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Challenge Projects

New Modalities of Experience for the Creative Industries

Challenge Projects offer an opportunity for creative and cultural organisations to bring forward challenges relating to their work that require innovative, data-driven solutions.

Applications for Round 4 Challenge Holders are open now and close on Monday the 14th of December at 5pm.
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Challenge Holders

Potential applicants can come with unformed or semi-formed challenges that can be co-designed with the Creative Informatics team. Applications should respond to one of the following R&D priorities:

  • Developing access to and engagement with new audiences and markets
  • Developing new modalities of experience
  • Unlocking the value of archives and data sets
  • Exploring new business models for the creative industries

Challenge Respondents

Once challenges have been set, applications will open for Challenge Respondents. Up to £20,000 is available to support successful research and development proposals that answer the Challenge. Respondents can be SME’s, teams or individuals that have the skills to answer one of the selected challenges, using data (from the Challenge Holder and/or from other sources) and data driven approaches and technologies.

Applications for Round 4 Challenge Holders are open now and close on Monday 14th December at 5pm.

Please refer to the Challenge Project Guidance before submitting your application which contains information on eligibility criteria and selection process. If you have any questions about your application, please contact the the CI team at creativeinformatics@ed.ac.uk.

Challenge Project Guidance



  • 28.10.2020
    Call 4 Applications open
  • 14.12.2020
    Call 4 Applications Close
  • 14.01.2021
    Panel meets to select projects
  • 15.01.2021
    Applicants informed of decision

Applications for Round 3 Challenge Respondents are now closed.

If you have any questions about the selection process for Challenge Respondents please contact the Creative Informatics team.



  • 21.08.2020
    Call 3 Applications open
  • 28.09.2020
    Call 3 Applications close
  • 14.10.2020
    Panel meets to select successful applicants
  • 26.10.2020
    Applicants informed of decision


Open calls for Challenge Project applications will happen twice a year in April and October. The application and awarding process for Challenge Projects involves two separate selection processes:

  1. Selection of up to 5 appropriate challenges to take forward.
  2. Selection of an appropriate response to each selected challenge to take forward and fund.

A selection panel will be put in place for both selection processes, with Challenge Holders forming part of the panel for the second phase of selection, where responses to their challenges are reviewed.


14.04.2020ROUND #3

Applications open for the third round of Challenge Projects.

28.10.2020ROUND #4

Applications open for the fourth round of Challenge Projects.

Challenge Projects

Edinburgh Science

A data-driven approach to interactive fundraising.

Children’s Parliament

Communicating the impact of Children’s Rights through data


Developing a global network of Pianodrome venues

The Big Light

Creating added value for The Big Light and its users

National Theatre of Scotland

A new touring tool for Scotland’s theatre sector

Vintage Vibes

A new platform for training volunteers remotely

Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society

How can audience insight data and show data be used to provide new ways for attendees to navigate the Fringe programme?

Edinburgh International Festival

Virtual working spaces for festival venues

Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust

Developing digital visitor experiences for Edinburgh’s Literary Quarter.

Historic Environment Scotland

New viewpoints for Scotland’s historic sites.

John Byrne Award

Creating dynamic user ‘journeys’ that encourage civic debate.

Jupiter Artland

An interactive tool for audience engagement.

New Media Scotland

Developing a data-driven participant journey for multi-sensory cinema experiences.

The List

How can large collections of images be resized, so they look good across a range of websites, apps and print publications?


If you require any further information on the application process for Challenge Projects, or have any questions about your application, please contact the Creative Informatics team.

For updates on Challenge Projects and other areas of the Creative Informatics programme, sign up to our mailing list.