Data specialists needed to solve challenges set by leading cultural organisations in Edinburgh and South East Scotland

Six diverse creative and cultural organisations based across Edinburgh and South East Scotland have been selected to bring forward Challenge Projects as part of the University of Edinburgh’s Creative Informatics programme.

Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, Fruitmarket, SkyShows Aerial Ltd, Traverse Theatre, South of Scotland Enterprise, and Anarkik3D are looking for individuals or SMEs with the skills to help them overcome obstacles in their work using data and data-driven technologies.

Funding of up to £20,000 is available to successful Challenge Respondents who will retain all or part of the intellectual property for their work, enabling them to commercialise any products or services they produce.

Applications for Challenge Respondents are open now and close on Monday 11th February at 5pm.


Traverse Theatre, Scotland’s leading new writing theatre, has committed to cataloguing and digitising its extensive archives in an accessible way, ahead of its 60th anniversary in 2023.

Traverse’s challenge is to create an online interactive experience that can help audiences, artists, academics, and other stakeholders visualise its global legacy, reinforcing and celebrating the theatre’s unique position in Scotland’s performing arts and literary ecosystem.

Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, the charity that underpins the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, would like a Challenge Respondent to create a new platform for capturing, collating and sharing as many Fringe reviews as possible from the multiple channels used by amateur and professional critics. This new platform must also provide the Fringe Society with a range of data insights, enabling it to better support the media outlets, artists, and audiences that take part in the Fringe each year.

SkyShows Aerial Ltd is developing state-of-the-art drone light shows with the aim of becoming the first company in Scotland to offer a drone light show package that meets the rigorous safety standards of the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority.

SkyShows’ challenge is to develop swarm management software that can define a flight-path for each of the 200 SkyFire drones in its “swarm” and synchronise lighting programmes to make a drone light show possible.

Fruitmarket, a free, public space for culture in the heart of Edinburgh, is keen to explore how demographic data gathering can be conducted in a more inclusive and identity positive way.

Fruitmarket’s challenge is to establish a new approach to capturing visitor data that celebrates the many and varied characteristics of the people that engage with their space.

South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE), the economic and community development agency for Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders, would like to develop a platform or mechanism that will allow participants engaging in creative and cultural activities to give feedback on their experience in a fun and engaging way.

SOSE are looking for a Challenge Respondent that can help them to develop an Index of Wellbeing as a starting point for collecting feedback at museums, galleries and theatres.

Anarkik3D, a micro software development company, would like to explore the potential of VR to enhance their haptic 3D modelling programme Anarkik3DDesign.

Their challenge is to combine their Anarkik3DDesign software with VR technology and create an interface that provides users with a more immersive experience, incorporating grounded force feedback technology with stereo 3D vision.

Finding a solution to this challenge would enable Anarkik3D to offer an affordable haptic VR product that could be used by artists, designers and makers that do not have access to or resources to purchase some of the current high cost haptic VR offerings.

Visit the Creative Informatics website to view full details for all the Challenge Project listed above.

If you are interested in applying to respond to Challenge Projects set by the Fringe Society, SkyShows, or South of Scotland Enterprise, join the Creative Informatics team for Challenge Holder Q&A 1, taking place online on Wednesday 19th January at 9.30am.

If you are interested in applying to respond to Challenge Projects set by Fruitmarket, Traverse Theatre, or Anarkik3D, join the Creative Informatics team for Challenge Holder Q&A 2, taking place online on Tuesday 25th January at 10.00am.

If you any have questions, please contact the Creative Informatics team at

Read the latest DDI news

Building a Better Future for Children’s Sports in Scotland

Data for Children Collaborative, a specialist unit at Edinburgh Futures Institute, has launched a vital…

Photo of satellite in space

Electricians and carers sought to launch careers in space

Workers are being offered the chance to take their skills into orbit by enrolling in…


Pain-free home test kit for cervical cancer is unveiled as Venture Builder Incubator recruits next intake

A non-invasive, test-at-home device which screens for cancer-causing HPV strains in regular menstrual blood has…