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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 Holders are now closed.

Our call for Challenge Responders will go live soon.

Our next call for Challenge Holders will open in autumn.

Please contact the Creative Informatics team if you would like to discuss a potential application to be either a Challenge Holder or Challenge Responder, or to hear about our future Challenge Discovery workshops.

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; Edinburgh Science (opens to Responses with Round #3 Challenges); 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.

Round 3 applications for Challenge Holders are now closed. The successful applicants will be announced later in the summer when our call for Responders will go live.

Our next call for Challenge Holders will go live in autumn 2020.


  • 14.04.2020
    Call 3 Applications open
  • 18.05.2020
    Call 3 Interim Deadline
  • 15.06.2020
    Call 3 Interim Deadline
  • 06.07.2020
    Call 3 Applications close

Round 2 applications for Challenge Respondents are now closed. If you have any questions about the selection process for Challenge Respondents please contact the Creative Informatics team.



  • 20.01.2020
    Call 2 Applications open
  • 24.02.2020
    Call 2 Applications close
  • 23.03.2020
    Panel meets to select successful applicants
  • 31.03.2020
    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.


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.