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About Creative Informatics

Creative Informatics is an ambitious research and development programme based in Edinburgh, which aims to bring the city’s world-class creative industries and tech sector together. We provide funding and development opportunities to creative individuals and organisations working in Edinburgh and South East Scotland that want to develop new products, businesses and experiences using data and data-driven technology. We are are a partnership across four organisations: the University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Napier University, Codebase and Creative Edinburgh. You can find out more across the people behind Creative Informatics in our Team section. Creative Informatics is part of the Creative Industries Clusters Programme; a UK-wide initiative designed to drive innovation, growth, and sustainability in the Creative Industries, through a first-of-its-kind research and development investment of £80 million by the UK government. Creative Informatics is one of nine Creative Industries Clusters around the UK. The Clusters Programme is managed by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) as part of the Industrial Strategy. Creative Informatics is also funded by, and part of, the Data Driven Innovation initiative of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal. We also benefit from additional further funding from the Scottish Funding Council.


Creative Informatics is formally governed through our:
  • Directorate - bringing together the programme directors and key stakeholders from across the Creative Informatics partnership. The Directorate oversees the delivery of the partnership and its objectives. The Directorate meets monthly and its members are shown in our Team section.
  • Steering Board - bringing together external stakeholders representing significant expertise across the creative industries, cultural organisations and technology. The Steering Board steers the Directorate, provides expert strategic guidance and helps ensure accountability of the programme. The Steering board meets on a quarterly basis.
  • Partnership Forum - bringing together stakeholders from across the Creative Informatics community, with meetings open to all to attend. The Partnership Forum provides feedback on the programme and helps us to ensure that the trajectory and development of Creative Informatics is in line with the expectations and needs of the cluster. Feedback and recommendations from Partnership Forums feed directly into the development and delivery of Creative Informatics, our programme strands and our support processes. The Partnership Forum meetings take place every six months and our advertised in our Events section, and through the Creative Informatics Newsletter (sign up here).

Our Values

We believe in being open and transparent in our practices and usually publish our guidance, approaches, and research openly and under open license so that it is available for others to see and build upon. As a programme focused on Data Driven Innovation we are extremely aware of the ethical and equalities challenges that data driven methodologies can present and we therefore publish clear ethical guidance and require all funded projects to include a completed ethics checklist as part of the contract process. You can view our key guidance documents here:

Who are we funding?

Creative Informatics funding streams are open to individuals and organisations working in the creative industries in Edinburgh and South East Scotland. The programme follows the definition of creative industries set by the UK Governments’ Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, which means anyone working or studying in the following nine sectors can apply for Creative Informatics funding opportunities:
  • Advertising & Marketing
  • Architecture
  • Crafts
  • Design (Product, Graphic & Fashion)
  • Film, TV, Video, Radio & Photography
  • IT, Software and Computing services
  • Museums. Galleries & Libraries
  • Music, Performing & Visual Arts
  • Publishing
You can explore some of the diverse projects we support through our Community section, or sign up to our mailing list to receive our fortnightly newsletter sharing highlights from across Creative Informatics.


  • £2,31m+ Committed to Edinburgh & SE Scotland Creative Industries
  • £2,65m+ raised in further investment and funding by Creative Informatics-supported organisations
  • 3200 Engagements with local creative enterprises
  • 28 Spin Outs, Start Ups and Pivots from Creative Informatics participants
  • 114 Minimum Viable Products (MVPs)

What are we funding?

We offer a variety of funding opportunities for individuals and organisations that are looking to do inspiring work with data. Data, in the context of Creative Informatics, can mean pretty much anything. Data can be: a museum, gallery, or individual’s archive collections; an organisations business data - e.g. on customers, ticketing, previous projects; licensed or open data sets about the world - e.g. environmental data, footfall data, geographic or georeferenced data sets etc; information in texts, videos, images etc. - e.g. looking at patterns across collections of documents; a data set used as the basis for creative work – e.g. sewing patterns that visualise bird watching data. We are always happy to talk about data and help you understand what creating innovative data driven work means for you - just contact us. We fund projects across a variety of different programmes - click through to find out more, explore next application dates, guidance etc.
  • Creative Bridge is a free course for creatives in Edinburgh and the surrounding areas, run by CodeBase, which aims to demystify the tech world and its jargon, sharing the building blocks of digital product development over 10 weeks. We will support 220 Creative Bridge participants across the lifetime of the project. Read more about Creative Bridge, alumni from the programme, and forthcoming application deadlines in our Creative Bridge section. You can also hear the stories of past participants in the Creative Bridge podcast.
  • Challenge Projects enable creative and cultural organisations to bring forward challenges relating to their work that require innovative, data-driven solutions. Selected Challenges are advertised across the region to potential Challenge Responders who can then receive up to £20k to undertake research and development answering the Challenge. We will support 30 of these across the lifetime of the project. Find out about past projects and current opportunities in our Challenge Projects section.
  • Resident Entrepreneurs supports individuals or small teams that would like to develop a new product or service using data or data-driven technology. We provide funding of up to £12k to support these projects, as well as mentoring, support from Edinburgh Innovations, peer networking, further resources and support. Where possible we pair Resident Entrepreneurs with host organisations and/or other sources of expertise that support their work. We will support 72 Resident Entrepreneurs across the lifetime of the project. Read more about past projects, support packages, and upcoming application timelines in our Resident Entrepreneurs section.
  • Connected Innovators supports emerging leaders from within the creative industries who want to take time out to conduct research and development that will enable them to advance their own careers and/or business. We provide up to £10k funding as well as support and mentoring for self-defined projects. Connected Innovators is delivered by Creative Edinburgh who host regular meet ups and provide significant support for applicants and funded projects. We will support 24 Connected Innovators across the lifetime of the project. Read more about past projects and current opportunities in our Connected Innovators section.
  • Creative Horizon Projects are aimed at interdisciplinary teams of academic and industry partners. Up to £25,000 of funding is available for projects that explore the potential of emerging technologies to create new technical and business opportunities for the creative industries in Edinburgh and South East Scotland. Creative Horizon Projects are high risk/high gain in nature, bringing academics and industry together with the aim of breaking new ground and establishing how technology could benefit the creative industries in the future. We will support 5 Creative Horizon projects during the lifetime of the project. Read more about past projects and forthcoming calls or opportunities to get involved in our Creative Horizon section.


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In addition to our funding streams we run regular events, primarily through our CI Labs and CI Studios programmes. We also run an annual Creative Informatics Showcase to share highlights from work from across the Creative Informatics community and funded projects (view our 2020 and 2021 Showcase sites). We undertake substantial research and evaluation across Creative Informatics' work, including funding streams for researchers at University of Edinburgh and Edinburgh Napier University. For more on our research, our Small Research Grants and PhD Research Assistants in Data and the Creative Industries, and other research initiatives, such as Zoom Obscura, explore our Research Section. We also undertake cataloguing work to provide a high level overview of the work we fund. You can read our first publication based on this ongoing work here: Cataloguing Creative Informatics Projects - First Report (2018 - 2020).

Work to Date

You can read about our work to date in our first Annual Report, published in June 2021 and launched at our Innovation Showcase.