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Challenge Project Guidelines

Application and Selection Process

The application and awarding process for Challenge Projects involves two separate selection processes:

  1. Selection of 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. Once a challenge and response have been selected, a collaboration agreement will be signed by all parties before the project starts, outlining respective responsibilities and how new IP will be managed. Please note that if no suitable responses are received then we reserve the right not to select a successful response to fund.

How does Intellectual Property (IP) work for these projects?

The Challenge Holder will always retain their background IP (the assets and data they bring to the project), although some challenges may also use open data sets.

We would usually expect the Challenge Respondents to retain the IP for the new research and development that they undertake in these projects, including the right to commercialise this. However, Challenge Respondents are also required to provide a royalty-free license of this work completed under this funding (whether early working prototype or fully-fledged product) to the Challenge Holder for 3 years from completion of the challenge project.

We are happy to consider alternative IP arrangements where this is appropriate, for example where an exceptional amount of expertise or collaboration is offered by a Challenge Holder, or where there is a mutual interest in the Challenge Holder and Challenge Respondent taking an idea forward to market in close collaboration or with the data as part of the offer. Please do contact the CI team to discuss further

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Applying as a Challenge Holder

Applications for Challenge Projects will open twice a year in April and October. Challenge projects are expected to last between 3-12 months in duration and Challenge Holders may come with un-formed or semi-formed challenges to be co-designed with the Creative Informatics team, in advance of an application being made.

What Makes a Good Challenge Project?

A Challenge needs to be something that addresses a real need for your organisation that may also affect others in the Creative Industries. It could be a business challenge, a barrier to overcome to reach new audiences, a need to reimagine the audience experience, or addressing competition from other directions, etc.

As a Challenge Holder you know your own organisation, context, challenges, and pain points, so we are looking for you to identify a Challenge that could be a real gamechanger for you, where data and data driven technologies could be used to power new ideas and find a solution.

To help ensure Challenges are a suitable fit we have an application and selection process, with clear criteria. If selected, your Challenge will be published as an R&D call for the local community of creative SMEs and entrepreneurs to respond to.

The Creative Informatics team can offer a variety of workshop and “Collider” formats that can help you shape your challenge and begin conversations with potential Respondents. If you are interested in proposing a new Challenge please do get in touch with the Creative Informatics team and we will be happy to help you develop your idea and support you to prepare your application.

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Criteria for Challenge Holders

Eligibility – Challenge Holders must:

  • Be from or be proposing a Challenge with genuine impact for the Creative Industries.
  • Be based in and/or be undertaking work that has impact for the creative industries within Edinburgh and/or the Edinburgh and South East Scotland Region.
  • Be proposing a Challenge that meets the selection criteria.
  • Acknowledge that they will not receive direct funds for participation in this programme and that they will need to contribute in-kind time to support the Challenge process.
  • Provide a single named point of contact for key communications around the Challenge Project.

Selection Criteria – Challenge Project applications must:

  1. Align with one (or more) of the Creative Informatics Cluster core challenges:
    • How can Data Driven Innovation support access and engagement to new audiences and markets?
    • How can Data Driven Innovation support the development of new modalities of experience?
    • How can Data Driven Innovation unlock hidden value in archives and data sets?
    • How can Data Driven Innovation reveal new business models for the creative industries?
  2. Present an opportunity for genuine Research and Development around data and/or data driven technologies in the creative industries. This can include innovative application of more established tools, techniques, approaches or business models in new contexts (or to different sectors).
  3. Have clear economic, social or cultural impact (or all of these) for the creative industries in Edinburgh or the Edinburgh and South East Scotland Region.
  4. Be supported by a commitment from the Challenge Holder to engage with the Creative Informatics team and any successful Challenge Responders to contribute a client perspective and requirements that can help ensure the Challenge is answered appropriately.
  5. Be supported by a commitment to engage with the Creative Informatics team on monitoring, reporting, research and evaluation work around the project.
  6. Be consistent with ethical and legally compliant data practices.

Applying as a Challenge Respondent

Once challenges have been set, applications will open for Challenge Respondents. Up to £20000 is available to support successful research and development proposals that answer a Challenge. Respondents can be SME’s, teams or individuals that have the skills to answer one of the five selected challenges, using data (from the Challenger and/or from other sources) and data driven approaches and technologies.

Criteria for Challenge Respondents

Eligibility – Challenge Respondents must:

  • Be from and/or be proposing a solution with genuine impact for the Creative Industries. However, we welcome ideas that also have the potential to benefit other sectors and/or generate sustainable commercial income from being applied to other contexts.
  • Be based in and/or be undertaking work that has impact for the creative industries within Edinburgh or the Edinburgh and South East Scotland Region.
  • Be proposing a Response that meets the requirements of the Challenge and the additional selection criteria.
  • Commit to delivering to an agreed schedule that includes phased release of funds, including the requirement to provide a final report on the project.
  • Commit to providing accurate information about business income, spend on R&D, etc. as per the requirements of the application form. This includes providing accurate information regarding State Aid that is required to ensure Creative Informatics meet essential reporting and due diligence requirements.
  • Agree to respect the background IP of Creative Informatics Challenge Holders.
  • Provide a single named point of contact for key communications around the Challenge programme.

Selection Criteria – Challenges Responses must:

  1. Respond to one of the named Challenges in a Creative Informatics Challenge Projects call. (Responders – whether SMEs, teams or individuals may respond to multiple challenges.)
  2. Demonstrate that the Challenge Responder has the capabilities, or will work with partners with the capabilities, to address the Challenge in a meaningful way. Innovative and creative approaches are welcomed and encouraged.
  3. Make use of data (from the Challenge Holder and/or from other sources) and data driven approaches and technologies that represent genuinely innovative approaches.
  4. Conform to ethically appropriate and legally compliant data practices.
  5. Have the potential to be developed into a commercial/income generating product.
  6. Realistically be deliverable (as a Minimum Viable Product – MVP) within the budget and time constraints of this call.
  7. Be supported by a commitment to engage with the Challenge Holder as client and a source of domain expertise for the emerging product.
  8. Be supported by a commitment to engage with the Creative Informatics team on monitoring, reporting, research and evaluation work around the project.

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

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

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