Today’s announcement of the AHRC Creative Industries R&D Partnerships and Policy and Evidence Centre (PEC) is a significant milestone in the UK’s creative industries ‘story’ and Nesta’s role in it.
For Nesta, a critical part of this story has been making the case for public support for creative industries R&D, and the AHRC’s Creative Industries Clusters Programme which is funding the R&D Partnerships and the PEC is the biggest single investment to date. This is highlighted in our creative industries R&D timeline, launched today.
The Creative Industries Sector Deal announced in March 2018 was a major development, not because of new funds announced, but because it showed that wider government – not just the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport – acknowledges that the creative industries are a legitimate priority for industrial strategy, from careers and skills to local economic development and R&D itself.
The opportunity now for the PEC that Nesta is leading is clear. A consortium of excellent research universities, rooted in the UK’s nations and regions, the PEC will provide the rigorous, independent evidence essential to inform targeted industrial policies for the sector. This will require engagement by academic research with industry, investors, educators and policymakers to an extent that is unprecedented.
If we are successful, the PEC will result in more consistent, higher quality evidence, that is more credible and that addresses the research questions that actually matter to industry and policymakers. As a result of which, we will have policies and business practices in the creative industries that are better grounded in data and evidence, and which will best position the creative industries to enjoy sustained, high growth at a time when the uncertainties in the wider economic environment are huge.
Nesta's consortium comprises the following universities: Cardiff University, London School of Economics, Newcastle University, The University of Edinburgh, The University of Manchester, The Work Foundation at Lancaster University, University of Birmingham, University of Glasgow, University of Sussex and Ulster University.