Frequently Asked Questions

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About CreativeXR

What is CreativeXR?

CreativeXR gives creative talent the opportunity to experiment with immersive technologies to create new experiences that inspire audiences

Focused on the creative industries, particularly the arts and culture sector; Creative XR gives the best creative teams the opportunity to develop concepts and prototypes of immersive content (including VR, AR and MR). The programme offers access to early stage finance, facilities, industry leaders and commissioning bodies, and the opportunity to pitch for further development funding. It has been developed by Digital Catapult and Arts Council England, with support from Innovate UK.

How will CreativeXR help companies?

As well as driving the development of new content formats, one of the key aims of the programme is to support ‘content-led R&D’ which allows organisations to develop riskier, content-focused projects that also contribute to the development of new skills, tools and business opportunities.

By being involved in the programme your business will benefit from:

  • Prototype Funding – Up to £20k to develop your immersive proof-of-concept prototype and supporting material
  • Expertise – Access to a network of industry experts, high caliber peers and commissioning bodies
  • Facilities – Access to immersive labs in London, Brighton, Bristol, North East Tees Valley* and Belfast* (Subject to programme start date and opening dates of these labs)
  • Workshops – Focused workshops to help develop your concept and pitch
  • Pitching – Opportunity to pitch at final commissioner marketplace
  • Development Funding – Chance to secure funding for further development
Who is behind CreativeXR?

The programme has been developed by Digital Catapult and Arts Council England with support from Innovate UK, and in association with Immerse UK.

What am I expected to deliver if I am a part of the CreativeXR programme?

Successful applicants will be expected to supply the following key deliverables over a 12 week period:

  • A functioning visual prototype (see below question ‘What is expected for the Prototype’ for more details)
  • A complete set of supporting pitch material, in written and verbal presentation (see below in next section for more details)
  • Participation in key events – Team representatives will be expected to attend the kick off session (early Dec), at least 2 of the 3 workshops (held in London between Dec-March) and the final Marketplace (March)
  • Case study and contribution to research – Digital Catapult and Arts Council England may carry out research related to this project. Teams will be expected to contribute by providing appropriate feedback as required.
How do I apply to join the programme?

Just complete the short interest form on this website. You will then be emailed with the link to the full application form. This will ask for information about your:

  • Previous experience in immersive content creation
  • Overall immersive content idea proposal (including target audience and purpose)
  • Creative description of idea (including user experience, value to arts/culture, reasons for using immersive tech)
  • Format and style of the prototype itself
  • Technical production and delivery proposed
  • Cost plan for creating the prototype
  • The benefit you will gain from entering this programme
  • Ability to commit to attending our workshops
Am I required to work from Digital Catapult offices?

No, we expect you to have the facilities to produce your experience already.

Are there facilities available to test the experience?

We expect you to have the facilities to produce your experience already. We also suggest that the prototype is user tested.

Companies will have access to immersive labs space in London, Brighton, Bristol, North East Tees Valley and Belfast (subject to opening dates), in order to test their experience adequately.

Participants will receive details to book use of the labs.

What Equipment is Available in the Immersive Labs?

The London Lab and North East Tees Valley labs are now open.

In the London Lab, there is the following equipment available:


  • Oculus Rift
  • HTC Vive
  • PSVR
  • Microsoft Hololens
  • Acer Mixed Reality Headset
  • HP Mixed Reality Headset

Mobile VR

  • Samsung Gear VR
  • Google Daydream

360 Cameras

  • Samsung Gear 360
  • Richo Theta


  • Subpac Rumble Pack
  • LIV – Green Screen Mixed Reality Set-Up
  • UX Study – UX Lab in a Box
  • Perception Neuron – Motion Capture Suit

*A similar kit list will be available at the regional labs. More information is available upon entry to the programme.

Am I limited as to what I can use the funding money for?

The funding must be used for direct resourcing and service costs involved with producing the content. It should not be used for purchasing production hardware (you should already have the capability to produce immersive content).

We will be considering costing plans in the judging of applicants.

What are the key dates for the programme?
  • Open call: 9 October –  midday 2 November 2017
  • Announce Selection: 28th November 2017
  • Programme Starts: 1 December 2017
    • Workshops:  15 December 2017,  22 January 2018 and 9 February 2018
  • Prototyping Phase:  December 2017 – 9 March 2018
  • Marketplace:  28 March 2018*

*Date subject to change

What is the marketplace event?

The Marketplace event will be hosted at the end of the 12 week programme, at the end of March. This is a chance for you to show your prototype to a panel of the involved commissioning partners and supporting partners.

At this event there is the opportunity for further development funding and collaborations to form with the partners. However there is no guarantee of this funding being successful. Any further funding will require a further agreement with relevant terms and conditions to be put in place.

Can I use the financing to pay for travel to the workshops/marketplace?


About the proposed immersive idea experience

What is immersive technology?

Immersive technologies that we are referring to, include:

  • Virtual reality (VR)
  • Augmented reality (AR)
  • Mixed reality (MR)
  • Immersive audio technology

A good definition of these can be found:

This may involve delivery of experiences via Head Mounted Displays (HMDs), and also includes mobile AR experiences that don’t require an HMD. Delivery via other immersive displays such as projection walls or domes may also be considered, however you will be expected to have access to this equipment and explain how this could be delivered practically for users.

Immersive audio technology includes the use of spatial sound (e.g. binaural or ambisonic rendering) or other augmented audio techniques. Audio-only projects are also eligible (please see FAQ on audio-only projects).

What do you classify as ‘an immersive experience for the arts and culture sector’?

This programme will support the development of creative, consumer-facing experiences enabled by immersive technologies, which may include:

  • Artistic pieces
  • Cultural experiences (including those inspired by museum, gallery, library or heritage experiences)
  • New forms of storytelling (fiction or non-fiction)
  • New forms of interactive entertainment

Content must be delivered* using:

  • Virtual reality (including 360 video) technology
  • Augmented/Mixed reality technology

*Experiences may be extended with haptic or other sensory systems

Content may be intended for different distribution methods:

  • In-home (i.e. content is distributed online, to users’ own devices, and is expected to be consumed in a home setting)
  • On-the-go (i.e. content is distributed online, to users’ own mobile devices, and may be consumed in any location)
  • Location-based (i.e. content is part of a fixed installation or exhibit in a specified location, with no device ownership required by users)

Whatever the distribution method, applicants will be expected to explain who the intended audience is, why it will appeal to them, and how they would access it.

Will physical installations and live performances be considered?

Yes, but the content must have an ‘immersive-first’ (VR/AR/MR) focus, and have an enabling immersive technology as a key component of its delivery.

Content may be purely digital or, in the case of location-based projects, it may incorporate an element of live performance if desired.

Can I build a gaming experience?

New forms of interactive content are part of this brief, and therefore games content is eligible. As with all applications, please bear in mind the intention to explore new formats that are specifically built for the immersive medium. For example, content that could be considered an incremental step beyond something that already exists, such as a VR version of an existing game format is unlikely to be accepted.

Are Audio-only projects eligible?

Yes, immersive audio is a key part of any immersive experience, and all projects are encouraged to give thought to the technologies that can enable both visual and auditory immersion.

We welcome applications that make use of innovative, immersive audio technology such as spatial sound (e.g. binaural or ambisonic rendering) or augmented audio techniques. This could either be as a combined audio-visual VR, AR or MR experience, or as an audio-only project.

Can I enter an idea that has already been commissioned/displayed?

This programme is to support new prototypes, so mature prototypes or content that has already been on public display or release is not eligible.

Do you accept proposals that already have funding?

We won’t accept proposals that have already been funded to create a prototype that is at a mature state, however, we will accept early proposals that have already secured some additional seed funding, but details must be given as to how and why this programme will provide additional benefit to the project.

Can I use a bespoke/experiential hardware?

You are free to propose any sort of immersive hardware to run your immersive experience on. However, we will be judging on accessibility (how you’ll deliver it to your suggested target audience) and feasibility and therefore if your hardware choice negatively impacts either of these, it may not be suitable.

Would it be favourable to tailor an application at one of the supporting or commissioning partners?

No, it is not an advantage or a disadvantage. We encourage you to think about potential partners for the future, but you do not have to aim at a particular judge, and no judge or partner organisation can be a named collaborator on a project. If an organisation is mentioned on an application, they will not be asked to judge it, in order to avoid a conflict of interest.

Can target-audience companies/organisations be mentioned in the application?

If you are designing your immersive experience with a specific user organisation in mind, you are allowed to mention this.

However, no organisations involved in judging can apply for the programme.

If an organisation is mentioned in an application from a judging organisation, we will ensure they do not judge that specific application to avoid bias.

Can I enter more than one idea?

Each idea must must be represented by a unique lead applicant. That lead applicant can only enter the programme once.

A company or individual can be named as a collaborator on more than one application, but may only be a lead applicant once.

A business is welcome to enter several ideas but we suggest you focus your energy on one submission as only one per business can be be funded.

What is expected for the prototype?

This working proof-of-concept should provide an immersive example of the core ideas to help inspire commissioners creatively, as well as giving them the confidence that it will be technically deliverable. It should therefore:  

  • Provide an audiovisual and interactive benchmark of the experience, illustrating what a user will be expected to see, do, hear, and feel when they are within or having the experience.
  • Prove the feasibility of any key technological or logistical elements, particularly if they could be considered risky. For example, if the experience relies on a very specific piece of prototype hardware – this element needs to be tried and tested during this phase.
What is expected for the supporting material?

A complete set of pitch material, in written and verbal presentation form, in preparation for the Marketplace event, to include:

  • Creative concept material e.g. a treatment or script, concept art, storyboard
  • Technical specification e.g. description of technology requirements and technical approach for production and distribution
  • Distribution plan i.e. via online or location-based (installation) distribution
  • Audience considerations (who will this appeal to and why)
  • Business plan (including cost breakdown for full production)
  • 20 second linear video teaser/showreel that can be used to demonstrate your experience in a ‘non immersive’ setting
How are companies selected for CreativeXR?

An internal team at Digital Catapult and Arts Council England will filter the applications down to an initial longlist using standardised criteria. This longlist will then go to the external judging panel, who also use a set of standardised judging criteria.

The external judges are specifically chosen for their technical, business or creative expertise. Every application will be judged by at least 3 independent judges (as well as the initial Digital Catapult and Arts Council England judges).

The judging criteria are:

  • Cultural / artistic value (The full experience proposed is creatively adventurous, and will inspire and positively impact the UK’s arts and culture community)
  • Suitability for arts and cultural sector audience (The idea has been designed appropriately for a chosen target audience, whether existing or new, and is suitable for consumers in the arts and culture space)
  • Relevance/suitability for immersive delivery (Immersive technology is a suitable and enhancing delivery mechanism for the full experience)
  • Suitability of prototype (The prototype described will be a good benchmark of the full experience, and is likely to be suitable for informing further funding opportunities)
  • Feasibility of prototype delivery (The technical delivery of the prototype proposed is clear and achievable in the time frame and budget)
  • Appropriate team experience (The team seems well prepared and equipped to deliver the proposed prototype)
  • Value for Money (The scale of the prototype is reasonable with respect to the effort proposed)
  • Likely to benefit from the programme (The programme is likely to provide opportunities and resources that the team may not otherwise have access to, and provide the opportunity to try something new)
  • Overall opinion (Based on a combination of the criteria above, the proposal is a good match for this programme)

*The criteria will be presented as statements. The judges will respond by indicating how strongly they accept these statements.

Does the whole team need to go to London for the workshop sessions?

No – just the team leads need to attend (up to two people per team). Travel can be claimed as part of the programme costs, so please include this estimate in your application.

About my business

Does the business need to be registered to enter?

No, you do not need to be registered with Companies House as a limited business, but you do need to have a business account.

We will consider bidders that hold any legal form of business (e.g. ltd company, sole trader, consortium).

Do I need to be a UK based company/organisation?

Collaborations may include international contributors, but the majority of work should be carried out in the UK and teams need to be able to commit to attending the 2+ of the workshops, and Marketplace event hosted in London between Dec 1st and March 31st.

Do I need to have the capabilities to produce an immersive experience already?

Yes. We realise that creating a high quality immersive experience is not a simple process. Therefore, we are looking for teams that already have the skills, equipment and experience to produce these experiences, and we will judge accordingly.

How much equity do you take?

CreativeXR is equity free and there are no fees associated with participation.

I'm concerned about my intellectual property. Should I be?

This programme does not seek to retain any of your IP. Between any collaborative partners you are expected to make appropriate IP agreements that you are comfortable with.

Your application will be screened privately by Digital Catapult and the judging panel. Your ideas will be shared in confidence and we will respect that and ask judges to do so too.

We will not remove from applications any proprietary labels or copyright assertions. Unsuccessful applications will be deleted from our systems at the conclusion of the programme. However, because your application will be transmitted over the internet we cannot guarantee its security.

For practical reasons, please don’t ask us or our partners to sign an NDA. We can only achieve these kinds of activities if we have the trust of the tech community so it is not in our interest to release or take a share in any of your IP.

Do we help with the creation of new teams?

No, this programme does not specifically facilitate this – we expect teams to already be formed at the point of submitting the application. If you are interested in networking events, we have partner organisations including ImmerseUK and our regional partners who may be able to help. Please contact for more information.

Can University teams apply?

Members of a university are welcome to apply but they must ensure they have personal rights over the IP they are submitting. Therefore we suggest you form a new entity (with a business account). Remember, we will be judging the entry based on your skill and ability to build what you have proposed.

What if I'm not based in the UK?

We welcome international collaborations but the majority of the work must be carried out in the UK. We also expect teams will commit and be present for the three workshops hosted at the Digital Catapult Centre in London and be present in person for the Marketplace event held in mid March 2018.

Do we need to send a business plan?

At this stage, you just need to complete the online application form. If you are one of the 20 companies/organisations chosen to participate, then you will be expected to prepare your prototype and business plan within the three month programme (see above FAQ).