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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.

Challenge Holders

Applications for our Round 7 Challenge Projects are now closed. Our final round of Challenge Respondents will be announced in July 2022.

Potential applicants can come with unformed or semi-formed challenges that can be co-designed with our research 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

If you would like to discuss your ideas for a Challenge Holder application, contact the Creative Informatics team at creativeinformatics@ed.ac.uk.

Challenge Respondents

Up to £20,000 is available to support successful research and development proposals that answer a Challenge Project. 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 our final round of Challenge Holders are now closed.

If you have any questions about the Challenge Project process, please contact the Creative Informatics team at creativeinformatics@ed.ac.uk.


  • 14.02.2022
    Call 7 Applications open
  • 21.03.2022
    Call 7 Applications Close
  • 07.04.2022
    Panel meets to select projects
  • 08.04.2022
    Applicants informed of decision

Applications for Round 7 Challenge Respondents are open now closed.

Successful Challenge Respondents will be announced in July 2022.


  • 16.05.2022
    Call 7 Applications open
  • 22.06.2022
    Call 7 Applications close
  • 13.07.2022
    Panel meets to select successful applicants
  • 18.07.2022
    Applicants informed of decision


Open calls for Challenge Project applications will happen twice a year, usually 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.


14.02.2022 ROUND #7

Applications open for Round 7 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

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?

Drake Music Scotland

Developing the world’s first inclusive music hub.

Scottish Ensemble

Creating a new, interactive installation for the Anno project.

Scottish Opera

Creating a fun and interactive tool for Primary Schools Tour data collection.


Enabling musicians in two separate locations to participate in a unique musical dialogue.

St Giles’ Cathedral

A new visitor experience exploring the Scottish diaspora.

Leith For Ever

Developing a new platform for audience engagement.


A new approach to capturing visitor data

Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society

A new platform for Fringe reviews


Developing “swarm” software for drone light shows

Traverse Theatre

A new interactive online experience for audiences

South of Scotland Enterprise

A new platform for collecting audience feedback


Creating a VR interface for haptic design

Arts Resource Management Scotland

Developing a 3D viewing system for equipment hire

John Byrne Award

Developing a curation tool for online galleries

Fair Pley

Developing a new tool for audience feedback

Outer Spaces

Collecting feedback from accidental audiences

Edinburgh Printmakers

Developing an interactive data artwork


Enabling audiences to interact with pre-recorded cabaret videos


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.

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