By helping them extend their networks we encourage them to learn from their peers and develop new business partnerships. And by developing links with other business sectors we help creative content businesses recognise that their products and services now have value across almost every part of the UK economy, not just in entertainment. We have secured £5m from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF) to stimulate new jobs and growth in the digital and creative sectors in areas of high unemployment.
We are helping develop the Government’s ‘creative city’ vision through a joint agreement with the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) scheme and are working towards similar agreements with cities all over England, including Manchester, Leeds, Bristol, Newcastle, Sheffield and Brighton.
Information on the our Business Investment Funds, European Creative Industries Alliance ‘Cluster 2020′ project and the Creative Industries iNet can be found by clicking on the tabs at the top of the page.
Digital Fiction Factory
We have assigned £1m to invest in this pioneering partnership with Conker Media, the BBC and Channel 4 to support small and medium sized creative companies in the North of England to develop new digital fiction formats for the BBC and Channel 4.
Described by Creative England’s Director of Business Development, Jim Farmery, as “a 21st century production and development centre,” the Digital Fiction Factory is a unique creative partnership between Conker Media, the BBC, Channel 4 and Creative England, and marks one of the first creative commissioning partnerships between the two UK broadcasters.
Funding packages of between £10,000 and £150,000 will be made available to companies to develop proof-of-concepts and prototypes which may be taken on to full production by either of the partner broadcasters.
*244 businesses from the North West, Yorkshire and the North East are already part of the Digital Fiction Factory network and more information on how businesses can become part of the Digital Fiction Factory is available here http://www.digitalfictionfactory.com/
Creative England expects to release details of further investments in to the games and animation businesses within the next 3 months.
The Creative Industries iNet takes a bird’s-eye view over the complete journey a business takes converting an idea for a new product into full-blown commercial success. It maps each critical stage along that journey and provides resources to help businesses overcome related barriers which hinder their success.
This is achieved through a series of programmes and projects. These are designed to connect business people to the relevant support, expertise or help they need. The iNet programme looks at all stages of the innovation cycle – with the support programmes focused on traditional weak points, such as horizon-scanning, product development, non-exec mentoring and Investment readiness.
Through this activity, our goal is to create a catalogue of success stories, which see different creative companies realise the potential they find hard to achieve without some direct support and converting it into commercial success.
Visit creativeindustriesi.net for more information.
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Creative Industries iNet The Creative Industries iNet (Innovation Network) is a £3.2 million programme of support designed to help the South West’s creative businesses thrive and advance the area’s growing reputation as a global creative centre of excellence. Working with emerging and established companies, the iNet is developing bold products and business models, exploring new opportunities and ideas, and connecting creatives to a community of innovators across the region and around the world. The iNet is part of Solutions for Business, funded by the European Regional Development Fund and led by Creative England. www.creativeindustriesi.net
- Networking for Innovation (iNets) is a product within the government-funded Solutions for Business portfolio of business support. An iNet is a proven way of helping businesses to introduce new techniques and products, and find new markets, by giving them access to specialist information and research, and sharing knowledge and expertise. The five iNets representing key business sectors in the South West are Aerospace and Advanced Engineering, BioMedical, Creative Industries, Environmental and Microelectronics. iNets South West are supported by £13 million from the South West RDA, the European Regional Development Fund and partner investments. www.inets-sw.co.uk
- The European Regional Development Fund South West Competitiveness and Employment Programme 2007-2013 is a programme of investment from the European Union set to increase the prosperity of the region through supporting enterprise and individuals to develop ideas and plans which contribute to increased productivity and competitiveness. The total amount of investment across the seven year programme is £108,751,309.
Cluster 2020 is part of the European Creative Industries Alliance (ECIA) €100m initiative, working with cluster organisations across Europe to provide better business support for creative businesses.
**Read a definition of a cluster at the foot of this page
Creative England will work with business clusters in England, Germany & France to run trials and test ways to optimise work spaces, develop better business support services and facilitate cross-sectoral linkages.
Throughout 2013 and 2014 Creative England will run a series of practical activities [for businesses and cluster organisations] which will include:
- Access to an open data and information service.We are looking for 5-10 creative and digital businesses to participate in a data mini-lab which will be held in Birmingham and Manchester in March 2013, where they will be matched with a data expert who will help them explore data for competitive business advantage.
- Software tools that will provide information, guidance and access to existing support services; and online diagnostics to identify business growth needs.
- Working with Mosley Exchange and Manchester Metropolitan University to apply different configurations of facilities and services in incubation, co-working and start-up work space.
- Internationalisation support in terms of access to SME travel grants (up to €400) to attend key festivals and events i.e. PICNIC 2013
- A guide to productivity and business tools that will help improve the performance of creative businesses.
- Access to intelligence on key emerging business issues via a range of expert videos, research findings and guides.
This is your chance to get involved and help shape the future of creative clustering support so that it is relevant to you.
If you would like to know more, register your interest in the above activity, enquire about travel grants or even feedback your thoughts on existing business support that has worked for you, we want to hear from you.
Please contact Johanna Bolhoven on Johanna.firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 0161 281 4323.
The European Commission (DG Education and Culture) has launched a Europe-wide survey in order to investigate the financing needs and access to finance of the Creative Industries. Click here to participate.
To find out more about ECIA and other actions on better access to finance, voucher schemes, cluster excellence and collaboration, as well as the over-arching Policy Learning Platform visit: www.howtogrow.eu/ecia/cluster2020 and www.cluster2020live.eu
Follow us on Twitter: @cluster_2020 and @followECIA
Join our LinkedIn Group(s): Supporting Creative Businesses and Cluster 2020 Manchester Advisory Group
This initiative is financed under the Competitiveness & Innovation Framework Programme (CIP), which aims to encourage the competiveness of European Enterprises
** Cluster – “geographic concentrations of interconnected companies, specialized suppliers, service providers, firms in related industries, and associated institutions in particular fields that compete but also cooperate” (Porter, 1998)
 Porter, M. E. (1998) On Competition. Harvard Business Press, p.215-216
Starter For Ten
Creative England led competition Starter for Ten aimed to find the very best of South West creative businesses and support them in their quest to take an innovative new product to market within 12 months.
The competition winners were announced on 28th March following the final ‘Pitch Battle’ in Bristol where the finalists tried to convince the Starter for Ten panel of creative industry experts to invest the prize money in their idea. The ten winning pitches covered a diverse range of creative businesses from animation to apps, gaming and children’s TV – including a revolutionary approach to multi-phone data streaming and a video app for tracking and recording journeys.
The winners will receive a £10,000 catalyst investment as well as an extensive business support programme: a two-day intensive business bootcamp, workshops and ongoing consultations. Starter for Ten are profiling the 10 South West creative businesses who won and you can follow the news on the blog.
Through catalyst investments and an accompanying business support programme, Starter for Ten addressed the three key issues facing new businesses in the current economic climate such as:
- Access to funding
- Poor business planning
- Commercialisation of ideas
The programme is aimed at new companies under 2 years old .Working in partnership with industry-leaders, Starter for Ten businesses will be in the best possible position to develop a market-ready product and sell it effectively. To ensure you receive the latest updates from Creative England, sign up to the e-newsletter. Starter for Ten is a part of the Creative Industries iNet which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). To receive South West specific news and opportunities make sure you sign up to the iNet ebulletin.
Starter for Ten have been profiling the 10 South West creative businesses who won the competition on their blog.
Rumpus Animation - Steampunk Victorian explorer Bertram Fiddle was one of the more colourful characters making a pitch to the Starter for 10 judges. The World’s Second Best Victorian Explorer is the hero of an episodic point-and-click adventure created by Joe Wood and Seb Burnett of Rumpus Animation, an award-winning animation studio in Bristol.
Routeshoot - RouteShoot is a route-referenced video recording and sharing solution. Video and location data are collected simultaneously and continuously using your smartphone. Files are uploaded to the web (either directly from the phone or via our website) and you can then share your video and its route via popular social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter or privately via email.
Colinked - The four people behind the innovative new digital business are all students at Exeter University. “We are creating the ability to connect an unlimited amount of phones together and stream data to them using bluetooth. This has never been done before which we think is so cool!”
Cycles Maximus - Bath-based rickshaw company Cycles Maximus are no strangers to innovating in an unlikely marketplace. They are developing a GPS content delivery system aimed at putting location-specific advertising in front of their customers.
Creative Business Cup
Creative England is delighted to announce that it is the first UK host organisation for the Creative Business Cup which is a competition to find the world’s best creative entrepreneur.
The Creative Business Cup is open to new and established entrepreneurs from the creative industries anywhere in the world and looks for new and revolutionary business ideas with strong market potential. First prize is a fully financed acceleration programme worth $50,000, providing the winner with support from mentors and an international network of advisors.
Creative England and partners (including UK Music, Design Council, Arts Council, Crafts Council, British Council and UKIE) will announce in September which successful creative entrepreneur will be representing the UK.
The UK winner will compete against other national winners from across the world to win the global title of ‘Best Creative Entrepreneur’ at the Global Award show in Copenhagen, Denmark, from November 18th-20th 2013 during Global Entrepreneurship Week.
From the UK music business and the film industry in Bollywood to new gaming companies in Sydney, the creative industries include a wide range of companies that improves our everyday life, develops our society and creates growth. The Danish toy manufacturer LEGO, Cirque de Soleil from Canada and the Australian clothing brand Billabong all began as entrepreneurs with a revolutionary business idea stemming from the creative industries.
Creative England and Sony ran a competition in late 2012 to find a new game for the Sony Playstation Mobile, the winners, Nosebleed Interactive, were granted a £25,000 development pot to make the game, which is set in a world over-run with zombies.
The pilot fund was designed to be able to deliver a game concept and prototype including presentation, design briefs and visualisation representative of the proposed final quality. The aim is to have the game ready for full consumer trial by summer 2013.
Visit the Funding page to see what business funds we have available