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Creative Horizon Project Guidelines

Creative Horizon Projects are £25,000 projects aimed at interdisciplinary teams of academic and industry partners. Creative Horizon projects will explore the potential of emerging technologies to create new technical and business opportunities for the creative industries. They are aimed to be high risk/high gain in nature, bringing academics and industry together with the aim of breaking new ground and establishing how technology could benefit the creative industries in the future. The findings of Creative Horizon Projects will be shared with Edinburgh’s wider creative community.

Creative Informatics expects to curate and fund 5 Creative Horizon projects in total. Each project will be awarded against a Creative Horizon call and may be offered either as a single award (of up to £25k) or may be offered as a thematic group of mini awards (with award totals specified in the call). Creative Informatics will be running events like workshops and Colliders to develop ideas, with these events bringing together invited participants as well as those who have booked through our open registration process.

Details of new Creative Horizon project opportunities are shared on the Creative Informatics website, through publicity for events, and in our regular newsletter. If you are interested in taking part in future projects please ensure you have signed up for our mailing list and/or contact the Creative Informatics team (creativeinformatics@ed.ac.uk).

Pre-Application Stage – Colliders, Workshops, Information Sessions
Creative Horizon project teams may be formed in a number of different ways, including events organised by the Creative Informatics team to bring together key academic and industry partners working in the relevant area. Participation in these Colliders, workshops, etc. is not mandatory prior to making an application however it is strongly recommended to ensure you have a thorough understanding of the Creative Horizon project scope, and an opportunity to meet/initiate development of your idea with appropriate collaborators. You are encouraged to ensure any academic or industry partners you already know you want to work with also attend these events. You do not need to have your team in place prior to attending Creative Horizon Colliders or workshops.

Application and Selection Process
Applications for Creative Horizon should be made via online application form. As teams are made of both academic and industry partners, you will find that the application form includes some questions that cover the project as a whole; a series of questions for each/the industry partner to complete; a series of questions for each/the academic partner to complete. In addition to the main form:

  • All Industry partners: will need to complete the Creative Horizon Industry Partners Business Information and State Aid Declaration Form. This is in order to monitor State Aid / State Subsidy (required under subsidy laws) and business information (required by our funders), each industry partner needs to complete a form for their own organisation/themselves.
  • All partners (Academic and Industry): will need to complete the Creative Horizon ED&I Monitoring Form. This is in order to monitor Equalities, Diversity & Inclusion and each partner organisation should complete a separate. As with all ED&I information collected by Creative Informatics, these are not used by selection panels and are held separately and securely. We report ED&I information in aggregate only.

Please note that each Creative Horizon project is supported by up to £25,000 funding and support from the Creative Informatics team. This funding is intended to cover the direct project costs of the proposal and should be clearly attributable to project activities. Unless otherwise stated in the Creative Horizon call, this funding will be awarded to a single project and, of the full £25,000 sum: £20,000 should be split between academic and non-academic partners, as appropriate; the remaining £5,000 is only available to be allocated to academic partners. You will be asked to break down the budget for your project in some detail in your application and, if successful, in reporting on the project.

As each Creative Horizon project focuses on a specific area or theme the selection panel will be formed accordingly. The panel will always include Creative Informatics researchers, the wider Creative Informatics team and appropriate industry representatives. For each Creative Horizon project additional panellists with specific interest and expertise in the relevant area will also be approached.

The panel will meet to review all proposals that are received. They will provide an outcome and feedback to all applicants. Please note that if no suitable applications are received then we reserve the right not to select a successful response to fund.
Once a Creative Horizon project has been selected, contracts and a workplan will be developed and signed off by all parties. The Creative Informatics team will also work with the applicants to confirm how new IP will be managed to ensure any appropriate agreements are in place at the outset.

Eligible Costs and Support
Creative Horizon funding is intended to cover the direct project costs of the proposal and should be clearly attributable to project activities. Once started, the successful project will have up to one year to spend funds. Eligible costs can include:

  • Staff costs (see below)
  • Employment of Research Associates
  • Developing pilot projects
  • Art or research interventions
  • Workshops, meetings, events or exhibitions
  • Resources and materials including software licences to support the research and development
  • Participant compensation
  • External partners to support your research (e.g. transcription, design work, software development).
  • Training or development necessary for the proposed project
  • Travel / dissemination activities

Staff costs from University of Edinburgh, or Edinburgh Napier University should not include institutional overheads or indirect costs, or any element that should properly be ascribed to institutional overheads. You should liaise with your relevant research office to ensure staff time is appropriately costed.

In-kind contributions are not required for these proposals, however where additional support from the project partners or other organisations is committed, please describe this in the application form.

How does Intellectual Property (IP) work for these projects?
The Creative Horizon project partners will always retain their background IP (the assets and data they bring to the project), although some Creative Horizons may also use open data sets/open source code etc.

We would usually expect the Creative Horizon project team to retain the IP for the new research and development that they undertake in these projects. We want to ensure that IP is clearly articulated at all points in the Creative Horizon Project process so that all parties understand and agree: (i) how your IP will be protected; (ii) ensuring that any R&D work funded under this project can be appropriately commercialised. We encourage applicants to discuss IP with their project partners so that there is some initial agreement on how IP will be taken forward, e.g. will IP be shared across academic and industry partners? Will IP be wholly owned and taken forward by the industry partner/s?

If you are successful in your Creative Horizon application the Creative Informatics team will work with you to ensure contracts reflect an appropriate IP approach.

Please also be aware that under the Creative Horizon Project agreements we will usually expect the IP arising from Creative Informatics funding to be made available under free license for research and teaching purposes by the academic team. The conditions of this licenses will not in any way compromise Creative Horizon project partners background IP, or commercial activity.

What Makes a Good Creative Horizon Project?
A good Creative Horizon project will be a genuine partnership between academia and industry to undertake high-risk research and development. We are looking for applications that propose interdisciplinary research that is high-risk, challenges existing theoretical and methodological paradigms and/or existing industry approaches, and has the potential to have a real positive impact for the creative industries in Edinburgh and South East Scotland.

An exceptional Creative Horizon project would explore an idea/research that, if successful, would lead to Edinburgh and South East Scotland being the only or best place in the world to do something new in the creative industries.

All Creative Horizon project teams – including both academic and industry partners in the team – should carefully consider the ethics of their work. Applications should bear in mind ethical approaches to research, abiding by host university regulations and procedures, and Creative Informatics own ethical guidelines for funded projects.

Projects will be assessed against the Creative Horizon Eligibility and Selection criteria. Please note that some individual Creative Horizon projects may have further specific criteria aligned with the focus of the relevant call. Any additional criteria will always be made clear in the call, and in the associated application forms.

Eligibility – Creative Horizon Teams must:

  • Be proposing a Creative Horizon project that meets the selection criteria. Please be aware that the Creative Horizon selection criteria applies to all projects, but there may also be additional criteria specified for individual Creative Horizon calls.
  • Include at least one academic who is employed at the University of Edinburgh or Edinburgh Napier University, and is at least an early career researcher having completed a PhD or equivalent.
  • Include at least one project partner from industry – who can represent a business, third-sector organisation or be a freelancer.
  • Be from or be proposing a Creative Horizon with genuine impact for the Creative Industries. This applies to both academic and industry partners.
  • Be based in and/or be undertaking work that has potential economic, social or cultural impact (or all of these) for the creative industries within Edinburgh and/or the Edinburgh and South East Scotland Region. This applies to both academic and industry partners.

The recipients of the funding will be required to provide a workplan at the outset of the project, and a brief report and documentation (including financial overview) at the halfway point and endpoint of the project. They may also be asked to occasionally engage with the Creative Informatics research team in informal meetings and where appropriate, recorded interviews, aimed to contribute to the broader Creative Informatics research outcomes. They will also be asked to present the work in a subsequent research symposium taking place in Edinburgh to disseminate their research.

Selection Criteria – Creative Horizon Project applications must:

  1. Demonstrate clear relevance in relation to the Creative Informatics Cluster core research themes:
    • 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. Show alignment with any additional selection criteria identified in the specific Creative Horizon call you are applying for. This will always be clear both in the call published on the Creative Informatics website, and will also be included in the associated application forms.
  3. Present an opportunity for genuine Research and Development around data and/or data driven technologies in the creative industries. We are seeking new and high risk/high gain approaches and it should therefore be clear in your application why your project is novel and how it will make compelling and high-risk use of data and technology.
  4. Have clear potential economic, social or cultural impact (or all of these) for the creative industries in Edinburgh or the Edinburgh and South East Scotland Region. Positive environmental impacts are also welcomed from all Creative Informatics projects and we encourage you to include any anticipated environmental impacts in your application. It is essential to show how the research will engage and could benefit others in the creative sector. We also welcome ideas that also have the potential to benefit other sectors and/or generate sustainable commercial income from being applied to other contexts.
  5. Demonstrate that the Creative Horizon team (including both academic and industry partners) have the appropriate knowledge and capabilities (and/or will work with/subcontract partners with the capabilities) to undertake the proposed project.
  6. Have clearly identified aims and objectives, and appropriate budgeting for the scale of the project and the split between industry and academic partners. Unless otherwise stated in the specific Creative Horizon call, the total sum you can apply for is £25,000. Of this: (up to) £20,000 can be split between academic and non-academic partners; a further (up to) £5,000 is only available to be allocated to academic partners.
  7. Commit to delivering to an agreed schedule that includes phased release of funds, including the requirement to provide a midway and final report on the project.
  8. Industry partners: 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.
  9. Be consistent with ethical and legally compliant data practices. This applies to both academic and industry partners.
  10. Agree to respect the background IP of all Creative Horizon partners in the team; all partners (industry and academic) agree to establish suitable terms for assignment and commercialisation of any foreground IP at the outset of the project, in the event that their application is successful.
  11. Provide a single named point of contact on behalf of the Creative Horizon team for key communications with the Creative Informatics team. We will also ask you to provide a named contact for each partner organisation for administrative purposes.
  12. 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 Creative Horizon Projects, or have any questions about your application, please contact the Creative Informatics team at creativeinformatics@ed.ac.uk.