the Digital R&D Fund is currently open to applicants. For all of thes latest information on the fund, including programmes open to applicants and projects already benefiting from the fund, please go here. The following is archived content about the initial stages of the Digital R&D Fund, including its pilot programmes.
On 26 September we announced the eight projects selected to receive funding from the Digital R&D Fund for Arts and Culture pilot programme. The programme preceeded the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts programme which launched on 13 July 2012.
Following the launch of the £0.5 million fund in early June, 495 projects applied for a total of £28.5 million worth of funding. 18 projects were shortlisted and interviewed before eight were selected to receive funding.
You can find out more about the individual projects on our Digital R&D fund projects page.
The overwhelming response from the sector suggests that there is a high demand for digital R&D in the arts and cultural sector. NESTA have published a paper which explores the nature of the demand by reporting some descriptive analysis of the Digital R&D Fund applications:
Resources from the events
About the fund
On 7 June 2011 Arts Council England, the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) announced a £500,000 Digital R&D Fund for Arts and Culture pilot programme, for projects that harness digital technologies to connect with wider audiences and explore new ways of working.
The programme preceeded the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts programme which launched on 13 July 2012.
Arts and cultural organisations were asked to work with those with digital expertise to help them understand the potential offered by new technologies and together develop innovative project proposals for submission to this new research fund.
The call for applications followed a scoping exercise with the sector to determine the areas and themes of most importance. This exercise revealed several themes that the sector is keen to explore and proposals are sought in the following six areas: user-generated content and social media; distribution; mobile, location and games; data; resources; and education and learning.
Organisations eligible to apply to the programme included visual and performing arts organisations, cultural organisations in England including arts and cultural archives, literary organisations, museums and galleries, libraries, commercial arts and cultural organisations and creative industry businesses (where the funded activity is self-contained and has a clear benefit to the public). You can find criteria on the NESTA website.
Further information on the six key areas for proposals:
- User-generated content and social media - harnessing the power of the internet and social media to reach audiences and to give them a platform for discussion, participation and creativity
- Distribution - using digital technologies to deliver artistic and cultural experiences and content in new ways
- Mobile, location and games - developing a new generation of mobile and location-based experiences and services, including games
- Data and archives - making archives, collections and other data more widely available to other arts and cultural organisations and the general public
- Resources - using digital technologies to improve the way in which arts and cultural organisations are run, including business efficiency and income generation, and the way in which they collaborate with each other
- Education and learning - developing interactive education and learning resources for children, teachers, young people, adult learners and arts and cultural sector professionals
Research teams will initially assist project partners in refining the research and development aspects of their projects into propositions that can be tested. They will then work with the partners to extract lessons and transferable insights and provide a rich body of evidence, data and information delivering a variety of research outputs that aim to inspire and support the innovation capacity of the wider arts and culture sector.
The Digital day events held in London, Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester and Brighton shared ideas and approaches to digital technologies for the arts and cultural sectors, and presented the Digital R&D Fund for Arts and Culture within the Arts Council's wider digital strategy and activities.
Find out more about the events.