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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 3 Challenge Respondents are now open and close on Monday the 28th of September 2020. Scroll down to view all of our Round 3 Challenge Project briefs.

If you would like to meet our Round 3 Challenge Holders and discuss their challenges, sign up for our online Challenge Holder Q&A event, taking place on Wednesday 2nd of September from 10am – 12noon.

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

Previous Challenge projects have included:

Round 1: Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society; Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature; The List; New Media Scotland.

Round 2: Edinburgh International Festival; Historic Environment Scotland; John Byrne Award; Jupiter Artland.

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.


Developing a global network of Pianodrome venues


Vintage Vibes

A new platform for training volunteers remotely


Children’s Parliament

Communicating the impact of Children’s Rights through data


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


Edinburgh Science

A data-driven approach to interactive fundraising.


Round 3 applications for Challenge Respondents are now open. Applications must be submitted by 5pm on the 28th of September 2020.

Please refer to the Challenge Project Guidance before submitting your application which contains information on eligibility criteria and selection process.



  • 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.


12.04.2019ROUND #1

Applications open for the first round of Challenge Projects.

09.10.2019ROUND #2

Applications open for the second round of Challenge Projects.

14.04.2020ROUND #3

Applications open for the third round of Challenge Projects.

Featured Projects

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 Science

A data-driven approach to interactive fundraising.

Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust

Developing digital visitor experiences for Edinburgh’s Literary Quarter.


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.