£10m boost for UK's creative industries

£10m boost for UK's creative industries
Michael French

By Michael French

February 11th 2008 at 10:33AM

Developers and publishers could get a slice of government technology grant

Technology companies in the UK, including games firms, will benefit from a £10 million investment by the Technology Strategy Board designed to support innovation across the creative industries.

The government-funded board has announced it wants to support innovative R&D projects that exploit digital technology and increase the competitiveness of the UK.

£7m of the cash will "provide partial funding for high quality innovative research and development projects, which will involve businesses working collaboratively with other businesses and/or with research organisations and academic institutions".

The other £3m will only be available to smaller firms and divvied up into amounts of up to £15,000 and £50,000 to support feasibility studies of proposals and help fast-track proposed projects.

The Technology Strategy Board has already issued similar grants to other industries including electronics and pervasive computing.

Games firms aren't just the only ones eligible to benefit. The Technology Board said the funding is appropriate to a number of sectors, including: other media firms (video, film, TV, radio, music, publishing and rich media); product and fashion design; architecture and interior design; broadcast, broadband and telecommunications service providers; culture, visitor attraction, events and tourism; and advertising, design services and marketing.

Chief Executive Iain Gray explained: “The UK is recognised as a global leader across the creative industries. These now contribute over 8 per cent of the country’s GDP, while the sector is growing at twice the rate of the economy as a whole. Technology has a significant role to play not only as an enabler but also in generating completely new ways of creating, engaging and communicating. If the UK is to maintain and extend its role as the world’s creative hub, we need to continue to exploit well established technologies in new ways and develop the new and innovative technologies that will support the sector in the years to come.”

More information is available at www.technologyprogramme.org.uk