Why did we do this?
The fund, a partnership between Nesta, the Arts Council England and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), encouraged collaboration between the arts, digital technology providers and the research community in order to undertake experiments from which the wider arts sector could learn.
What did we do?
£7 million was made available for projects over the period 2012-2015 for projects up to a value of £125,000. Two new strands within the fund were introduced in 2013 to encourage applications around big data and research with funding up to £300,000. Read more about some of the case studies here.
The fund itself is now closed but you can access the free resources created as part of the programme of work from the timeline below, which includes a digital toolkit for the arts, research papers and a portal for exploring the results of the Digital Culture survey. The National Archives has also published an archive version of the website.
The Digital R&D Fund for the Arts in England followed a pilot exercise (The Digital Research & Development Fund for Arts and Culture) during 2011/12 between the Arts Council England, Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and Nesta to support arts and cultural organisations across England who wanted to work with digital technologies to:
Each of the pilot projects was selected because they would produce research and data that other arts and cultural organisations would value highly and, possibly, develop new products/services that could be used by other organisations. A key element of the fund is the partnerships between arts and cultural organisations, technology providers and researchers.
We invited Dr Paul Gerhardt, of Archives for Creativity, to work with the pilot projects to compile brief case studies of each project, and to capture the main learning points. You can read a summary of his findings here.