About the programme
What is CreativeXR?
CreativeXR, developed by Digital Catapult and Arts Council England, is an acceleration programme designed for teams from the creative and technology sector who have strong, well-developed, ground-breaking creative ideas that need early-stage financing.
Up to 20 teams will be selected to receive £20,000 in prototype funding, alongside bespoke mentorship, workshops and introductions to the top financiers and commissioners in the global creative and immersive market at the annual Showcase and Market event.
This year, CreativeXR also welcomes two new exciting supporters: Epic Games and StoryFutures Academy.
Aligned goal of growing the XR industry, Epic Games has generously awarded CreativeXR with an Epic MegaGrant, which will be used to support up to five Unreal Engine projects.
As Storytelling Development Partner and with the aim of promoting innovation in storytelling in next generation technologies, StoryFutures Academy will provide bespoke mentorship to up to four companies in the cohort. All projects within the cohort will also get the option to take part in StoryFutures Academy Writers Room workshop, that explores storytelling in immersive environments.
The programme runs in two phases:
Prototype Phase (July 2020 – December 2020)
Teams will be expected to create their immersive prototype over this three-month period. They will also be expected to take part in bespoke workshops and mentorship (see below for dates). The end of Phase 1 will culminate with the Showcase and Market, where teams will pitch and showcase their prototypes and have 1-2-1 meetings with commissioners.
Production Phase (December 2020 – TBC)
Teams accepted onto the programme will be eligible to compete for further funding at the end of the prototype period. This funding will be limited and subject to a separate judging process and match funding conditions – details will be provided at a later stage.
What are the objectives of CreativeXR?
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.
CreativeXR supports a broad range of consumer-facing content ideas that are either cultural, entertainment, gaming – in some way creative. For more information please read the question What is meant by ‘immersive experience’ below.
What are the benefits of CreativeXR?
Focused on the creative industries, CreativeXR works with the best creative teams to help develop concepts and prototypes of immersive content by offering access to:
- Prototype funding – Up to £20k to develop an immersive proof-of-concept prototype and supporting material
- Facilities – For the duration of the programme, the opportunity to make use of Digital Catapult Immersive Labs in Belfast, Brighton, London, MediaCityUK, and North East Tees Valley (subject to availability and site terms)
- Peer to peer learning – Part of a cohort of up to 20 teams of talented creators from across the creative and technology sector
- Business expertise – Support network of industry experts, high calibre peers and commissioning bodies to help develop impactful experiences and build new business models
- Pitch and writing workshops – Focused workshops to help develop your concept and pitch
- Mentorship from Epic Games – Up to five teams will receive direct support from Epic on building prototypes in Unreal Engine
- Mentorship from StoryFutures Academy – Up to four teams with narrative-led projects will receive bespoke mentorship on developing script and narrative
- Technical monitoring – Engineering expertise to increase confidence in the prototype build and push the boundaries of the technology – this monitoring also includes inputs from AI and 5G technologists
- Showcase and Market event – Opportunity to participate, pitch and host private demos and meetings with commissioners at the event in December 2020
- Development funding – Teams accepted onto the programme will be eligible to compete for further funding at the end of the prototype period. This funding will be limited and subject to a separate judging process and match funding conditions – details will be provided at a later stage.
Who is CreativeXR developed by?
Now in its third year, CreativeXR is run as a partnership between Digital Catapult and Arts Council England.
This year CreativeXR welcomes two new supporters to the programme: Epic Games and StoryFutures Academy.
CreativeXR has received an Epic MegaGrant, which will be used to finance prototype development of five Unreal Engine projects. Additionally, select projects will benefit from direct support from Epic Games as part of the programme. StoryFutures Academy will bring narrative storytelling expertise, and mentor up to four companies in the areas of story development, design and continuing narrative.
What are the key* dates for the programme?
Open call live: 5 March – 17 May 2020
Announce selected companies: 6 July 2020
Programme starts: 6 July 2020 – 05 October 2020
Workshops: July – September 2020
Prototyping phase: July – October 2020
Technical assessment: October 2020
CreativeXR Showcase and Market event: 1-3 December 2020
*Timelines are approximate and can be subject to change