.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://belfastmediafestival.co.uk/
 
Description Brenda Romero- The Hidden History of Women in Tech 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Future Screens NI were delighted to welcome industry trailblazer and BAFTA winner Brenda Romero to speak at Future Tuesdays on the 15th of September. Brenda was speaking on the hidden histories of the women who made a vital contribution to the advancement of computers and programming.

Brenda Romero is an award-winning game designer, Fulbright scholar, artist and entrepreneur who entered the video game industry in 1981. As a designer, she has contributed to many seminal titles, including the Wizardry and Jagged Alliance series and titles in the Ghost Recon and Dungeons & Dragons franchises. Away from the machine, her analog series of six games, The Mechanic is the Message, has drawn national and international acclaim, particularly Train and Síochán Leat (The Irish Game) which is presently housed in the National Museum of Play.

In 2017, she was awarded the Development Legend award at the Develop conference in the UK. In 2015, she won the coveted Ambassador's Award at the Game Developers Choice Awards. In 2014, she received a Fulbright award to study Ireland's game industry, academic and government policies. In 2013, she was named one of the top 10 game developers by Gamasutra.com and Develop magazine listed her among the 25 people who changed games in 2013. Romero co-owns Romero Games.

Brenda presented on the structural inequalities in gaming and presented a pathway for the future.

This stimulated action on EDI across the creative cluster programme.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.futurescreens.org/news/2020/9/22/future-tuesday-brenda-romero-on-the-hidden-history-of-w...
 
Description Cinemagic- Home Film Making- Be Smart Be Safe Be Inspired 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact In light of the current Covid 19 pandemic and changes in peoples viewing habits and life styles, now more than ever we need to engage with young people and audiences in a meaningful way which is educational, innovative, challenges thinking in addition to addressing skills gaps whilst at the same time providing a safe community.

Cinemagic has moved to deliver many events in an online format and engage with children, young people and teachers in this way. Cinemagic are fully committed to continue to provide their audience with a programme of high quality films, practical creative opportunities and film education resources.

23 x Young creatives aged 12-25 participated in the Cinemagic and Future Screens NI Filmmaking initiative 'HOME', running from July-October 2020. In light of the Covid-19 Pandemic, Cinemagic wanted to give a platform to young people to share their experiences of life spent at home during lockdown. The initiative was delivered in three phases including learning about the discipline of filmmaking from industry professionals, practical filmmaking, and film exhibition as part of the Cinemagic Online Film Festival in October.

The opportunity equipped young people with insight and knowledge about the world of film and filmmaking and it enabled participants to take what they have learned and put their skills and talent into practice, culminating in a celebratory online screening event to mark their achievements. The partnership enabled Cinemagic to inspire and educate young people through the vehicle of filmmaking. Industry professionals involved have included Jay Roewe, HBO Senior VP, Productions & Incentives, Michael Lennox, Director, Ryan Rowe, Screenwriter, Richard Harris, 1st AD and Sam Nutt, Filmmaker/Director. In addition to screening in October 2020, Cinemagic plans to screen the films at Festival events and showcases in 2021 and to continue to signpost participants to Cinemagic opportunities for further learning and experience.

Project Promo
https://youtu.be/jDdDCDK4TX0

Link to the final films produced:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGWfRdYoBvs&t=4s

"I think what benefitted me the most was the initiative to make something, motivation was what I lacked the most over lockdown so while it may seem basic I enjoyed having something to work towards. I really enjoyed all the guest speakers we had the opportunity to listen to, and appreciated their feedback on my work at the end of the project as well". James Hall, Home Film Project Participant.

"Taking part in this experience was very valuable to me as I learnt how to innovate at home as I was making a film with limited resources. I learnt more about documentary filmmaking as a whole while making my own short documentary film". Grace Hynds, Home Film Project Participant

"The Cinemagic Home project was an amazing experience. Allowing me to learn directly from industry professionals and develop my own skills and creativity by making a short film. It was amazing to be able to speak with a group of other young film enthusiasts of all different ages and skills". Rosa Scott, Home Film Project Participant

"I feel I benefitted greatly from the Cinemagic HOME project. It really pushed me to think about what filmmaking actually is and what can be done with just yourself, which I hadn't considered before. Through this project I got to make my first short film. I was given the chance to showcase my talents as a writer for the first time. Having to make this short film on my own I became camera operator and editor. Through the Cinemagic HOME project I know how to edit at a very rudimentary level; but this will still help me immensely going forward as I hope to in creating more films. Without the Cinemagic HOME project I perhaps would not have made my first short film and to have a short film now out there is a great starting point for future projects that I would like to make". Hannah McCormack, Home Film Project Participant

I benefited greatly from the opportunity to learn from industry professionals through a series of masterclasses in preparation for making our own short films. It was great to learn about their pathway into the industry and to get advice moving forward. I also learnt a lot through the actual process of making my short film. It was a great opportunity to put the advice given to us into practice and to learn how to adjust to various problems that arose, including limited equipment and increasing Covid restrictions, in order to produce as best a film as possible. The feedback provided during the final session gave me reassurance and confidence in my own abilities. Aisling Kerr, Home Film Project Participant

The HOME International project was based on the success of the original HOME project delivered in the initial lockdown. HOME International offered the same opportunity for young people from across the UK and the USA to make a short film about the impact Covid-19 has had on their lives. They were guided throughout the process with masterclasses form various industry professionals. Classes were hosted on a Sunday evening to accommodate the time differences and each young person was encouraged to ask questions and send through their scripts for them to be critiqued by Samuel Nutt. At the beginning of January 2021, we hosted an online premiere screening of the films produced. The young people did a fantastic job as they are not film makers, and this was all very new to them. The enthusiasm they had for the project was incredible and we hope to offer them further opportunities.

20 young people participated from USA. 4 films were submitted.

Following masterclasses with:
• Sam Nutt Director x 3 masterclasses
• Joan Burney- Producer
• Sean Barney - Producer (LA)
• Ryan Rowe- Scriptwriter (LA)
Both projects proved that online learning and interaction does work. Each of the young people felt they benefited so much from the masterclasses and online sessions and felt motivated and inspired to produce their own work.

• Some of the young people also came together to collaborate which was fantastic as they had not met in person but only online.

• We were incredibly impressed with the work, creativity and effort each of the young people had put into their films and their stories were exceptionally innovative, creative and inspiring. The young people also felt they learnt new skills and were forced to think of new ways to do things.

• The learnings and outcomes for both these projects were fantastic and something we would like to build upon.

• As a direct result of participating in the online masterclasses some young people went on to make their first short film, which is an incredible achievement.

• As a result of being involved this project, 6 young people have gone on to apply for other Cinemagic projects and are collaborating in film making
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://cinemagic.org.uk/opportunity-for-teenagers-to-produce-two-short-films-for-new-cinemagic-home...
 
Description First Ever Creative Industries Policy Round Table Chaired by the Chair of the Assembly Economy Committee 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact 100 policy makers, academics and representatives of the Creative Industries came together to consider the future development of creative industry policy in the context of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The first ever policy roundtable held on 2nd of July 2020chaired by Dr Caoimhe Archibald MLA and Chair of the NI Assembly Economy Committee was attended by 70 representatives of the Creative Industries extending across Screen, VR, AR, new and emerging technology, theatre, dance, art and craft. The Chair of the Economy Committee, Dr Caoimhe Archibald opened the event noting the timeliness of the round table on the Creative Industries within the context of the ongoing Covid-19 Crisis, but also in the context of the development of a strategy for Economic Recovery. The Chair pointed towards the need to look ahead and to consider and work for the future we want for both the creative and regional economy. The Chair referred to the strength of the creative economy pre-covid and the potential for the creative industries to act as a hotbed for innovation with fast developing technologies which apply the creative approach to some of our most pressing societal challenges including Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Rendering, Med Tech, Pain, Movement, Tourism, Inclusion, Conflict Transformation and Smart Cities. The Chair noted the role of Future Screens NI and partners in supporting the success of the region and continuing to stimulate recovery during the crisis.

Professor Paul Moore Director of Future Screens NI noted the publication of the UK Research and Development Road Map which has highlighted the role of the Creative Cluster Programme in transforming the extent and quality of interactions between leading research-intensive universities and creative businesses, bringing together world-class research talent from across the UK in a first-of-its-kind R&D investment. A key focus of Future Screens NI is to develop the creative industries to become the new heavy industries within the NI context. Building on the opportunities for growth and economic return.

Professor Moore explained that the Creative Industries have experienced rapid expansion and form an essential aspect of the local economy Gross Value Added (GVA) for the creative industries was £1,088 million in 2017, representing 2.7% of Northern Ireland's total GVA. In absolute terms, GVA for the creative industries increased by 8% between 2016 and 2017 (£1,008 million to £1,088 million), compared to a 5% increase for total GVA. Overall, GVA for the creative industries has generally increased over the trend period from 2010 to 2017. There are currently 25,000 jobs within the local creative economy. Since it's inception Future Screens NI have invested Future Screens NI have invested £5.1mn in the local creative economy. £3.9mn of which is private investment and £1.3mn of which has been invested by Future Screens NI. This investment has stimulated more than 90 live R&D projects and created 179 high level jobs operating at the forefront of innovation both locally and globally.

The recent Covid-19 will have generated significant challenges and opportunities for the local creative economy. Oxford Economics have predicted a significant downturn for the Creative Industries in the context of the recent ongoing crisis predicting a UK wide GVA shortfall of £29bn and are predicting significant job losses. It is essential that local creative industries continue to advance and thrive and that positive examples of resilience in the context of Covid-19 are harvested and lessons for future challenges are identified. Professor Moore raised the point that it is essential the challenges facing theatre, public venues, the film and tv industry and freelance workers are fulling examined. He also noted that the need to identify the challenges and opportunities which are emerging for those working within animation, gaming and new, immersive and emerging technology.

Future Screens NI have acted pro-actively within the NI context to identify and resolve challenges presented at the initial stages of the Covid-19 crisis including investing in 32 projects addressing the challenges of Covid-19 and providing financial support to free-lancers. The region has generated significant innovation in the context of Covid-19 in the areas or connectivity, education, community building, and innovation in med- As the region transitions from lock down it is essential that recovery is stimulated and maintained. The Creative Industries will play an essential role in both the recovery and the economic and digital transformation of the region.

Professor Moore highlighted that it is essential that the Executive recognise the significance of the creative industries and ensure that the sector is front and centre within the formation and implementation of Economic Strategies, Economic Recovery Plans particularly in the context of Covid-19 and that the strength and credibility of the Creative Industries informs Economic Policy Making.Overall the Executive, the Assembly and industry working must work in partnership to put creative industries at the heart of the growth agenda, recognising the importance of the growth sector to the regional economy, ensuring a business, regulatory and fiscal (while recognising local fiscal limitations) environment that encourages the creation of, investment in and commercialisation of Intellectual Property (IP) assets, to creative businesses can start up, succeed and grow. Essential to this is ensuring that the creative industries are supported at all levels of government and across all departments particularly the Department of the Economy. The sector has a significant role in delivering the economic dividend from the transition from conflict.

Professor Cathy Craig provided a presentation on the innovative research and development programme which is currently being advanced by INCISIV in the area of Action Intelligence, brain function and neural fitness. The modular platform developed by INCISIV extends through elite fitness, neural fitness, health and brain function employing VR Environment and sensors, analytics engine and advanced performance insights which can be employed to measure and understand the impacts of concussion.

https://incisiv.tech/

Professor Craig noted that there is an opportunity post COVID-19 to capitalise on the power of immersive technologies to change the ways in which events are experienced and content consumed (e.g. sports, theatre, live music) but the ways in which children are educated and how adults learn. The last 4 months has stimulated a complete rethink regarding the use of technology to support the ways in which we as a society live, work and play. This should be capitalised upon and harnessed. Immersive technologies are an enabler - but content will always be 'King' or 'Queen'. For example, engagement with telephones and tablets is content driven. It is what is watched upon them or experienced using them that drives their utility. It is essential that NI builds capacity in terms of helping and supporting those who wish to create new types of digital content that will exploit the power of immersive technologies. Whilst The Digital Catapult exists it is currently not in a position to support and develop the technical expertise required in order to ensure that immersive technologies are utilised to their full capacity. For example the Digital Catapult is not currently in a position to drive content creation. Initiatives such as The Pixel Mill which is a joint project between NI Screen and Future Screens NI is an essential incubator which is driving forward gaming technology but It is crucial that there is a greater understanding or and investment in immersive technology applications beyond gaming. Many of the activities stimulated by Future Screens NI are addressing this challenge but a more formal intervention from Government would be welcome.

Dr Hyojung Sun, Research Fellow in the Creative Industries at Ulster University provided a presentation (attached) on the contribution of the Creative Industries to the Economy. Dr Sun emphasised the contribution of the UK music industry which contributed £5.2bn to the UK economy in 2018. Dr Sun highlighted the increased demand for creative content during the ongoing Covid-19 crisis and highlighted the loss of earnings for creatives particularly musicians. Dr Sun referred to the potential for significant job losses within the creative industries as a result of the crisis.

Read Dr.Sun's presentation here

Overall it was noted that it is essential that the Covid-19 does not slow the regional growth of the creative industries.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.futurescreens.org/news/2020/7/27/future-screens-ni-hold-first-ever-creative-industries-r...
 
Description Future Screens NI - Twitter 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Social Media channels are extremely important for any public facing organisation in the modern day, as such Future Screens NI have put a big focus on making sure that we have high engagement on our Twitter. The average amount of impressions Future Screens gets in a 90 days period is 96,000, with around 3% of these engagements results in interactions with our posts in the form of link clicks, retweets and likes. As of 2020 we are now up by 63.3% on all twitter impressions and 12% on profile visits which cause lead generation and click through to our website. This was in part due raising our public profile but also because wer took particular care over the structure of our posts and how we engage with our community at a wider level. Finally as we gain a bigger public profile it has been shown that Future Screens Twitter is gaining an average of 60 new followers per month which are gained entirely through organic traction, this has proven to be great for our social media as these users tend to interact with us more on the platform.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019,2020
URL https://twitter.com/futurescreensni
 
Description Future Screens NI - Website 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact The creation of a website for Future Screens NI was an essential task that would give Future Screens NI a strong presence online and acts as a digital resource to access our funding applications as well as a place to inform the users of development within the Creative Industries in Northern Ireland.

This website gained over 12,000 unique visitors since its creation and has generated a significant boost to the number of Expression of Interest forms being submitted to Future Screens NI resulting in over 15 funded projects from the open call funding. In addition to this it also created a large amount of applications for our other funding streams including the Future Fellowship.

Engagement on the site is continuing to grow month to month thanks to a UX overhaul on the site making it more easy to navigate for users and a full restructure and analysis of the SEO on the site which has created a vast improvement on the hits the site is getting, all of which will promote an even greater level of interest being generated on all aspects of our engagement
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019,2020
URL https://www.futurescreens.org/
 
Description Future Screens NI Creative Industries Partnership Launch 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Future Screens NI is a cross sector creative partnership, Future Screens NI - a collaboration between Ulster University, Queen's University and local industry partners - announced a £13m investment to secure the future of the creative industries in Northern Ireland on the 9th of September 2018.
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.
The project was launched at 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.
The Vice Chancellors of both Universities attended. Alongside University staff, undergraduate and postgraduate students, representatives of the local creative industries, alumni of both institutions and members of the public.
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."
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."
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.

This event raised awareness of the Future Screens NI cluster and gained significant media pick. The event also assisted the project to develop the much needed infrastructure which is core to the projects current success. The event stimulated engagement in our future activities as is emphasised through our current engagement with 100 local SMEs and more than 20 industrial partners.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://daro.qub.ac.uk/Future-Screens-NI
 
Description Future Screens NI Host Northern Ireland Assembly STEM APG at Ormeau Baths Innovation Hub 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Future Screens NI hosted the STEM APG at Ormeau Baths Innovation Hub on the 10th of February 2020. The purpose of the event was to emphasise the important role that the Creative Industries play within Science Technology Engineering and Maths. STEM is used as short hand to represent science, technology, engineering and maths. The term "STEAM" has been devised and used to represent STEM plus the arts - humanities, language arts, dance, drama, music, visual arts, design and new media. Understanding science and mathematics knowledge and practices, as well as technological and engineering practices, has become a priority for educational programs across the world (Kelley & Knowles, 2016) . The policy framework within the UK promotes science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) integration both in and out of schools (STEM Learning, 2018) . Within the Northern Ireland Context the Policy Framework is laid out within Success Through STEM (Department for the Economy, 2011) which was developed in response to the STEM Review in 2009 (Department and Education and Department for Employment and Learning, (2009) . It is noted in the STEM Strategy, that better linkages with local companies, particularly SMEs and micro businesses, will facilitate a more coordinated approach to articulating local demand, improving sector attractiveness, highlighting available opportunities, continuous professional development and careers advice and guidance. Engaging with these companies is the single biggest challenge in taking the STEM Strategy forward (Department for the Economy 2011) . It is Future Screen's NI's position that the challenges facing the STEM community reconcile with the STEAM community. Future Screens NI has developed the much needed infrastructure through which to engage Universities, Industry, SMEs and microbusinesses in the implementation of actions required within the STEM Strategy to address challenges associated with the growth the economy through capacity development.
The STEM APG exists to bring together Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly and others with an interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in Northern Ireland with the aim of raising awareness among MLAs of important developments in STEM, both technological and educational and how policy issues impact upon these areas. The APG hold focussed meetings, with debates opened by guest speakers who are active in the fields of interest. Future Screens NI joined the APG to ensure that the voice of the creative industries was heard in the context of technological and educational matters. The integration of STEM into STEAM is an approach to preparing a quality STEAM workforce and driving forward the change required in order to develop a strong technology-based society built upon the premise of integrating science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics in education. STEAM places an emphasis on arts (fine arts, language arts, liberal arts, and physical arts, alongside developments within the creative industries at the interface between creativity and technology) as emphasis of both the need to, and benefits of integration. It has been influenced by the social discourse on education for creativity and the growing implementation of new and emerging technologies within the creative industries .
STEAM also provides an opportunity to address challenges associated with engaging with STEM subjects through the effective engagement of integration with the arts, creativity and creative technologies . The overall intention is drive forward innovation through the integration of activities as part of the transition towards a post-disciplinary world.
Future Screens NI hosted the STEM APG in the 10th of February 2020. The meeting was attended by 20 representatives of the STEM community and 20 representatives of the Creative Industries. The average attendance at regular APG meeting is 12. The Director and Co-Director provided a presentation to the group regarding Future Screens NI and the level of investment in the local Creative Industries. The presentation emphasised the following points:
Future Screens NI has located a Creative Industries Innovation Hub within Ormeau Baths Innovation Hub. In the context of Northern Ireland, the creative industries are more than just another key economic sector, generating, according to DCMS figures, £1.01 billion in gross added value of the NI economy, and employing 2.9% of the entire NI workforce. For a region emerging from a period of profound conflict, and social and cultural division and dysfunction, the creative industries sector has continued to offer an alternative and successful paradigm, a new model for cultural expression, personal growth, and economic attainment. Ormeau Baths provides a perfectly appointed space through which to develop and build the Future Screens NI Creative Cluster based upon these objectives.
The cluster of organisations involved in Future Screens NI may be defined as:
(a) audiovisual-led, complemented by the strength of the digital sector and the impact of technology in other more traditional sectors, eg. in tourism, heritage, textiles and crafts;
(b) operating across NI as a region, driven by the Belfast travel-to-work-area (add ref to NESTA) but with a region-wide remit linking, in particular, to the North West of the province;
c) a spatially defined multi-industry cluster that is distinctive within the UK, shaped by the complexity of cultural space in the aftermath of 20th-century conflict, a plurality of commercial and cultural relationships including across the border with the Republic of Ireland, the role of economic development bodies such as Invest NI and Catalyst Inc., and the significant investment of the HEIs and FE colleges in the creative industries;
d) comprising emerging animation, games and immersive technologies industries, which although small by international standards, is one of the fastest growing sectors of the NI economy. The overarching aim of Future Screens NI is to develop a new understanding of the role the creative industries can play in advancing the NI economy both in terms of financial growth and the creation of new employment opportunities. It will do this by researching new technologies and opportunities, developing appropriate educational and training models, placing NI creative businesses in front of international markets, and working with government and other key agencies to ensure sustained growth.
Future Screens NI have developed a creative cluster comprising 20 Lead industry partners including: RTÉ, NI Screen, BBC, BCC, Digital Catapult, Invest NI, Innovate UK, Tourism NI, Retinize, Humain, The Lyric Theatre, and 100 SMEs at the forefront of new immersive and emerging technologies including Alt Animation, Italic Pig Ltd, Taunt Ltd, Sentireal, Sixteen South, Incisiv, PreCog, NEON and JadeBlok alongside significant global partners including the World Building Institute, Experimental Design, Disney, Warner Media, Industrial Light and Magic, HBO and The Romeros.
• 25 live R&D projects in gaming, med-tech, immersion, animation, mental health and wellbeing, and pain relief which are at the forefront of R&I within new and emerging technologies
• Future Screens NI and Ormeau Baths have hosted over 20 R&D lead events attended by more than 5,000 creative industry representatives and academics
• Established the regular Future Tuesdays Series which takes place on the second Tuesday of every month and is attended by an average of 60 representative
• 22 members of academic staff who are leaders in their field working collaboratively with the industry attended by more than 4,000 Creative industries reps and showcasing 30 local R&D projects
• 4 PhD students undertaking Future Focused research in Cinematics, Design Thinking and Leadership.
• Built a global partnership involving the World Building Institute, Experimental Design, Disney, Warner Media, Industrial Light and Magic, HBO and The Romeros.
• Developed the Pixel Mill which is an R&D led Gaming and Innovation Hub which is home to 18 businesses and provides accommodation, mentoring, expertise and leadership development. Including building an R&D led network.
• Created 79 new R&D led jobs within the creative sector in Year 1.
• Developed a bespoke R&D led Leadership programme to 100 local creative industry businesses which has resulted in the development of new business models and created 10 new R&D led jobs
• Developed the Hearios has the potential to stimulate listening skills at pre-school age
• The Lead2Grow programme which has been developed to generate new leadership models commenced in March 2019 with an initial Lead2Grow Programme which was attended by 211 participants. The programme will go live in October 2019 with 30 registered participants.
• Future Screens NI is the strongest project within the entire UK Industrial Strategy Programme. This was announced by Professor Andrew Chitty, Challenge Director - Creative Industries Clusters and Audience of the Future Programme at the AHRC Beyond Conference 2019.

Future Screens NI at Forefront of the Industrial Strategy Programme
• Future Screens NU have established the Pixel Mill, a unique R&D led Gaming Incubation Hub home to 18 businesses.
• Future Screens NI have transformed the local creative sector by providing infrastructure, creating a strong ecosystem, supporting industry to advance along the R&D funding pipeline and to access prestigious funding and mentoring opportunities from Innovate UK and Industrial Light and Magic.
• Future Screens NI and Eagle Labs hosted the NI Assembly STEM All-Party Group in order to ensure that the local STEM ecosystem and Political Structures understand the important role of the Creative Industries in the generation and application of new and emerging technologies.
• Enhancement and expansion of R&D capacity, knowledge and skills of CI businesses (micro and SMEs) and their owner/managers. The embedding of new knowledge and core technical/business enterprise skills will bring an in-depth understanding of the commercial reality of doing business in CI in a way that will foster collaboration and growth resulting in improved productivity and efficiency at an individual firm level and, in turn across sub-sectors.
• Commercialisation and exploitation of technical/expert knowledge leading to spin out companies, as well as the creation of new processes, products and services.
• Development of the international commercial capabilities of CI business owners to aid the sector to attract R&D investment from global business.
• Increased wealth generation and economic prosperity, evident in the creation and growth of companies and jobs, and the enhancement of business revenue and innovative capacity in high performing CI sub-sectors in NI.
• Establishment of specialised physical Creative Innovation Hubs in Belfast
• Development of innovative hardware and software solutions for application in creative contexts.
• Increased productivity of individual high performing (or potential high growth) CI firms.
• Increased number of ideas driven through to successful product development and commercialisation.
• New frameworks of leadership development for the CI sector to facilitate collaboration between micro-businesses via HE, local authorities and enterprise agencies to ensure training, advice and mentoring that is fit for purpose.
• Connection of pockets of excellence across the region harnessing the opportunities afforded through the cluster.
• Placing an emphasis upon the quality and excellence of local talent within the creativity industries in the fields of animation, gaming, gaming for good, med tech, artificial intelligence and gaming.

Local Industry Leader Professor Greg Maguire presented to the group as live example of STEAM in action through his work on facial rigging and body rigging. Greg Maguire is the CEO and Co-Founder of HUMAIN. The HUMAIN team have created digital humans, fantasy creatures and digital doubles for many of the top entertainment and technology companies around the world.

https://www.humain.co.uk/#home-1

Professor Greg Maguire is actively involved in promoting a sustainable all-Ireland animation industry, through his work with Skillset, Digital Northern Ireland 2020, Matrix, Northern Ireland Screen, Invest NI, Irish Film and Television Academy and the Visual Effects Society (USA). In 2010, he formed Northern Ireland's largest animation cluster, Toody Threedy for students, researchers and industry which has enabled students to develop their practice with both local and US-based companies. In partnership with NI Screen and Skillset, Professor Maguire has developed a series of flexible learning programmes for industry which run concurrently with University taught content, ensuring content delivered is current and fit for purpose.Greg served as R&D Supervisor, Character Supervisor and Creature Supervisor at two Lucasfilm Divisions. At Lucasfilm Animation since it's formation in 2003 as a global digital animation studio and at Industrial Light & Magic on the Academy Award nominated, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Terminator Salvation and Avatar.Prior to his role at Lucasfilm, Greg was Technical Animation Supervisor on Walt Disney Feature Animation's first computer animated feature, Dinosaur. At Disney, he was responsible for creating and maintaining Dinosaur's eighty diverse creatures.

Greg provided a presentation to group which demonstrated his work in the realistic portrayal of the human face. The realistic portrayal of human face is one of the most challenging aspects of animation. As realism within computer generated lighting models increases through the use of algorithms and mathematical principles derived from real world lighting, an artist with an understanding and knowledge of lighting principles can easily generate a photographic still life. The complexity required to generate motion through animation on organic surfaces particularly the human face to express believable emotion to entertain a sophisticated audience must be able to attain the same realism. A high-level interface that can mask the complex systems required to achieve facial realism enables the animator to achieve the most appropriate performance for a character. Greg's work on facial rigging commenced during his role as Research and Development Supervisor on the Emmy Award-winning: The Clone Wars which provided an opportunity to research facial rigging within the context of the high-end episodic television (Maguire, 2010) .

According to Maguire (2010) the three main issues to be addressed in creating a facial animation system are the form of the head, its articulation and the controls presented to the animator. The form of the head must a) represent the character and b) be modeled in an appropriate way to enable articulation, i.e. the topology of the edge and vertex arrangement should naturally Llow along the areas of deformation to avoid unsightly folds giving away the polygonal nature of the object.

Although the face is primarily driven by a series of muscles, it is the outward appearance and deformations of the skin from it's neutral position towards an extreme that are interpreted as expressions. In Animating Facial Expressions (Platt and Badler, 1981), describes how to construct expressions using muscle-based facial model. Their work used the Facial Action Coding System (FACS, Ekman, Friesen, 1978) to determine the most appropriate articulations of the human face. In Stop Staring (Osipa, Sybex, 2003), Jason Osipa's describes a method of moving objects within a scene that presents a familiar interface to an animator enabling them to quickly grasp their function and editing of their timing curves.

Professor Maguire has established developed a hybrid facial rigging system which combines various facial animation techniques including joint-driven animation and facial blendshapes. Which includes techniques in cross parameterization, remeshing, interpolation, and global and local shape. This approach has generated better rigging tools to create better facial rigs with more believeability that will gain greater connection with audiences. Greg also demoed his work live to the attendees.
Participants also

The main outcomes of the engagement were:

• A greater recognition of the range of technological expertise and outcomes within the creative industries
• Stronger relationships between STEM agencies and Future Screens NI
• A commitment to greater integration between the sectors

https://vimeo.com/372602129 (Video)
https://tinyurl.com/vydpuku (images)
https://tinyurl.com/rqmkwmy (report)
https://creativeindustriesclusters.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Clusters-Booklet-Story-So-Far-FINAL-web.pdf
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZY6eQbPLGU&feature=youtu.be
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42mItwjPW8I&feature=youtu.be
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jgEYcVlpmY
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL http://aims.niassembly.gov.uk/mlas/apgdetails.aspx?&cid=546
 
Description Future Screens NI Hosted the Media Festival with Kenneth Brannagh 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Over 15000 people attended a virtual event featuring Kenneth Brannagh to bring the Creative Industries together during Covid-19. At the event Kenneth Branagh shared his skills and experiences and celebrated the achievements of the creative industries. This event was core to the regeneration of the creative industries. The session was a key to building the infrastructure for the region for the future of film making. Sir Kenneth Branagh shared practical advice for young people who are starting their careers in the creative industry. Future Screens NI Co-I Frank Delany produced and directed the session with technical support from QUB students Ryan Elliman and Samuel Robertson and staff Craig Jackson and Ben Brown, presented by Kathy Clugston and graded by Yellow Moon.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://belfastmediafestival.co.uk/
 
Description Future Screens NI Open Call Launch, Friday 5th of April 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact 110 companies representing every screen sector in NI filled the main meeting room at the Ormeau Baths, Belfast. As one senior figure from a key development body pointed out it was an astonishing turnout for 8:30 on a wet Belfast morning. The purpose of the event was to launch the funding calls for the AHRC funded Creative Clusters programme. The cluster in NI (one of nine across the UK) brings together Ulster, QUB and local industrial partners, and funding is available through this partnership to promote R&D in the screens industries, specifically games, animation, immersive technologies and film and broadcast. The cluster will also support these industries with capacity building in leadership and financial procedures while gathering key data which can be used to promote regional (and national) policy development in the area. he funding model created by the Future Screens NI Management Team and approved by the Steering Board, evolved from discussions with the industrial partners and local creative businesses. These discussions illustrated that there was a need for access to funding on a rolling basis, often small sums, but sums which could prove crucial to a company. Hence the initial approach for funding to Future Screens NI will be through an expression of interest form, a one page document which captures the key information about any proposed R&D. Future Screens NI undertakes to reply to these forms within two weeks indicating whether a company should proceed with a full application or whether more clarity is needed.
Future Screens NI will also issue Challenge calls, possibly larger amounts aimed at R&D which might advance the sector as a whole and based on trends emanating from relevant research. Prof Michael Alcorn outlined the process for application and this prompted a number of useful questions, and it was an opportunity to underline the fact that these processes may have to be adapted as they roll out and that feedback from the companies involved is central to this ongoing process.
There was significant interest also in the support schemes related to the funding, whether for fellowships whereby companies can link up with a researcher in either of the universities to develop an experimental prototype (this can be researcher into business or business employee into the university) or the writing and production design workshops which will be offered on a rolling basis.
Friday morning also saw the launch of the Future Screens NI web presence at futurescreens.organd all the relevant forms can be downloaded from the site which also has details of all the researchers attached to the cluster. It is perhaps worth mentioning that other researchers with expertise relevant to an R&D project can of course be used.
The morning finished, as all early morning events should, with breakfast, and the opportunity to speak more informally about the possibilities the Future Screens NI cluster offers. A sincere thank you to all who attended and the energy, enthusiasm and positivity present on Friday morning was an indication that this is an exciting time to be involved in the creative industries in this region.
The event created the collaborative network required for the creative cluster to be successful
• Established the mechanism for the Open Call
• Established the infrastructure for the Creative Cluster
• Encouraged more than 50 submitted EOIs to the Open Call. The establishment of 25 live R&D projects in gaming, med-tech, immersion, animation, mental health and wellbeing, and pain relief which are at the forefront of R&I within new and emerging technologies
• Together Ulster University and NI Screen have invested £1.9mn. Ulster University and NI Screen provide a unique funding stream in which £100,000 of the finance goes to the industry partner to address their R&D led challenge. This investment has generated 79 jobs.
• Working together in close partnership NI Screen have ensured that Future Screens NI is the strongest project within the entire UK Industrial Strategy Programme. This was announced by Professor Andrew Chitty, Challenge Director - Creative Industries Clusters and Audience of the Future Programme at the AHRC Beyond Conference 2019. The building of infrastructure through the awards launch has positioned Future Screens NI at Forefront of the Industrial Strategy Programme
• Future Screens NI at Forefront of the Industrial Strategy Programme
• The event formed the basis of developing the infrastructure required to develop the Future Tuesdays Series. This is a monthly seminar series which is about knowledge transfer and community building within the cluster.
• A joint investment of £365,000 in the local Creative Industries. £87,500 from Future Screens Ni and £277,500 from the Arts Council NI
• 7 large scale transformative projects across art, theatre, audience development, craft making, mixed and alternative reality and VR film making which combines the very best of talent within the creative industries, the artist community, community sector with local academic and research experts.
• 19 smaller scale projects across art, immersive technology, festivals, music technology and craft making
• Closer collaborations between the creative industries, university, the artist community and the community sector
• Increased visibility of Future Screens NI and the Digital Catapult https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ugR0XBSTyUGd75J8hrLirZppnPaHIQEk/view?usp=sharing
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.futurescreens.org/news/2019/4/12/future-screens-ni-funding-call-launch
 
Description Future Screens NI Stall At Science and Stormont 2020 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact The Creative Industries have been recognised as an important sector of the economy. The industry is dependent upon continuous evolution and innovation. The local creative industries have the potential for social and economic transformation (Lorenzen & Sapsed, 2015) . The importance of the creative industries is underscored by their role in 21st century developed economies (Nathan et al., 2015) . Thus the creative industries provide important insights into the global economy, science and technological change and processes of innovation and change. Locally the contribution to science by the creative industries is undervalued and under appreciated. Innovation in the creative industries has been described as "those creative efforts that strike the market as unusually distinctive, satisfying, and/or productive in opening new ground" (Caves, 2000, p.202) . Creativity has been defined as a process of generating something new by combining elements that already exist (Boden, 1990 ). Creativity is centred upon the capability and willingness to engage in the experimental. It is therefore built upon science endeavour. It is essential that the importance of the creative industries in driving forward science, research and innovation is fully understood and exploited during the transition to post-disciplinarity. Innovation and technological change is driven by the internal dynamics of creative industries and trends in the wider economy.
Future Screens NI held a public engagement stall at Science and Stormont in order to raise awareness of the project and emphasise the important role of the creative industries in developing new, emerging and immersive technologies. The purpose of Science and Stormont is to foster close relations with policymakers and key stakeholders, Science and Stormont is organised by the Royal Society of Chemistry, on behalf of, and in cooperation with, the Northern Ireland science and engineering community. Future Screens NI engaged with the event in order to emphasise the important role that the Creative Industries play within Science The overall intention is drive forward innovation through the integration of activities as part of the transition towards a post-disciplinary world.
• A greater recognition of the range of technological expertise and outcomes within the creative industries
• Stronger relationships between STEM agencies and Future Screens NI
• A commitment to greater integration between the sectors
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019,2020
 
Description Future Screens NI talk at Portadown College (Creative Careers Talk and Workshop) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Future Screens NI took part in a talk and workshop for the creative careers talk at Portadown College in which we engaged students on the topic of picking a career in the creative industries in a bid to raise awareness that they are a viable means of gaining employment for young people who wish to stay within the region. Approximately 100 students were in attendance for the talks which were presented by Professor Paul Moore and Lucy Baxter. Following this Lucy took a workshop on film making, which is her field of expertise, where she engaged students that were interested in pursuing a career in the creative industries.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Future Tuesday Events Series 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Future Tuesdays is a monthly events series hosted and run by Future Screens NI. At each of these events we will be focussing on a particular aspect of the industries we work with, inviting speakers to tell us about their experiences within the industry, their projects and how they think the industry will change for the better.

For our launch event we will be exploring Futures in Animation and Immersive Technology. The first event featured Alec Parkin and Dr Declan Keeney from Ulster University, and industry lead Kevin Beimers from Italic Pig, Northern Ireland's Game Studio of the Year, this included a VR demo of Italic Pig's game "The Infinite Hotel"

The second in our Future Tuesdays events series covered "Augmented Futures" and will feature a talk and demonstations from Alan Hook and Retinize.

Alan Hook is has worked as an artist, designer and maker in emerging technologies, immersion and worldbuilding for 15 years. He is currently working on a range of immersive projects, from Cinematic VR to more experimental work like Equine Eyes, a mixed reality headset that helps you 'see like a horse'. Alan is a Lecturer in Interactive Media, and Associate Head of School in Communication and Media at Ulster University and Co-Investigator at Future Screens NI

Retinize is a multi-award-winning immersive media studio, creating VR and AR experiences for clients like National Geographic, BBC, Seagate, BMW, National Museums NI etc.
Their mission is to create new and incredible immersive experiences that push the boundaries of what the viewers/users are typically expecting from similarly designed content and what the medium (VR/AR) is currently capable of. The overall goal for Retinize is to harness this newly expanding medium by using a full spectrum of available technologies to get the absolute best out of the content. To do this they use state of the art 360 video, 3D stereoscopic vision and spatial sound to truly immerse the user in breathtaking content. By doing this they believe that they will be able to get more people to fully embrace a new form of story telling that is able to instantly transport a user to an entirely new world.

For our 3rd event in the series Future Screens NI focussed upon Leaders in Innovation Scarlet George and Incisiv, which took a new tack by changing to format to an "In conversation with" interview style which was to stimulate debate and thinking about how we enter the creative industries

Scarlet George is a consultant whose key work focuses on ethical tech, gender and artificial intelligence. Scarlet has experience conducting user research interviews within Agile projects and has synthesised user research on a number of projects into usable, evidence-based case studies for effective cross-cutting analysis. Scarlet has worked on a number of projects including advising governments on procuring digital services that best suit their needs and working with UK local authorities on a Discovery into a data ethics framework. She presented at UNESCO's 2019 Mobile Learning Week in Paris and UNESCO's invitation only 2019 International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Education in Beijing.
https://tinyurl.com/uh4hbvw

INCISIV will be providing a demonstration of their ground-breaking VR sports technology. They are pioneering the development of technologies that unlock the secrets of decision-making. Their innovative platform uses powerful in-game virtual reality (VR) to precisely control what players see, and even hear, and using body-based sensors accurately measure their responses. Their scientifically validated algorithms analyse these responses and quantify their ability to make great decisions. Their expertise lies in translating deep scientific knowledge into ground-breaking techniques that measure a player's decision-making ability (AQ), identify weaknesses and ultimately help them make better decisions, so their team can win more games.

The fourth event in the series was designed to celebrate International Women's Day, the topic for this event was "Equal and Better Futures" with the double hitting line up of Women in Tech Leaders: Coral Movaselli from Girls in Tech and Award Winning Tech Trailblazer Deepa Mann-Kler CEO of Neon.

Coral is a self-defined techy problem solver specialising in equal and sustainable futures through empowerment, equality and sustainable technology. Best known for transformational transport technology and the application of AI to address climate change. Girls in Tech aims to accelerate the growth of women in tech and start ups. Coral will provide inspirational insights into how to take the lead in tech.

Deepa Mann-Kler is industry trailblazer, an expert in equality and diversity, an award winning visual artist; author; and CEO of Neon a health technology company. Working at the very nexus of Universities, Industry, and both the public third sector she is a visiting Professor In Immersive Futures at Ulster University and serves as a non-executive director across the UK. Deepa is a thought leader and TedX speaker who has driven forward developments at the intersection of creativity, technology, innovation, diversity, ethics, bias, culture, data, health and wellbeing through compelling storytelling. As an artist she has a strong focus on public art neon installations, notably Lumiere Durham 2019; London 2016 and 2013 in Derry/Londonderry UK City of Culture. Deepa authored the first report on race discrimination in Northern Ireland titled "Out Of The Shadows". Deepa will be drawing upon her vast experience in practice to show us how it is possible to change the world.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019,2020
URL https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/future-screens-ni-27750337045
 
Description Glenn Patterson - Storytelling seminars 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Storytelling seminars for Future Screens were conducted by Glenn Patterson in conjuncton with his R&D challenge.

Spring / Summer 2019; delivered six seminars for screen industry executives to over 100 professionals working in development to explain to researchers from the Seamus Heaney Centre the challenges they face with storytelling within each of their sectors.

These seminars were designed to explore the current challenges and find the future opportunities for storytelling in the Northern Ireland screen industry.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Gone 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact 'Gone' is a film project about a woman with dementia and their family carer, which will offer a working model of how scriptwriting, script development, rehearsals, filming, editing and showcasing can be developed following long-term, Covid-19 social distancing. Associated research is a) Carer Interviewees questionnaire and b) Creatives response to covid-19.

"In the current climate of social isolation, a key challenge for creatives is to develop new models for how to research, write, script edit, rehearse, shoot/edit in isolation; and, to identify and exploit the online platforms to best showcase our work.

This challenge can be best addressed by focusing on three key research questions. (I am not addressing here the access to interviewees, given telephone and/or zoom interviews are a standard research method and best practice Covid-19 protocol will be in place."

What models of collaboration will work in the online development of a new script? What models of creative process will work in an online rehearsal process? What is the best platform to disseminate online performance/product?

At the beginning of the Covid-19 lockdown, it was immediately apparent that creativesneeded to find new ways to both develop & produce new work as well as finding new platforms/audiences to showcase that work. This film project allowed my team of creatives and myself as producer/project manager/actor, to re-think how to research, write, script edit, rehearse, shoot/edit, with covid-19 protocols in place.

Script development - This was about creating an honest and open working relationship with the writer, in this case Julie Dutkiewicz, who had worked with before on a theatre script. Julie had never written a screenplay before, but she has amazing insight into characters. My application had mentioned my concern about the blunt instrument of 'email communication', and that was the case. The articulation of 'challenging' script notes to the writer, needs to be nuanced and carefully placed.

There was one day for rehearsal (13th September) face to face at the Barracks, (Kabosh rehearsal/performance space) and with protocols in place.

Darren Franklin, also a talented musician, offered the production a piano piece he had previously written for his grandfather. The writer had also wanted a song to potentially bring Rita out of an hallucination. Avoiding the use of copyright material, Julie wrote a children's rhyme that Darren also put music to.

The prepping of the film began with a zoom meeting on the 11th June.

It is surprising how quickly some creatives have responded and adapted to covid-19 and already film/tv production is current happening and with new work practices in place. For those of us who work mainly in theatre, the situation is dire because there is no date as yet for theatres in Northern Ireland to re-open. Artists lf have spent lockdown doing numerous funding applications and 3 of mine have already been turned down. The financial impact of Covid will see artists working for even less money than before and the door may be open to financial exploitation, using the pandemic as a reason for reduced fees but expecting the same numbers of work hours. This has been flagged up in numerous artist zoom meetings and on facebook and we feel very vulnerable at present. Future Screens responded so quickly to the plight of creatives during lockdown. The fast turnaround of creating this new fund and processing applications quickly, is a model that other funders should be adopting.

https://vimeo.com/467042963
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0601004/
 
Description Harper the Wonder Dog 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Harper the Wonder Dog is a partnership between West Belfast Partnership Board, Author Liz Gough, Department for Education NI, Future Screens NI, and Yellow Design.

The ongoing Covid-19 crisis and the uncertainty of lockdown has made the transition from Primary 1 to Preschool more challenging for families. The West Belfast Partnership Board, Yellow Design, Future Screens NI and others are supporting 23,576 Pre-school children and their families and across NI in their transition from Pre-School to Primary One ensuring they are supported safely at home.

Research was undertaken with 25 Nursery Schools, 19 Primary Schools and 12 Sure Start Areas which identified the following:

• The Covid-19 Crisis had shifted learning from School to Home and from physical to digital creating the necessity to deliver age appropriate key health and education messages to early years, Nursery and Foundation Stage children and parents

• Harper the Wonder Dog Could be employed digitally to deliver key messages through a virtual and digital space to the greatest possible number of young children who are currently learning at home.

• The Digital Harper the Wonder Dog Project reduced the anxiety of both children and parents regarding return to school and transition to Nursery and from Nursery to Year 1

This research has informed the development of digitally creative educational content in response to the Covid-19 crisis which is assisting children, families and communities across NI to respond to a new way of learning and teaching outside the classroom while staying at home. Harper the Wonder Dog and partners are assisting children to better understand the crisis in a safe way and by distributing accessible and age appropriate public health message. The series was developed at home by local West Belfast author Liz Gough, Award Winning Educationalist Angela Mervyn from the West Belfast Partnership Board and Future Screens NI Future Fellow and Creative Industry Trailblazer Michael McGlade of Yellow Design.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCZ9zvM1r88
 
Description Innovate UK family meetings 
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 Future Screens NI have been to a number of Innovate Uk family meetings including hosting 2 of them in 2020, these meeting have provided Future Screens NI with a very valuable contacts in industry and business which we have been able to engage in meaningful discussions around what we can do for business as well as informing indsutry of trends in the market and technical expertise and advice
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019,2020
 
Description Launch of Narrative Futures Award by Minister for Communities 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The Minister for Communities, Carál Ní Chuilín and Professor Cathy Gormley Heenan, Deputy Vice Chancellor at Ulster University launched the Future Screens NI Narrative Futures Call on Tuesday 3rd of November. Successful applicants will have access to up to £5,000 for innovations addressing the challenges of Covid-19.

Minister Ní Chuilín praised local creative industries stating that "The Creative Industries have demonstrated immense courage, resilience and creativity during the ongoing crisis in spite of the hardship that many of you have experienced. This Narrative Futures Call offers you the opportunity to access funding for much needed innovations to address the challenges of the ongoing Covid-19 Crisis.". The Minister ended her speech by wishing applicants . The Minister noted the important work of Future Screens NI in building collaborative partnership stating that" There is no doubt that Future Screens NI have played an important role in stimulating collaboration across the creative industries, arts, communities and wider sectors."

Professor Cathy Gormley Heenan thanked the creative industries for "Playing a vital success of the region providing innovation, technology, research, capability and skills that are essential to and driving economic prosperity even within times of crisis". In particular Professor Gormley Heenan recognised that " Future Screens NI together with all of you within the creative industries have provided an incredible example of both resilience and excellence during Covid-19. Each and every one of you are to be commended for your creativity, innovation and community building throughout the ongoing crisis."

Following on from this meeting and previous engagements Future Screens NI have a direct collaboration with the Minister and Department for Communities (DfC) establishing Future Screens NI as a key cultural broker within the region delivering finance, expertise, innovation which has stimulated a collaborative ecosystem positioning arts and culture at the centre of developments within new and emerging technology within the region. This partnership stimulated a partnership approach between DfC, ACNI and Future Screens that has overseen the development and implementation of innovative emergency relief programmes across the region establishing 1089 R&D projects allowing individuals to innovate and sustain during the ongoing crisis. This has had a transformational impact upon the local creative economy and the creative industries.

100 academics, public organisations and representatives of the creative industries attended the event.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.futurescreens.org/news/2020/11/10/future-screens-ni-and-special-guests-launch-the-narrat...
 
Description Launch of SEED fund with Arts Council 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Future Screens NI and the Arts Council NI have collaborated to introduce the first ever Creative Industries SEED fund. The fund was established from a Departmental Underspend which was identified during the political crisis and prior to the NI Assembly and Executive becoming functional again. The initial amount of funding secured was £240,000, to which Future Screens NI contributed a further £50,000. The Minister then contributed a further £37,500 to the fund and Future Screens NI contributed a further £37,500. This increased the total value of the fund to £365,000. Consisting of a £277,500 investment from the Arts Council Northern Ireland into the Creative Industries and an investment of £87,500 from Future Screens NI.

Future Screens NI co-hosted the launch of the creative SEED fund for local artists to get funding for their creative projects. The launch detailed the fund itself, and how to apply. Following the presentation there was a networking lunch for attendees to talk to member fo Future Screens and the Arts council about their ideas and their applications.

This event resulted in a large amount of interest in the fund and as such we recieved over 25 applications for the fund of which 7 were deemed to be succesfull

The collaborative call has resulted in:

• A joint investment of £365,000 in the local Creative Industries. £87,500 from Future Screens Ni and £277,500 from the Arts Council NI
• 7 large scale transformative projects across art, theatre, audience development, craft making, mixed and alternative reality and VR film making which combines the very best of talent within the creative industries, the artist community, community sector with local academic and research experts.
• 19 smaller scale projects across art, immersive technology, festivals, music technology and craft making
• Closer collaborations between the creative industries, university, the artist community and the community sector
• Increased visibility of Future Screens NI and the Digital Catapult
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Lead2Grow - Leadership Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Lead2Grow ran leadership workshops for local businesses after identifying a gap in the market for leadership programmes in addition to gaps in the leadership model for the creative industries at large.

3 workshops were run across 2 locations including Colraine and Derry with approximately 60 in attendance for each of the workshops that were run, those that were in attendance we highly engaged with the subject matter and reported that the leadership workshops improved their understanding of team management and leadership skills
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019,2020
 
Description Lighting & Visual Masterclass 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Online training aimed at creative professionals in the form of a website with video content, resources, downloads, PDFs & screen recorded tutorials.

The course is broken into case studies & practical projects, the case studies cover footage of production, interviews with the team, screen recordings of workflows in cinema4d, octane render, standard render, adobe creative suite & resolume arena. The course was aimed at professionals seeking to further their understanding of digital media particularly visual & lighting production. The skills taught in this course allow creatives to build 3d models of spaces, to light them appropriately and to plan effectively for a large scale visual production.

The programme was delivered to 70+ students worldwide including students in Seoul, Texas, Berlin, London, Dublin & Barcelona
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.visualspectrum.studio/learn
 
Description Output Festival Belfast 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Output Belfast is Ireland's largest music industry conference. The event will include panel discussions, music sessions, workshops and speed networking as well as keynote speeches from award-winning musicians and managers of globally recognized talent.

Future Screens NI hosted panels at output in addition to having several team members be part of different panel discussions over the course of the event, this event really helped raise awareness for Future Screens in the regional music industry and served as key outreach as we recieved some expressions of interest for funding off the back of it
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL http://www.outputbelfast.com/
 
Description Professor Andrew Chitty Director of Creative Industry Cluster Programme and Audience of the Future- Launch of Open Call 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Future Screens NI were delighted to be joined by Professor Andrew Chitty, Director of the UKRI Audience of the Future and Creative Economy Programmes for the launch of the Future Screens NI Open Call. The Call is officially open for applications of up to £20,000 for Proof of Concept Grants and up to £50,000 for Commercialisation Grants. Andrew Chitty is Challenge Director for the two Creative Industries programmes at the heart of the Creative Industries Sector Deal.

This unprecedented £120m investment in R&D across the creative sector is supported by the UK Government's Industrial Strategy and delivered by UK Research and Innovation. The £50m Audience of the Future Challenge will deliver a step change in the ability of UK creative sector to adopt and exploit immersive technologies (VR, AR and XR) through business led innovation whilst the £85m Creative Industries Clusters Programme supports nine University/Business R&D partnerships across the UK's across the UK nations and regions.

Information on the Open Calls can be found here: https://www.futurescreens.org/funding

With three decades of experience across the creative industries, Prof. Chitty's career began in television, where he focussed on the cultural impact of science and technology before founding his first company, Illumina Digital, a multi award-winning digital production company that developed transformational services for clients across the creative economy - from the National Theatre to the devolved administrations, museums and galleries to the NHS.

With Illumina he won 4 BAFTAs, including two for technical innovation and lead the company from start-up to exit to an international media group. He subsequently founded a digital health provider, taking the company to initial investment, and continues to act as a consultant and board advisor to growing businesses in the creative and healthcare sector.

Andrew is Professor of Creative Industries at Loughborough University, the Creative Economy Champion of the Arts and Humanities Research Council and a Trustee of TRC Media. He is a former Vice Chair of the IP producers' trade body PACT, a board member of Creative Skillset, and a founding director of Creative England. Andrew has also worked across policy and regulation as a ministerial advisor within DCMS and BERR (as was) and as a non-executive at OFCOM, the media and telecoms regulator. Andrew trained originally as a neuroscientist working in visual processing before being seduced into the media.

https://creativeindustriesclusters.com

https://audienceofthefuture.live

Professor Chitty will be joined by Professor Paul Moore, Director of Future Screens NI and Future Screens NI partner Kris Kelly from Enter Yes.

https://www.futurescreens.org/team

Professor Paul Moore joined the University of Ulster in 1999 and has since been active in the development of the creative arts/industries policy in the University. He was head of the School of Creative Arts and Technologies from 2008 to 2017 before serving a short period as head of the School of Communication and Media. He is now Director of Future Screens NI, the AHRC funded creative industries cluster for NI, and is a Co-Director of Ulster's Creative Industries Institute (CII). He was awarded a personal chair in 2009 becoming Professor of Creative Technologies, and was awarded a Higher Education Academy National Teaching Fellowship in 2014.

Kris Kelly is the Managing Director and Founder of Enter Yes™ (SERVICE) - (Specialising in Animation for Documentary - Visual Effects) and Rewind Play Games™ (PRODUCT) - (video games). Kris was nominated for a film BAFTA as Writer/Director - Here to Fall (2013), and Director of feature documentary - Kings of Sumava (2019).

Kris established Enter Yes™ as a visual effects service for independent film and bespoke award winning animation for documentary.

Onar is a real time ray-tracing rendering solution developed in partnership with Future Screens NI, NVIDIA and Unity.

This event has been central to the development of the Belfast Region City Deal. The event played a significant role in supporting industry to access funding for research innovation and global partnerships.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.futurescreens.org/news/2020/10/16/future-screens-ni-open-call-launch-with-andrew-chitty
 
Description