Creative innovators awarded £850,000 to turn ideas into reality

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An initiative to drive innovation in the South Wales screen and news sectors has announced a further 27 projects as part of its latest funding round.

Clwstwr, which is led by Cardiff University in partnership with the University of South Wales and Cardiff Metropolitan University, is a Research & Development (R&D) programme working to nurture media production around the Welsh capital.

The 2021 Clwstwr cohort is made up of freelancers, startups, festivals, production companies, creatives studios, games developers and technologists.

The latest cohort of creatives will explore areas including virtual production, photography, virtual and augmented reality to create new products, services and experiences.

Projects will also address post-COVID ways of working, routes to employment and career development, environmental sustainability and inclusion in the media sector.

Sugar Creative, Small and Clever Productions, Yeti Media and the IRIS Prize are among those who will embark on gamechanging innovations.

Professor Justin Lewis, Clwstwr Director, said: “The 2021/22 Clwstwr cohort contains an exciting variety of projects that we hope will lead to an uplift of the media sector’s innovation capabilities in the region as well as a raft of new products, services and experiences. Key themes in this round include virtual production, inclusion in film and TV, post-COVID festivals, net zero, augmented reality and innovations in storytelling.

“These exciting projects will not only enhance and diversify the screen and news sectors as we move towards net zero, but they will also improve people’s understanding of their environment, enhance the audience experience for deaf and visually impaired audiences, create new revenue streams for charities, and improve healthcare training in the NHS.”

Prof Ruth McElroy, Clwstwr co-director and Professor of Creative Industries at USW, added: “We at USW are thrilled to be drawing on our research and development expertise to support 15 new Clwstwr R&D projects. They are hugely diverse and ambitious projects aiming to tell new stories and harness new immersive and game technologies to make brilliant content and services that will be recognised across the UK and internationally.

“Innovation is vital to our growing screen sector and is a commercial imperative in a competitive global economy. These projects offer one route for our students and expert researchers to be help create this innovation landscape. It is especially gratifying to see some of our own graduate start-up firms – SR Immersive for example – getting in there and boldly undertaking R&D in their first years of existence. Onwards and upwards!”

Clwstwr is funded through the Creative Industries Clusters Programme as part of the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy and by Welsh Government through Creative Wales. Visit www.clwstwr.org.uk to find out more.

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