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Driving growth in the UK's creative industries

Published on Wednesday, 25th September 2013
The UK's innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board, has launched a new strategy to accelerate growth in the UK's creative industries.

The UK’s innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board, has launched a new strategy to accelerate growth in the country’s creative industries. More than £30 million of support will be made available to  businesses through a series of targeted funding calls. The sector is already a highly successful part of the UK economy, covering a wide range of activities from radio and television, through advertising and interactive media to fashion.

The Creative Industries Strategy outlines ways in which it can grow further and faster with carefully-targeted support. Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board, commented:“There are great opportunities for further growth in the creative industries sector, especially for the small businesses and start-ups who just need an opportunity to bring their ground-breaking ideas to market. This strategy is designed to help them turn their ideas into reality.”

The strategy focuses on opportunities for growth through greater use of digital technologies and design. The Strategy highlights the potential from: increased convergence – enabling content to work in different environments and devices; innovative ways of capturing value and managing transactions; as well as new uses of data and metadata. Importantly, digital technologies are making an impact across the whole economy, opening up new ways of working and value-creation.

The forthcoming series of funding competitions will encourage innovation in areas such as digital media production, engagement with local communities and services, as well as in ‘frictionless commerce’ – further development of online business. In all, more than £30 million of funding will be available to businesses.

In parallel with the Technology Strategy Board’s programme, Creative Skillset, the creative industries’ sector skills council, will be rolling out a series of training schemes aimed at developing the best skills and talent in the world within UK creative industries. Dinah Caine CBE, Chief Executive of Creative Skillset, said: “Our industries need to embrace technological advancements and innovation in order to maintain their position as world leaders. This means investment both in infrastructure and skills. We are delighted to see the Technology Strategy Board focussing support to SMEs as innovative new services and products often spring from start-ups and small companies. This programme complements our work in industry-led skills development and training in the creative sector.”

The Strategy notes the importance of collaboration with other organisations working in this field, such as the BFI, Nesta, Creative Skillset, the Arts Council, Creative England, local enterprise partnerships and others.
John Newbigin, Chair of Creative England, said: "The creative industries are a major driver of growth and employment across the country. We welcome the new strategy and investment from the Technology
Strategy Board, and look forward to working with them to help ensure that creative businesses across the regions can take full advantage of the opportunity.”

The first of the Technology Strategy Board’s funding initiatives, opening for applications on 23 September, will be a competition to support businesses working in digital media crossplatform production. Announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in this year’s Budget, this provides up to £15 million of grants for innovation in this area.
Frictionless Commerce event at Watershed 16th October