Digital fixes can help creative sector flourish

Data experts are being encouraged to help the creative industries find hi-tech solutions to a range of digital challenges.


An Edinburgh-led initiative is inviting digital innovators to work with leading cultural organisations in a bid to improve audience engagement.

The Challenge Projects scheme will enable six key players in Edinburgh and South East Scotland to overcome obstacles using data-driven technologies.

Those expected to benefit are Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, Fruitmarket, SkyShows Aerial Ltd, Traverse Theatre, South of Scotland Enterprise and Anarkik3D.

The initiative is a key part of the Creative Informatics programme led by the University of Edinburgh, and delivered in partnership with Edinburgh Napier University, Code Base and Creative Edinburgh.

Inventive ideas

Each Challenge Project is seeking to harness the inventive ideas of individuals, research teams or small and medium-sized enterprises.

Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society wants to create a platform for capturing, collating and sharing as many Fringe reviews as possible from the multiple channels used by critics.

Fruitmarket – a free, public space for culture in Edinburgh city centre – is keen to explore how demographic data gathering can be conducted in a more inclusive manner.

Traverse Theatre has committed to cataloguing and digitising its extensive archives in an accessible way, ahead of its 60th anniversary in 2023.

Engaging approach

South of Scotland Enterprise would like to develop a platform that allows people engaging in creative and cultural activities to give feedback on their experience in a fun and engaging way.

SkyShows Aerial is seeking to develop state-of-the-art drone light shows that will be the first in Scotland to meets rigorous aviation safety standards.

Micro software development company Anarkik3D would like to explore the potential of Virtual Reality technology to enhance its touch-sensitive 3D modelling programme.

Funding available

Funding of up to £20,000 is available to support successful research and development proposals that can provide solution to a Challenge Project.

Those wishing to apply can come with unformed or semi-formed challenges that can be co-designed with the Creative Informatics research team.

Applications for potential participants in the scheme are now open and close on Friday 11 February at 5pm.

Creative support

Creative Informatics supports local creative talent in Edinburgh and South East Scotland to develop new products, services and businesses using data and data-driven technologies.

It has so far invested more than £2.06 million in the region’s creative industries.

Creative Informatics is funded by the Creative Industries Clusters Programme managed by the Arts & Humanities Research Council with additional support from the Scottish Funding Council.

The programme is part of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal’s Data Driven Innovation initiative.

Related links

Challenge Projects

Apply now

City Region Deal

Traverse Theatre credit: Lara Cappelli

Fruitmarket credit: Chris Scott