Two sizeable funds open now to the Creative Industries

1 October 2018, John Denton

Golant Media Ventures (GMV) has had a strong track record of writing and winning funding from a range of government bodies, including InnovateUK and the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN).

We understand how to ensure the scope of the project meets any fund requirements whilst helping you to shape your submission so it has a higher chance of success. As an innovation agency focused on using design management skills to develop new products and services, we partner with you to set up projects properly to ensure they are aligned to the competition goals and have clear commercial ambitions.

We are aware of two new funds that could offer our partners the opportunity to develop new and innovative ideas across the Creative Industries. Both are now open with submissions due in this November – so get in touch with us now to discuss how to take your projects forward.

The UK government’s Industrial Strategy sets out how UK businesses and organisations should embrace innovation to help in developing new products and services across a whole range of industries. As well as health, services and energy, the Government recognises the importance of the £90 billion contribution to the UK economy from the Creative Industries, including film, music, video games and architecture – which are among the largest, fastest-growing, and most exciting in the UK.

They also highlight the growing role of immersive technologies such as virtual, augmented and mixed reality which will change how we experience the world - from our entertainment and art, to how we shop and learn.

The challenge is to bring the UK’s creative businesses, researchers and technologists together so that we can create the next generation of highly-immersive, striking experiences.

Funds have been made available to support these challenges – and two funds are now open to applicants which we believe are highly relevant to the arts, culture and heritage sector.

Open grant funding competition: round 3

This recently opened competition (24 September 2018) provides innovation research and development (R&D) funding from feasibility (including market research), through to technology or prototype testing and development stages up to (but not including) commercialisation.

Project costs cannot go below £25,000 but costs over £2 million may be considered as long as they are below £3 million.

To lead a project, you must be a UK business eligible to receive state aid and meet the following guidelines:

  • be a UK-based business of any size or a research and technology organisation (RTO)
  • carry out your project in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from the UK
  • be an SME if you want to work alone
  • include an SME if you want to collaborate with others (businesses, research base and/or third sector)

All proposals must be submitted by 14 November 2018 12:00pm and demonstrate:

  • a clearly game-changing and/or disruptive innovative idea leading to new products, processes or services
  • an idea that is significantly ahead of others in the field, set for rapid commercialisation
  • a strong and deliverable business plan that addresses (and documents) market potential and needs
  • a team, business arrangement or working structure with the necessary skills and experience to run and complete the project successfully and on time
  • awareness of all the main risks the project will face (including contractor or equipment failure, recruitment delays and so on) with realistic management, mitigation and impact minimisation plans for each
  • sound, practical financial plans and timelines
  • good value for money which will always be a consideration in Innovate UK funding decisions
  • a clear, evidence-based plan to deliver significant economic impact, return on investment (ROI) and growth through commercialisation, as soon as possible after project completion
  • clear, considerable potential to significantly impact the UK economy and/or productivity in a positive way

Preference will be given to applications that demonstrate realistic, significant potential for global markets.

They particularly welcome proposals from innovation-based businesses with significant ambition and potential for growth or scale-up.

Where possible, projects should take customer and user needs into account to deliver more desirable and useful solutions.

Grants range from 70% of project costs for SMEs to 50% for those from larger organisations.

Successful applicants will be notified by 1 February 2019

All projects must start by 1 April 2019 and end by 1 April 2022.

But wait there’s more …. a second fund opens today (1st October 2018).

The next phase of the Audience of the Future Challenge is a new £8m R&D fund ‘Production Innovation for Immersive Content’ that seeks business-led R&D projects “that enable immersive content to be created faster, more efficiently or in new ways and which improve significantly on the current ‘state of the art’ in the field.”

The competition is open to all UK creative industry organisations working with immersive technologies. Single company projects can receive up to £250,000, and collaborative projects up to £1million. 

All proposals must involve at least one UK-based SME but universities and research organisations can be part of consortia bids. Proposals must include at least one participant who is a content creator, and must develop tools, products or services for creating and delivering immersive content.

The full competition scope is live from Oct 1st on the Innovate UK Competitions Page and via

We at GMV, are very excited about both these funds and the opportunities they afford this sector. We look forward to helping you find out more and hopefully to begin working on your bids.

Our approach is to partner with you to help you understand whether your digital needs match the available funding criteria and then we can help you with bid writing, submission and delivery.

If interested, then the first step is to contact us for a short call to help us understand your current projects and to discuss ways in which they may meet the funding requirements. Having already delivered a number of these projects, means that our successes can help you in delivering a stronger bid.

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