The UK has a unique creative industry with strengths in art, culture, entertainment and technology, sparking trends and influencing practice around the world. CreativeXR unlocks the opportunity for this industry to experiment with creating immersive content that will inspire future audiences.
Digital Catapult and Arts Council England launched CreativeXR in September 2017, driven by the common mission of enabling new formats of content innovation and future-proofing the UK creative industries market.
The programme has been designed to allow creative teams to quickly experiment, iterate and bring immersive project ideas to reality. Teams are given tools such as prototype funding, workshops, peer-to-peer learning and access to facilities. Each year as a final phase of the programme, project teams also compete for further production funding with the aim of becoming market-ready and pushing the boundaries of what immersive technologies can offer.
In 2020 CreativeXR will focus on helping teams creatively innovate with the format, develop project impact and build new business models through bespoke mentorship and support from leading experts in the industry. Teams will also showcase and pitch their projects to industry stakeholders at the third annual CreativeXR Showcase and Market in October 2020.
To increase confidence in undertaking boundary-pushing R&D, CreativeXR will also engage with technical experts to help develop experimental prototype builds and support the teams throughout their three-month build journey.
This year CreativeXR welcomes two new supporters to the programme:
Digital Catapult and Arts Council England invite content creators to apply with ground-breaking project ideas to this third unique round of CreativeXR.
Due to the recent Covid-19 outbreak, we have decided to keep the open call live until Sunday 17 May. We will continue to monitor the situation and adapt the programme accordingly. For now, we would like to give applicants plenty of time and opportunity to apply to be part of the programme.
Online briefing sessions will be scheduled soon – please register your interest to stay tuned on these!
Applications deadline: Sunday 17 May 2020 23:59
CreativeXR, developed by Digital Catapult and Arts Council England, is an acceleration programme designed for teams from the creative and technology sector with strong, well-developed, ground-breaking creative ideas in need of 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.
The programme runs in two phases:
Prototype phase (July 2020 – October 2020)
Teams will create immersive prototypes over this three-month period. They will also take part in bespoke workshops and mentorship (see below for dates). The end of this Phase will culminate with the Showcase and Market, where teams will pitch and showcase their prototypes and have one-to-one meetings with commissioners.
Production phase (November 2020 – TBC)
Teams accepted onto the programme will be eligible to compete for further funding at the end of the prototyping phase. This funding will be limited and subject to a separate judging process and match funding conditions – full details will be provided at a later stage.
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:
CreativeXR supports multi-skilled teams in the development of creative, consumer-facing content experiences enabled by immersive technologies, which may include:
Projects must be well-developed and ready to progress into some iteration of a prototype, both technically and creatively. We expect this to be demonstrated through a description of the technical build, treatment, user experience design, segment of a script, storyboards or creative concept materials.
Additionally, this year CreativeXR and its partners are looking to support projects from the following strands:
To support growth and innovation in the XR industry, Epic Games has provided CreativeXR with an Epic MegaGrant, which will be used to fund five prototypes built in Unreal Engine.
With the aim of promoting innovation in storytelling in next generation technologies, StoryFutures Academy will provide mentoring and support to up to four narrative-led projects in developing scripts and narratives. Projects that wish to be considered for this support must provide a treatment or script sample, and are expected to have appropriate writing talent with a strong track record attached.
The two themes that fit within this strand are:
2.1 Narrative led experiences – CreativeXR and StoryFutures Academy would like to support projects that display a potential for narrative strength and quality.
2.2 Repeatable experiences – CreativeXR and StoryFutures Academy would like to support projects that have the potential to be a ‘returnable’ experience or format, for example, experiences that have the potential to repeat or expand, rather than being a one-off experience. We would welcome applications that would ask audiences to return to a story on a regular basis.
Digital Catapult and Arts Council England will support up to two projects that integrate artificial intelligence (AI) technologies with immersive. These projects will be eligible to receive bespoke technical mentorship from Digital Catapult.
Digital Catapult and Arts Council England will support up to five projects that demonstrate the value of 5G to enhance immersive experiences. These projects will be eligible to gain access to 5G facilities and bespoke technical mentorship from Digital Catapult.
To apply to one of these strands please tick the appropriate box in the application form.
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:
Please see our FAQs list for full descriptions of immersive technologies.
This programme focuses on the potential these enabling technologies can have on the UK creative industries as well as the audiences that will be inspired by this content. A good definition of immersive technologies can be found here.
This may involve delivery of experiences via head mounted displays (HMDs), mobile AR experiences, other immersive displays such as projection walls or domes that don’t require an HMD. Applicants 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 (for example, binaural or ambisonic rendering) or other augmented audio techniques. Audio-only projects are eligible – please see FAQ on audio-only projects).
CreativeXR supports multi-skilled teams in the development of creative, consumer-facing content experiences enabled by immersive technologies as described above.
The content and user experience must be designed specifically for the chosen medium, and be enabled and enhanced 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 or physical set if desired.
The selected content experiences may be intended for different distribution methods, including:
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.
Here are the main requirements to take part in CreativeXR:
Yes, the additional support you will receive is listed above.
The criteria will be presented as statements. Each of the criteria has the same weight.
The judges will respond by indicating how strongly they accept these statements.
The final selection decision will also consider applicants’ projects variety and welcome applicants from underrepresented groups to ensure a well-balanced and differentiated portfolio of projects.
The decision is taken by Digital catapult and its relevant partners on the information submitted, any additional information gleaned from its due diligence, and their knowledge. This decision is final.
Successful applicants will be expected to supply the following key deliverables over a 12-week period (3 July 2020 to 5 October 2020):
The working proof-of-concept should provide an immersive example of the core ideas to help inspire commissioners creatively, as well as to give them the confidence that it will be technically deliverable. It should therefore:
Please note: Teams must be willing to work with Digital Catapult technical team to validate the technical build plans prior to and during the build.
A complete set of pitch material, in written and verbal presentation form, in preparation for the final Showcase and Market event, to include:
Team representatives will be expected to attend*:
*Timelines are approximate and can be subject to change
Digital Catapult and Arts Council England will carry out research related to this project, to help gain shareable insights around content making, and to assess the impact of content experiences and CreativeXR 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.
Digital Catapult, Arts Council England, Epic Games and StoryFutures Academy will raise awareness of the programme, its aims and successes, via multi-channel marketing and media outreach. Teams will be expected to participate in this activity.