Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre

Lead Research Organisation: Newcastle University
Department Name: Newcastle University Business School


In recognition of the growing availability of data in key areas of policy, the PEC will introduce set piece UK-wide 'State of the Nation' reporting in each of four high-level priority thematic areas led by the four organisations that will make up the research consortium: 1. R&D, Innovation and Clusters (Sussex University); 2. Creative Education, Skills, Talent (Work Advance); 3. Internationalisation (Newcastle University), and 4. the Arts, Cultural & Heritage sectors (University of Sheffield) respectively. These reports will be specified in consultation with industry and policymakers, launched at regular biannual frequencies drawing on the RSA's events capacity and scheduled well in advance to facilitate planned engagement activities. We envisage the reports to include systematic tabular and chart-based sections on official and other publicly available economic and relevant social indicators as well as deep dives on issues of topical interest where more analysis is needed.

The four thematic priority areas for regular reporting are partly informed by the need to avoid duplication of work covered within existing UK centres of excellence, such as the CREATe research centre at Glasgow University which specialises in intellectual property, regulation and competition issues, and areas like public sector broadcasting (PSB) where regular reporting is already available, such as through the media and communications reports from Ofcom. However, the PEC will still conduct primary research in such areas where important gaps in the evidence base are identified.

As well as drawing on official and open data sources, the State of the Nation reports will extract insights from a new flagship longitudinal business panel that the PEC proposes to develop. This will involve collecting survey data from a panel of UK-based creative industries firms and firms in selected comparator sectors.

In addition to the analytical deep dives in the State of the Nation reports, we intend that the PEC will make important original research contributions to the evidence base including from a large, multi-disciplinary network of PEC Research Fellows recruited from UK and overseas academic and private sector institutions. Fellows will be encouraged to bid for targeted calls for (co-)commissioned research.
As well as being made aware of PEC research calls, the benefits of being a PEC Research Fellow will include: professional recognition and visibility; access to other PEC Research Fellows; the chance to shape the PEC's thematic priorities; opportunities to participate in policymaker engagement activities; opportunities to peer review PEC work, and invitations to present at PEC seminars and conferences. We will also fund a limited number of time-limited 'Small Networks' grants, focused on bringing together a group of PEC Research Fellows to interrogate a particular policy-relevant research area, promoting collaboration and knowledge sharing.

The PEC's website will also serve as a platform for excellent policy-relevant research undertaken outside of the PEC. This will take the form of blogs, podcasts and Discussion Papers. We will also use our virtual and in-person events to bring to policymakers' attention important contributions from the wider academic literature in the UK and beyond.

What differentiates the Creative Industries PEC from other policy-focused research centres is our embedded approach to knowledge exchange. That is, we embed PEC researchers and our Policy Unit personnel as much as possible in the policy planning, design and delivery processes of our key stakeholders. This embeddedness will continue to be a defining feature of our work: it will unlock the opportunity to help more researchers become more policy-literate, and to support policymakers to become more adept at using data and research evidence.


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