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Creative Informatics Participant & Alumni Creative Tech Fund

Creative Informatics has been awarded additional funding by the Arts & Humanities Research Council (part of UK Research & Innovation) to support investment in “capital” projects (buildings and/or rent, facilities, equipment, creative technologies, and associated installation and maintenance, etc.) which support our legacy as a project and further the equality, diversity, and inclusion impact of creative data driven innovation in our region.

The Creative Informatics Participants and Alumni Creative Tech Fund is a fund to enable small scale (max £5k) capital investments in people and projects previously supported by Creative Informatics to increase the impact and ongoing legacy of their creative data driven work. We have a total of £30k funding to allocate to these projects and hope to see proposals at a range of costs, so that we can fund between 6 and 20 proposals. This call closes on Friday 10th March 2023.

We will be hosting an online discovery workshop on Tuesday 28 February at 2pm. Please come along to ask questions and discuss your application. Register via Eventbrite now.

We will only be supporting proposals with a clear equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) impact, and particularly welcome proposals from diverse members of our Creative Informatics participant and alumni community. EDI impact will be a scored criteria for this call.

In designing this fund we have been inspired by the community’s reaction and benefit from the CI-supported Edinburgh Napier University E11 Studio, where we have seen access to technical kit enabling many of you – brilliant creative SMEs and entrepreneurs – to gain hands-on skills and experience that has enabled you to secure new contracts, build new collaborations and attract new funding and/or income from products, services and experiences. E11 remains available to use – see our recent blog post for more on the facilities – but we recognise that entrepreneurs and SMEs sometimes require purchase of new equipment to explore and develop new ideas.

In this call we are looking for proposals that meet the following key criteria:

  • Ideas which will further the impact and legacy and/or financial sustainability of your work as a CI participant and/or alumni
  • Proposals which have a clear equality, diversity and inclusion impact. We are happy to discuss ideas with you to help you assess whether they are in scope or not, however the kinds of impact we are seeking would include:
    • Enabling you to reach new and more diverse audiences
    • Further development of projects/products/services which directly address diverse audiences or diversity as a topic
  • Investment that will support you directly, as a person from a diverse background or with additional needs, to further the impact of your work
  • Capital expenditure only – up to a maximum of £5k/project. Capital can include equipment, software, and/or appropriate upgrades to facilities, including installation and maintenance costs.
  • Can be invoiced promptly (by 31st March 2023), although we anticipate and expect the expenditure to have a long-term impact for you and your work. We will ask you to report on how the funding has spent and the impact it is having by the end of August 2023.

Please be aware that there will be two further open calls associated with this additional funding for inclusive capital projects, one aimed at community facilities (with a larger level of maximum funding), one aimed at providing accommodation (office/hot desking space), and your idea may be a better fit for one of these alternative calls. We are happy to support you in deciding which is/are the most appropriate route/s to apply for this funding.

We welcome any questions you may have about this call, including any additional support you may need in making your application. You can reach us through our contact page or by emailing creativeinformatics@ed.ac.uk.



Applicants must:

  • Be previous recipients of Creative Informatics support (including Creative Bridge and our five funding streams) as this work is intended to extend the impact of CI projects and participants.
  • Be working in one of the nine recognised DCMS (Department for Culture, Media & Sport) creative industries sectors (see DCMS 2001 Mapping work).
  • Be proposing a capital project with genuine equality, diversity, and inclusion impact (see criteria below).
  • 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 submitting a proposal that meets the selection criteria (see below).
  • Commit to providing accurate information about business income, spend on Research and Development (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.

Selection Criteria

Applicants are asked to submit a proposal (using this application form, which you can also preview as a PDF), by the closing date of 10th March 2023, which must:

  • Clearly articulate how they plan to use the capital investment (of up to £5k) and how it will contribute to the impact of their previous Creative Informatics work/products/services/experiences and/or pivots or extensions resulting from it.
  • Clearly articulate the equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) impact this funding will enable. This impact can be for the applicant, as a person/organisation with relevant characteristics (see FAQs for more detail); or for audiences/users, collaborators, or customers with relevant characteristics. Impact can include extending access or functionality through the purchase of new equipment or resources, or the impact may also arise from using the capital funding to purchase resources that will enable the applicant to create work with a focus on EDI topics as their subject.
  • Show a clear relevance to Creative Informatics core mission of supporting data driven innovation in the creative industries.
  • Be deliverable within a short time period – we would like successful applicants to scope their capital spend swiftly so that they can invoice us by the end of March 2023.
  • Represent good value for money – we are looking for proposals that will genuinely make a difference to how you take your work forward in a more inclusive way, or will help you to thrive as a diverse creative entrepreneur or organisation.
  • We do not want the fund to facilitate the purchase of “nice to have” technologies that will sit unused and will expect to see a clear rationale for relevance and use in your proposal.
  • Be supported by a commitment to engage with the Creative Informatics team on monitoring, reporting, research and evaluation work around the project. Reporting and payments will be mutually agreed at the outset of successful projects.
  • Comply with ethical and legally compliant data practices.
  • Include a realistic budget outlining how any funding will be used to purchase eligible capital items – which we typically expect to be creative technologies and equipment.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1) What do you mean by “diverse” & “inclusive”?
A1) We want to support projects that focus on, or are led by, those from diverse backgrounds or with diverse needs. We use “protected characteristics” as a guide for this, and are also guided by work on the creative industries around groups which are under/over represented. We are therefore looking for proposals that will either address diverse people as their focus, or which come from diverse entrepreneurs and SMEs, and are particularly looking for:

  • work reaching or led by people from less privileged backgrounds, including those from and/or living or working in lower socio-economic communities or areas (e.g. those in the lower SIMD deciles), and/or facing poverty
  • work benefitting people with disabilities and additional needs, including:
    • Neurodiverse people, including those with dyslexia, ADHD, with autistic spectrum conditions, Asperger’s syndrome, etc.
    • People with physical disabilities and mobility challenges/additional mobility or access needs
    • Visually impaired people
    • D/deaf people
    • People with different or additional needs associated with long-term health conditions, including e.g. ME/chronic fatigue conditions
    • People with mental health challenges
  • work benefitting underrepresented groups in both the creative industries and the tech/start up community including:
    • Women, non-binary people or others identifying with minority genders (gender diversity)
    • People from global majority/BAME backgrounds, people from other underrepresented communities e.g. the traveller community) (ethnic and racial diversity)
    • LGBTQI+ people and communities
    • People with significant caring responsibilities
    • Refugees and asylum seekers
    • Ex-offenders
    • Those with experience of the care system/care leavers
    • Those from less well represented age groups in creative and technology innovation contexts – young people (under 25), older people (over 60) (age diversity)
    • Support for language diversity (e.g. Gaelic-speaking communities)

This isn’t an exhaustive list so do contact us if you have any questions or want to discuss your proposal. We would also encourage you to read more about our approach to equality, diversity and inclusion in our policy and action plan, which has informed our work and this specific set of funding calls.

Q2) What can be included in a capital project of this type?
A2) For the purposes of this call “capital” includes assets for your business or practice including:

  • technology and digital equipment – including computing equipment and devices, prototyping equipment and devices, etc.
  • equipment – including accessibility equipment, fabrication equipment, etc.
  • facilities and/or relevant adaptations to buildings and facilities
  • installation and maintenance costs associated with the above (including advance payment of maintenance costs for up to 3 years, or advance rent/fees for use of facilities and equipment)
  • software purchases and licenses (including advance payment of licenses for up to 3 years)

It does not include:

  • your time or other labour costs (outwith installation/maintenance or building costs)
  • day-to-day running costs of the business
  • operational costs, including electricity

Q3) Who is this call open to and why?
A3) This call is exclusively open to previously supported Creative Informatics participants and alumni, including Creative Bridge Alumni, and funded projects from our Resident Entrepreneur, Connected Innovator, Creative Horizon and Challenge Project (Responder) streams. We want this funding to enhance the impact of existing projects, hence the limited scope.

If you have had support from us for another type of project in the past, and would like to check your eligibility, please contact us. Please also note that we will have two further open calls for capital projects opening very soon that may be a better fit for your idea or project. Further details on all of our capital projects supported under this additional funding can be found here.

Q4) Can I apply for this funding if I have already received funding from Creative Informatics?

A4) Yes, being a previous recipient of Creative Informatics funding is a requirement of this call.

Q5) If I apply to this funding call, will I be eligible to apply to the other capital calls?

A5) Yes, although each of our forthcoming calls have slightly different focuses so you may not be eligible for one or both of them. Please take a look at the criteria for the other calls as they are published, or you can contact the Creative Informatics team for more information.

Q6) What are the reporting requirements for work funded under this call?

A6) We will be asking all successful applicants to provide a report on how the funding has been spent and what impact it has had by the end of August 2023. We will provide a template for reporting (similar to reporting in our other funding strands) and would welcome news of any further updates of impacts that may occur later than August 2023

Q7) If my application is successful, who purchases the equipment/items under this funding – Creative Informatics or me/my business or organisation?

A7) If you are successful then we will ask you to invoice us for the total amount of your project. You will purchase and own the equipment purchased under this funding. We will ask you to provide details of how the funding has been spent and the impact it is having as part of your project reporting.

Q8) What is the timeline for this application process?

A8) The relevant key dates are:

  • 28th February 2023 – Workshop for potential applicants – booking details to follow.
  • 10th March 2023 – Application submission deadline (5pm) – apply here.
  • 24th March 2023 – Selection panel
  • 27th March 2023 – Notification of outcome
  • 31st March 2023 – Invoice to be provided by application to Creative Informatics (please talk to the team if this will not be possible)
  • 31st August 2023 – Deadline for project reports from successfully funded applicants.

Q9) What additional support is available for applying to this call?

A9) We are happy to work with you to ensure you can access this funding process, including providing the application form in alternative formats, or accepting applications in alternative forms. Please contact us to discuss the support you need.

If you have any further questions about this call, or the wider set of capital funding calls this spring, please email creativeinformatics@ed.ac.uk.

Q10) When creating a budget for our project should it be inclusive or exclusive of VAT?

A10) Although this funding is part of a research and development programme, how you handle VAT will depend on the status of you/your organisation. If you usually pay VAT on purchases, you should include VAT in your project budget. The maximum budget for projects is £5k and that maximum is inclusive of VAT.

More information on VAT is also available on Gov.uk VAT and businesses page.

Applications for our Creative Informatics Participant & Alumni Creative Tech Fund are now closed.

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



  • 28.02.2023
    Workshop for potential applicants
  • 10.03.2023
    Application submission deadline
  • 24.03.2023
    Selection Panel
  • 27.03.2023
    Notification of Outcome

Applications are open now and close on Friday 10th March at 5pm.

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

CI Participant & Alumni Creative Tech Fund Guidance

Apply Now


Creative Informatics has been awarded additional funding by the Arts & Humanities Research Council (part of UK Research & Innovation) to support investment in capital projects (buildings and/or rent, facilities, technology, equipment, software and maintenance, etc.) which support our legacy as a project and further the equality, diversity, and inclusion impact of creative data driven innovation in our region.

During spring 2023 we will be sharing a number of funding calls and are looking for inclusive projects that will make a real difference to diverse communities and enable new and more inclusive opportunities for creative innovation in Edinburgh and South East Scotland.

  • The Creative Informatics Participant & Alumni Creative Tech Fund – closes 10th March 2023 at 5pm.
  • The Community Creative Tech Fund, in partnership with the Creative Communities Hub project – an open call goes live on Friday 24th February 2023.
  • Inclusive Innovation Working Spaces Fund – supporting professional accommodation for creative tech and data driven start ups and SMEs in Edinburgh and South East Scotland – more details to come later this spring.


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

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