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Digital R&D Fund: open for applications, publishes new report on digital culture

  • Date: 11 November 2013
  • Area: National
Audience enjoying an outdoor live streaming

Audience enjoying an outdoor live streaming. Credit: Elliott Franks courtesy of Royal Opera House

A partnership between Arts Council England, Nesta and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts, has published a new report presenting the findings of a survey, called Digital Culture: How arts and cultural organisations in England use technology.

In consultation with nearly 900 organisations across the arts and cultural sector in England, the results show many ways in which organisations are using digital technologies to reach new audiences, and the positive impact this is having. The survey also highlights the challenges that organisations face in realising their digital ambitions. Key findings featured in the report include:

  • almost 60% see digital as essential for preserving, archiving and operations 
  • in terms of creation and distribution of work, the picture is varied; for example 64% of visual arts organisations produce ‘born digital’ artworks (work native to and created for the digital space) compared to 22% of music companies
  • most respondents (60%) report that digital has a major impact on their ability to fulfil their mission effectively.

The report also identifies a group called the ‘cultural digirati’ – the top 10% of organisations who place the most importance on digital. Find out more about the five characteristics of this group.

Download the full report

The Native website and journal shares learning from projects who have received investment from the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts; with a growing bank of resources and articles, the full report is also now available at Native, to download and share.

The survey will be repeated in each of the next two years, allowing the funders to track the influence that the R&D Fund is having on the wider sector and enabling individual organisations to map their own development against that of their peers.

The Digital R&D Fund for the Arts: apply now

The Digital R&D Fund for the Arts is a fund to support collaboration between organisations with arts projects, technology providers, and researchers who want to use digital technology to enhance audience reach and/or develop new business models for the arts sector. The open call for expressions of interests to the fund was announced in 2012 and the final deadline for applications is Tuesday 7 January 2014.

Find out more about previous projects, watch and share the video below…