Creative Future Inquiry

House of Lords’ A Creative Future Inquiry – Submission by Creative Informatics and the Edinburgh Futures Institute, University of Edinburgh.

Submission prepared by Nicola Osborne and Caroline Parkinson, in consultation with Professor Melissa Terras, Professor Chris Speed, Dr Michael Smyth, Professor Candace Jones, and Ruth Oliver

Professor Melissa Terras has been invited to give oral evidence at the House of Lords on 13 October 2022. 

The detailed written response submitted as evidence to ‘A Creative Future’ brings together reflections and learning drawn from a number of key organisations at the University of Edinburgh including Creative Informatics, Edinburgh Futures Institute, and the Data Driven Innovation initiative.  It also draws upon the University of Edinburgh’s world-leading Informatics, AI and machine learning research and rich range of academic and industry research in cultural heritage.

Summary of key areas of discussion in  response to questions posed by the Communications and Digital Committee, drawing on the authors experience of supporting innovation, particularly innovation around data and data driven innovation and technologies, in the creative and cultural industries:

  • Key trends around both positive and negative disruption currently and over the next 5-10 years, notably AI, machine learning and shifts in the screen industries use of technology.
  • Emergent changes to business models and move towards the ‘creator economy’.
  • Learnings from delivering the Creative Informatics programme, including a wide range of testimonials from participation in funded creative data research and development projects and associated training.
  • Skills needs of the creative sector, and the opportunities and barriers around these. We particularly emphasise the need for enabling creatives to gain the critical skills and confidence to continuously upskill and work collaboratively, recognising the pace of technological change, rather than recommending specific technical or professional skills offers.
  • Development of the talent pipeline through research and development projects, particularly those embracing collaboration and risk. We recommend ongoing engagement with academic research and knowledge transfer opportunities in this context – drawing on our own experience of working with the creative sector.
  • Reflections on the efficacy of government support for the sector, particularly focusing on the benefits of several landmark funding programmes to date and on the risk of short/medium-term initiatives coming to an end. We discuss the network and capacity building in such initiatives, and the importance of continuity of funding and support to avoid cycles of repeated work and lost connections.
  • Exemplar initiatives from other countries. We highlight several large scale and long-term EU investments in the creative and cultural industries, which are providing a longer runway to sustainable communities around creative innovation.

Read the Creative Informatics submission here.

Further details on the inquiry are available here.

For more information please contact creativeinformatics@ed.ac.uk

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