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; CreativeXR enables the best creative teams 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. Now in its second year, CreativeXR is run as a partnership between Digital Catapult and Arts Council England.

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, IP 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 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
  • Pitching – Opportunity to pitch at final commissioner Market
  • Development funding – Chance to secure funding for further development
Who is CreativeXR developed by?

The programme has been developed by Digital Catapult and Arts Council England. Now in its second year, CreativeXR is run as a partnership between Digital Catapult and Arts Council England.

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 April), 3 workshops (held in London, dates TBC) and the final Market (date TBC)
  • 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
  • Programme support – Digital Catapult and Arts Council England will raise awareness of the programme; its aims and successes, via their social channels and through media outreach. Teams will be expected to participate in this activity
How do I join the programme?

Applications for CreativeXR have are currently closed, please register your interest in the programme here and we’ll keep you updated with activities relevant to your organisation.

Can I apply again even if I’ve already been on the programme?

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.

What if I already work/ have worked/ am contracted for/by Arts Council England or Digital Catapult, am I still eligible to apply to the programme?

Yes employees/ contractors from Arts Council England and/ or Digital Catapult are eligible to apply for Creative XR providing they clearly state on their application their relationship and involvement with ACE and DC to ensure that Arts Council England and Digital Catapult run a fair and transparent selection process.

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.

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.

Participants will receive details to book use of the labs.

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.

Can I use the financing to pay for travel to the workshops/the Showcase and Market event?

Yes, funding may also be used to cover reasonable transport costs to and from mandatory programme events in London.

What are the key dates for the Programme?


  • Applications must be received by February 17 2019 23:59
  • Announce selection: Beginning of April
  • Programme starts: 29 March 2019*
    • Workshops: 16 April 2019, 17 April 2019, 21 May 2019*
    • Prototyping phase: 1 April 2019 – 21 June 2019*
  • Deadline for completion of the prototype is 21 June 2019*
  • Marketplace: TBC

*Timelines are approximate and subject to change

What is the Showcase and Market event?

The Showcase and Market event will be hosted at the end of the 12 week programme,  and is a chance for you to show your prototype to a host of programme partners, including potential commissioners, funders, exhibitors and distributors of immersive content.

What further funding or opportunities are available?

At the Showcase and Market event there is an opportunity to pitch to commissioners and form further collaborations with third parties. However, there is no guarantee of success.

All teams accepted onto the Programme will also be eligible to compete for further funding at the end of the prototype period via the CreativeXR Programme, in order to complete their projects. This funding will be subject to a separate judging process and match funding conditions – details of which will be provided at a later stage.

This funding is limited and it is likely that only a small number of projects will be funded in this way.

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 here.

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 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
  • Immersive audio 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?

Yes, games content is eligible. As with all applications, please bear in mind the intention is to explore new formats that are specifically built for the immersive medium and for the arts and cultural space. For example, content that could be considered an incremental step beyond something that already exists, such as a VR version of an existing game 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. We will however, 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 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 will 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.

Can I enter more than one idea?

Each idea must be represented by a unique lead applicant.

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 participate in several bids, as long as they are confident the work could be delivered should they all be successful.

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 Showcase and Market event, to include:

  • Creative concept material e.g. completed 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 that can be used to demonstrate your experience in a ‘non immersive’ setting
How are companies selected for CreativeXR?

Each application will be initially reviewed by a minimum of three judges comprised of members from Digital Catapult, Arts Council England and industry experts, specifically chosen for their technical, business or creative expertise. Through standardised judging criteria (see below), the applications will be scored and shortlisted, and the final selection will then be made by a panel of the same judges.

The judging criteria are:

  • Strength of the idea (The idea is adventurous, innovative and creatively original)
  • Appropriate team experience (The team is well prepared and equipped to deliver the proposed prototype, with appropriate creative and immersive experience and skills)
  • Cultural/artistic value (The full experience will inspire and positively impact the UK’s arts and culture community, pushing forward the state of the art in creative immersive content experiences)
  • Design for a chosen target audience (The proposal shows a good understanding of a clearly identified target audience, and how to reach them via an appropriate distribution method)
  • 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)
  • 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 final selection decision will also take into account the variety of projects and teams to ensure a balanced portfolio of projects. Digital Catapult’s decision is taken on the information submitted, any additional information gleaned from its due diligence, and its (and its relevant assessing partners’) knowledge.  Digital Catapult’s decision is final.

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

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

Is it possible to use Arts Council National Lottery Project Grants funding as match funding for CreativeXR

No, it is not possible to use Project Grants funding as match funding for CreativeXR projects.

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 to complete the Programme (i) the team must have an establishment in the UK, and (ii) the majority of work should be carried out in the UK and teams need to be able to commit to attending the three workshops, and Showcase and Market event hosted in London between April and July 2019 (dates TBC).

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 own any of your IP. We do require a free licence to use your product openly in our Centres (but will be protected and doesn’t get distributed beyond use in our Centres). 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.

Who will my application data be shared with?

The application data will be shared with Digital Catapult and Arts Council England staff as well a panel of external judges chosen for their industry expertise. It will only be used for the purposes of the Programme and its evaluation, and will only be retained for the duration of the Programme (one year), and for participants on the Programme for the evaluation period (maximum five years) and otherwise to comply with legal requirements.

Will Digital Catapult or Arts Council England 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.

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).