Open Call Brief


The UK has a unique creative community with strengths in art, culture and technology, sparking trends and influencing practice around the world. CreativeXR unlocks the opportunity for this community to experiment with immersive content that will inspire future audiences.

Immersive technologies (including virtual and augmented reality) have significant potential to enable new formats of creative content for audiences and users. This emerging medium offers the arts and culture sector an unprecedented opportunity to create outstanding content that inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us.

This briefing provides further information on the application process for CreativeXR. It is recommended that interested parties familiarise themselves with the brief prior to applying. After reading this brief, please refer to the FAQs to answer further queries.

Why you should get involved

Focused on the creative industries, particularly the arts and culture sector; CreativeXR works with the best creative teams to help develop concepts and prototypes of immersive content by offering access to finance, facilities, industry leaders and commissioning bodies, and the opportunity to pitch for further development funding. Now in its second year, CreativeXR is run as a partnership between Digital Catapult and Arts Council England.

What is meant by ‘Immersive’?

Although ‘immersive’ is a broad term that can encompass many fields within arts, culture and technology, in the context of CreativeXR, this refers to experiences enabled specifically by virtual, augmented and mixed reality technologies (see FAQs for descriptions of these technologies) and also encompasses immersive audio. It is the focus of this programme to explore the potential these enabling technologies have for audiences in the arts and cultural space.

CreativeXR supports:

  • Compelling new creative content formats enabled by immersive technology
  • The process of ‘content-led R&D’ whereby organisations are afforded space to develop riskier, content-focused projects that also contribute to the development of new skills, tools, IP and business opportunities

CreativeXR will help the UK to make the most of the wealth of talent it possesses in the creative industries. Working closely with current and future content commissioners, the programme is designed to enable the UK’s arts and cultural sector to lead the field in immersive content creation and digital innovation.

Who should apply?

CreativeXR will support multi-skilled teams in 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 may be intended for in-home use (i.e. distributed online) or location-based use (i.e. part of a physical installation) and delivered* using:

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

*Experiences may be extended with haptic or other sensory systems.

The content and user experience must be designed specifically for the chosen medium, and be enabled by one of these emerging technologies. Content may be purely digital or, in the case of location-based projects, it may incorporate an element of live performance if desired.

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.

For further information on eligibility, please see below.

Programme format

Creative teams can apply for support to complete a 12 week concept and prototype development project, after which they will have the opportunity to pitch to a number of content commissioners/publishers, as well as apply for further development funding to complete their projects.

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 calibre peers and commissioning bodies
  • Facilities – For the duration of the programme, selected companies will have free use of the Immersive Labs in Belfast, Brighton, London and North East & Tees Valley – subject to availability and site terms
  • Workshops – Focused workshops to help develop your concept and pitch
  • Pitch – Opportunity to pitch at final commissioner Market
  • Development Funding – Teams accepted onto the programme will be eligible to compete for further funding at the end of the prototype period, in order to complete their projects. This funding will be limited and subject to a seperate judging process and match funding conditions – details of which will be provided at a later stage


Successful applicants will be expected to supply the following key deliverables over a 12 week period (end of March 2019 to June 2019):

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 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 (however please note purchase of equipment cannot be covered within the funding)

Supporting material
A complete set of pitch material, in written and verbal presentation form, in preparation for the commissioner Showcase and Market, 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, business model and partnerships plan)
  • 20 second linear video teaser/showreel (or audio-only alternative) that can be used to demonstrate your experience in a ‘non immersive’ setting

Participation in key events
Team representatives will be expected to attend a mandatory kick-off event, three workshops and the final Showcase and Market event, including presenting the prototype and pitch material to potential commissioners.

Case study and contribution to research
Digital Catapult and Arts Council England may carry out research related to this project, to help gain shareable insights around content making, and to assess impact of the content experiences and the programme itself. This may include (but is not limited to) producing published case studies or testimonies for which teams would be expected to contribute by providing appropriate feedback as required.

Please refer to the FAQs to answer any other questions you may have before applying. T&Cs will be published when the application is available.

How do I apply to join the programme?

If you haven’t already, just complete the short interest form on this website. You will be emailed with the link to the full application form when it is available.

Who can apply and eligibility?

Before applying please take into account the following factors:

  • To complete the programme, you must have an establishment in the UK and the majority of work must be carried out in the UK
  • The team must show a range of previous immersive content expertise (including production, technical, creative, artistic skills and track record)
  • You may enter as a collaborative team, but there must be a lead company that will contract with us (this will be the only company paid). It is the responsibility of the lead company to arrange any collaboration agreements or subcontracts as necessary and to comply with the CreativeXR terms and conditions
  • All other companies/collaborators involved must be named in the application process
  • A company can be named as a collaborator on more than one application, but can only be a ‘lead’ company once
  • We will consider bidders that hold any legal trading form (e.g. ltd company, sole trader, consortium)
  • The lead company must have a business bank account
  • We will carry out due diligence on the lead company so they must be willing to submit documentation upon request (including but not limited to bank account statements for the business and personal references)
  • Teams must be able to commit to attending three workshops hosted in London and the final Market event (date TBC)
  • If you have applied to CreativeXR before or have previously been accepted onto the programme, you are eligible to apply again. However, extensions of projects that have previously been accepted onto the programme will not be eligible. Re-submissions of applications previously not accepted on to the programme are also eligible