Creative Technology Network to be launched to drive digital innovation in region’s key sectors

April 13, 2018

A £6.5m project that will harness the power of innovative digital technology to boost the West of England’s creative, health and manufacturing sectors is to be launched by a consortium of universities, including Bath Spa, and arts venues.

The new Creative Technology Network will pool research and innovation expertise from the universities and industrial partners to develop cutting-edge practices, techniques and products in creative digital technologies.

The West of England is already one of Europe’s most advanced tech and creative regions with an acclaimed eco-system that spans incubators, flexible workspace, high-quality advisors and mentors, and access to finance.

Key growth sectors range from robotics and virtual reality to aerospace, media and biotech.

The three-year project Creative Technology Network is being funded by a grant from Research England, the body recently formed to encourage university research and knowledge exchange.

It is being led by UWE Bristol in partnership with Bath Spa, Plymouth, Falmouth universities and the Watershed and Kaleider media and arts centres in Bristol and Exeter respectively.

The partnership will be designed to respond to industry needs across the health and manufacturing sectors and the creative industries, driving productivity and resilience as new technology, including automation and big data, raises new challenges and opportunities for businesses.

The grant is part of Research England’s Connecting Capabilities Fund, which supports university collaboration and encourages commercialisation of products made through partnerships with industry.

The funding will kick-start the project, which begins this month. UWE pro vice-chancellor for research and business engagement Prof Martin Boddy said: “We are immensely proud to be taking the lead on this exciting project which builds on UWE Bristol’s vision to work with partners to enhance innovation across the region and nationally.

“This new network will stimulate the regional economy and will undoubtedly lead to new products and new ways of working, all thanks to shared research experience and technical expertise.”

Bath Spa director of the centre for culture and creative industries Prof Kate Pullinger added: “The creative industries – from the smallest micro-businesses to the larger players - are a hugely important asset for our region and the UK as a whole.

“This collaborative project is going to generate new opportunities that will transform how we engage with ideas and digital technology across the sector. We are delighted to be working with colleagues across the south west on a project which plays to our region's world-leading strengths.”


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