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This book develops important new insights into the conditions that enable effective collaborations between arts and humanities researchers and SMEs in the creative economy. Drawing on the work of Creativeworks London, an AHRC-funded Knowledge Exchange Hub for the Creative Economy, this is an in-depth study of how co-created and collaborative research projects work on the ground and will be of immense value to all these audiences. Chapters by researchers and practitioners examine a range of collaborative research projects supported by Creativeworks London’s vouchers, which cover a large number of creative industry sectors and academic disciplines. The book identifies key learning from these projects that has wider relevance for academics, funders, policy makers, and SMEs in the creative economy. Morag Shiach is Professor of Cultural history at Queen Mary University of London, UK, where she is also Director of Creativeworks London and Vice-Principal for Humanities and Social Sciences. Her publications include Modernism, Labour and Selfhood in British Literature and Culture; Feminism and Cultural Studies; Hélène Cixous: A Politics of Writing; and Discourse on Popular Culture. Dr. Virani obtained his PhD from King’s College London, UK. He is a full time researcher for Creativeworks London research project at Queen Mary University of London, UK. His research interests include the role of knowledge in the cultural economy, artistic knowledge within locally bounded artistic communities, and new work spaces in the creative and cultural economy.




This volume of essays draws on the work and the research findings of Creativeworks London.1 Creativeworks London is a Knowledge Exchange Hub for the creative and cultural economy, whose aims are to build new and productive relationships between arts and humanities researchers and the creative economy in London, and to generate research findings that will have a major impact on that economy. Between 2012 and 2016, Creativeworks London received £4 million of funding from the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), and was thus able to develop a number of innovative funding schemes to promote collaboration between academic researchers and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Through a range of funding schemes it was able to support co-created research that addressed diverse research questions and contributed directly to the business needs of a range of companies within the creative economy in London, and led to a number of collaborative projects between creative SMEs and academics.
Morag Shiach, Tarek Virani

Cultural Policy, Collaboration and Knowledge Exchange

This chapter outlines the policy context, as well as the trajectory of thinking, regarding the essays in this volume. They all emerge from projects that were developed within and funded by Creativeworks London’s Creative Voucher scheme, which has been a central element of its research and knowledge exchange activities undertaken over the past four years (2012–2016). This scheme enabled SMEs in London’s creative sector to develop short-term, collaborative research and development activities with Creativeworks London’s academic partners and independent research organisations. The scheme was primarily designed to foster university-industry collaborations for small amounts of money, expedited and implemented in a quick and easy manner. It is a variant of “innovation voucher schemes” and follows the same trajectory and logic.
Morag Shiach, Tarek Virani

Bringing the Past into the Present: Mobilising Historical Research Through Creative and Digital Collaboration

In recent years, the transformative potential of providing targeted information and enhancing experiences through interactive interpretation delivered via mobile devices has been increasingly recognised across the arts and humanities, particularly in relation to social and cultural history, memory, heritage and identity. Furthermore, the wealth of technological research and development being undertaken clearly represents an important opportunity for collaborations between the creative digital industries and arts and humanities researchers and academics. This chapter documents one such collaboration and illustrates how these partnerships can revolutionise public engagement with research, transform dissemination and impact beyond traditional academic channels, and deliver a wealth of new knowledge, experience and skills to all those involved.
John Price

Creating Archival Value in a Changing Mediascape: The “World in a Cube” Project

A creative voucher from Creativeworks London (CWL) made possible a pioneering three-way collaboration between the social entrepreneur New Media Networks, Tate & Lyle Sugars and Birkbeck College, which points towards the potential for developing new archival resources, and understanding the multiple roles of films in twentieth-century industry.
Ian Christie, Wendy Earle, Eleni Liarou, Karen Merkel, Akim Mogaji

Consumer as Producer; Value Mechanics in Digital Transformation Design Process, Practice and Outcomes

This chapter contextualizes a research and development project funded by Creativeworks London in 2013 by focusing upon the democratization of production afforded by digital media. The advantages to undertaking practice-based academic research with a commercial partner are that the company receives support for research and development activities that they may not otherwise be able to undertake and the University can demonstrate the impact of their research expertise. This project aimed to explore the potential for interaction between high-end fashion accessory designers and their customers in the design process as part of a prototype product customization platform and the possibilities afforded by integrating “user generate content” (UGC) into the design process.
Karen Cham

Goldsmiths Digital: Research and Innovation in the Creative Economy

This chapter is about the Goldsmiths Digital project. Funding such as that offered by Creativeworks London has been vital to the success of the Goldsmiths Digital project. The initial project preceded approximately 40 further collaborations, leading to a high number of innovation outcomes, and further funded research with organisations such as Heart n Soul and many others including Google and Microsoft. Goldsmiths College as a whole has been hugely supportive of the initiative, and it is hoped that new staff will grow the business to aid income diversification, a core element of our developing academic future. However, what is unclear is precisely how the wider academic infrastructure should incentivise and reward such success in the future in terms of quality assessment and funding.
Mick Grierson

Getting Inside the Creative Voucher: The Platform-7 Experience

As with the others in this collection, this chapter explores the experience of using a creative voucher. However, here we take a different perspective by reflecting on the process rather than outcomes. In this chapter we view the voucher—and the policy of vouchers—as part of a wider process that may, or may not, engender knowledge exchange; which in turn may, or may not, be incorporated into a final product or process. The argument is that the other processes (intended and unintended) that surround (or constitute) the voucher need to be included in what we might call the “voucher experience.”
Andy Pratt, John McKiernan

Devising Bespoke Art and Design Interventions for a Dialysis Community

This project was developed through collaboration between Rachel Louis of Vital Arts and Luise Vormittag, Patricia Austin and Sonia Kneepkens of University of the Arts London, Central Saint Martins’ MA Narrative Environments Department. This chapter outlines the collaborative journey that we went through. It is structured in a way that highlights the steps and unforeseen stages of the journey; from project preparation to our conclusions and arrives at the point where we now find ourselves.
Rachel Louis, Luise Vormittag

The BeatWoven Project

Using music in the process of creating textile patterns is a practice that is enabled by recent technological advances. As music is protected under copyright law, such a process of creation might prove contestable where no authorisation from the right holder in the musical piece at issue has been obtained. As discussed in this chapter in further detail, the process at issue concerns a textile designer who is utilising another person’s work in his/her transformative creation process, while generating his/her own original creative expression. The extent to which such practice is permissible might have repercussions that go beyond the interests of the textile designer. More and more transformative uses of existing works are becoming possible due to technological advances, although various forms of transformation uses have been with us for a long time.
Noam Shemtov

At Home with Collaboration: Building and Sustaining a Successful University–Museum Partnership

There are many similarities between museums and universities. Both are places where knowledge is made and disseminated; both employ creative people who are allowed considerable freedom to generate new ideas and pursue their own projects; at the same time, both are increasingly responsive to wider public agendas and commercial imperatives which require them to think strategically about how they are distinctive and to prove their worth in the context of shifting political priorities and economic pressures. This chapter is about a partnership between a university (Queen Mary University of London) and a museum (The Geffrye Museum of the Home), located just two miles apart from one another in East London.
Alastair Owens, Eleanor John, Alison Blunt

Connections—Movements—Treasures: Unlocking the Potential of the June Givanni Pan African Cinema Archive

Collaboration has been key to a project to explore and build the potential of the June Givanni Pan African Cinema Archive (JGPACA) as a publicly available and sustainable resource. Creativeworks London funding schemes allowed for a productive partnership between June Givanni, independent curator, and Emma Sandon, academic at Birkbeck who then extended the project through two further creative collaborations with the University of the Arts, London. JGPACA was able to orchestrate a series of artistic events that showcased the archive, demonstrating its unique cultural and historical value, and to create a business plan and model for its long-term sustainability.
Emma Sandon, June Givanni

Process as Outcome: Research Across Borders

This chapter reflects on the role of the university at a time when that role is changing in a number of important ways. If there is a clearly defined boundary between academia and “industry”—something there is reason to doubt—it is one that is routinely crossed, at least in the corner of academia in which I work. Academics like me, who spend their time researching, teaching and writing about popular music and the creative economies through which its circulates, not only spend a lot of time thinking about issues associated with “the industry,” but often spend time working in industry too.
Caspar Melville

Social Art Map: Reflections on a Creative Collaboration

In this chapter Emily Druiff (Peckham Platform) and Sophie Hope (Birkbeck, University of London) respond to a set of questions about their collaborative work on the Social Art Map, supported by Creativeworks London. The pair reflect on their motives for collaborating, their experiences of the process and challenges it raised for them as a commissioner and director of an arts organization and a researcher in a university. As an example of “creative collaboration” they also explore the meaning and relevance of bridging the gap between research and practice in a political context, which promotes the “creative economy.”
Emily Druiff, Sophie Hope

Making Friends: Childhood, the Cultural Economy and Creative Collaboration Through Technology

“Making Friends” sought to explore historically informed research questions about childhood friendships and technology through hands-on electronics-based creative activities. This chapter explains how we worked with children and teachers from Stoke Newington School along with educators, policy makers, researchers and cultural industries professionals, including museum and gallery staff. The people involved came from different fields including education, outreach, curation and digital programming. The chapter reflects on the structural elements that enabled our successful collaboration and the benefits we gained from working together. It highlights the variety of collaborative activities which comprised the larger project and outlines our future plans.
Tessa Whitehouse, Emilie Giles

Outside the Voucher: Evaluating the Creative Voucher Scheme

This chapter seeks to elaborate on what one might have expected to be the straightforward task of delivering and evaluating Creativeworks London’s (CWL) Creative Voucher scheme. This chapter offers a discussion of how we implemented the creative vouchers, the products of which make up most of this volume. It also raises the question of what and how one might evaluate vouchers; something, we argue, that does not gain from a reduction to a limited set of quantitative indicators. Indeed, our reflections on the process projected us into a far more exploratory and nuanced narrative account of the vouchers; hence the chapters of this book which represent a range of different facets and experiences of the Creative Voucher scheme.
Andy Pratt, Helen Matheson-Pollock, Tarek Virani

Creative Collaborations: The Role of Networks, Power and Policy

The chapter reflects on the emergence of creative collaboration between higher education and the creative economy with particular emphasis on the role of networks, power and policy in their establishment and development. While many authors argue for the value of an organic, grassroots development of creative collaborations and networks, recently, a lot of investment and attention have been placed by policy (both higher education and economic development policy) on the value of creating and expanding a range of mechanisms of interaction and collaboration across universities and the creative economy for the benefit of participation, cultural development and the economy. The chapter explores these dynamics and their importance to future developments in this field.
Roberta Comunian


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