Symud Ymlaen - Moving Forward
The final deadline for applications to the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts in Wales passed on Friday 10 January. We had 42 applications to the second call, requesting a total of £1,777,659.80. Of these, 39 are eligible for funding. That takes the total number of applications (eligible and ineligible), including the first call to 99 in six months. As we did with the first call for submissions, we’ll post a more detailed analysis of the applications once we’ve made our final selection, as well as a summary of the lessons that we’ve learnt from the application process.
We’re now working our way through the applications that have been submitted and will inform the applicants shortlisted for interview during the week commencing 10 February 2014.
I’ve been fortunate to travel across Wales over the past six months, speaking to a wide and varied range of organisations. It’s been great to hear about the enthusiasm that people have both for the R&D fund and also digital technology; it’s clear from these conversations that there is a desire and an urgency to engage with digital technology in the arts in Wales. In some cases, this enthusiasm is backed by appropriate skills, experience and processes, in others, there are clear gaps for further development.
The one question I’ve been asked most since the deadline passed is “will there be another round of funding”? At the moment, we have no plans to issue a third call in Wales. It is likely that we will spend the remaining money that we have on new projects from the second call for submissions. It would also be remiss of us to look at a new round of funding without allowing the pilot process to run its course in Wales. We’ll look at all of the lessons learned from the project as whole, as well as those learned by our colleagues in England and Scotland, before we decide on the most appropriate course of action for Wales moving forward.
Over the next 12 months we’ll continue to work closely with the funded projects and our research consortium to start sharing the processes and lessons that emerge from their work. Hopefully the learning that we identify will help to plug some of the gaps in process and experience that we’ve seen during the selection process. We need to think more on how we best overcome the skills gaps, either through better facilitated collaboration with technology providers, or through new training and development initiatives.
We hope that even if you haven’t been successful in securing funding for your R&D project, the process has been a useful one up to this point. We’re still happy to talk to people and provide advice where we can on new digital initiatives undertaken outside of the R&D fund. We’d also be keen to hear about other digital work that you’d like to see happen in Wales, particularly where skills development is concerned. If there’s something particular that you’d like to see happen as we take the programme forward, please leave us a comment below.