We’ve had a fantastic first year at Creative Informatics HQ, launching a host of funding and development opportunities to enable creative individuals and organisations to do inspiring things with data! Here’s a round up of what we’ve been up to and what we are looking forward to in 2020.
Our first call for Challenge Projects launched in April, when we invited creative and cultural organisations to pose challenges affecting their work that require a data-driven solution. We were delighted to receive applications from a diverse range of organisations working across Edinburgh, with challenges from New Media Scotland, Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, The List, Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust selected to take forward. Our second round of Challenge Projects launched in October and we’ll be announcing our new batch of Challenge Holders in the New Year!
On being selected as a Challenge Holder, Shona McCarthy, Chief Executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, said: “The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society are delighted to be involved in the first Creative Informatics Challenge Projects, collaborating with the world class talent of Edinburgh’s digital sector to drive innovation in ticketing and audience experience. This is an excellent opportunity to understand how data and technology can assist our audiences in exploring the huge diversity of work present in the Fringe Programme.”
Our Resident Entrepreneurs strand also kicked off in April with more than 40 applications received in Round 1. Our panel selected nine ambitious projects from a variety of creative companies and individuals who were awarded £12,000 of funding to develop new products or services using data and data-driven technologies. Successful applicants included STATEMENTS, an ethical search engine for fashion consumers and Delic, a progressive asset management platform for independent music companies and artists. The selection process is currently underway for Round 2 Resident Entrepreneurs.
Ana Betancourt from Resident Entrepreneurs Black Goblin Audio said: “Being part of the creative informatics programme has been crucial for the development of our first product and business, it has opened the doors to all sort of connections and networking opportunities which wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.”
Creative Bridge is an early stage accelerator programme designed and delivered by CodeBase, which aims to help creatives take their ideas from plan to pitch. This fully funded 10 week course ran three times in 2019, with up to 25 people participating in each cohort. So far, eight Minimum Viable Products have been developed by Creative Bridge participants, including a platform to develop and improve singing skills. Cohort 3 of Creative Bridge will start in January 2020.
Here’s what Creative Bridge participant Fiona Luing had to say about the course: “Creative Bridge gave me the rare opportunity to step away from the day to day running of my jewellery business for a few hours a week to think about where I would like my company to be in 5 years’ time and what I could do to make that happen.”
CI Labs and CI Studios
Over the course of 2019 we have held eight CI Labs and three CI Studios at some fantastic cultural and creative venues across Edinburgh. Our hosts have included Lava Town, the Edinburgh International Film Festival, Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop and Assembly Roxy. CI Labs have provided a meeting place for creative individuals of all disciplines to come and hear from industry figures and academics that are working with data in innovative ways, and make new Creative Informatics connections.
Our CI Studios have provided opportunities for deeper discussions around how data-driven technologies could benefit the creative industries and given participants the chance to try out some of these technologies, encouraging them to think about how a data-driven approach could enhance their own creative practice.
This is what Laura Simpson, Director of Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop had to say about hosting us earlier this year: “Hosting a CI Lab and CI Studio earlier this year was a great way for Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop to get involved in the Creative Informatics programme, bringing new people in to see what we do and learning from the other speakers. We really enjoyed collaborating on the programme and creating opportunities for artists to learn new skills and reflect on the use of data in their work.”
We’ll have another exciting programme of CI Labs and CI Studios taking place in 2020 in venues in and around Edinburgh, some of which will take place in E11, our brand new studio space at Edinburgh Napier’s Merchiston campus.
Creative Informatics Partnership Forum
In October we held our first Partnership Forum at the Old Dr Bells’ Baths in Leith. This informal event was open to anyone in Edinburgh and South East Scotland that wanted share their views on how Creative Informatics has been engaging with the creative industries so far. 40 people took the time to come along and following a quick introduction from the team, sat down at tables to feed back on the way that we have been communicating and processing our funding and development opportunities.
Behind the Scenes…
In the first year of the Creative Informatics programme we’ve enjoyed meeting and working with a fantastic range of organisations and individuals committed to providing new opportunities for the UK’s creative industries to flourish. As well as promoting the funding and development opportunities we have to offer in Edinburgh and South East Scotland, we have started to build relationships with other Creative Clusters in the UK, and where possible, signposted to additional opportunities that may be of interest to the Creative Informatics community!
We look forward to providing more opportunities for the creative industries to explore how data can be used to drive ground-breaking new products, businesses and experiences in 2020. If you have any suggestions or feedback on our programmes, we would love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org.