Businesses in Wales benefit from 1m to develop new ideas

An ambitious programme to drive innovation in the creative sector has awarded grants totalling 1m to 23 businesses in South Wales.

Clwstwr, which is led by Cardiff University, in partnership with the University of South Wales and Cardiff Metropolitan University, is a five-year research and development programme that aims to nurture a thriving media production hub around the Welsh capital. Funded through the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy, with match funding from the Welsh Government, it made its first call for applicants earlier this year and following a highly competitive process, the first cohort has been chosen.

Film and television companies, technology businesses, creative organisations and freelancers are among the recipients who will work with academics to develop their new products, services and experiences.

The pilot projects include a news service for schools, remote editing facilities to grow post-production regionally and using technology to transform the ways that people make and experience dance. Participants will investigate new storytelling formats including interactive documentary, non-linear gaming and a hybrid between film, television, theatre and alternate reality gaming. The cohort will research and develop ideas including artificial intelligence in the newsroom, a hub for women’s football content and a virtual reality film studio.

Clwstwr Director Professor Justin Lewis said: “Our first Clwstwr cohort offers an exciting variety of projects and the quality of the applications we received is proof of the vibrant media sector here in South Wales. Not only will these chosen projects enhance the screen and news industries, they have the potential to improve other sectors such as education, healthcare and business.

Lord Elis-Thomas, Welsh Government Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism said: “The creative industries are worth nearly 1 billion to Wales annually and is one of the fastest growing sectors in the UK. Wales’ has enjoyed unprecedented success over recent years, with Welsh Government support helping attract and produce award winning TV dramas, films and a whole host besides, showcasing Wales to the world whilst supporting local jobs and boosting the economy.

“We are now at a crucial point where opportunities are converging and, with the right support over the coming years, the industry’s successes could become even more significant, and therefore the rewards for Wales even greater.”

“We welcome this significant boost for investment in R&D in the Creative Industries and are pleased to be providing the match funding backing that helped secure the programme for Wales.”

Clwstwr brings together all major Welsh broadcasters including BBC Cymru Wales, S4C and ITV Wales with independent film and television production companies, Wales’s national companies and creative organisations, creative coworking spaces, tech startups, strategic agencies including Arts Council of Wales, local authorities including Cardiff Council and Welsh Government.

to find out more about the first cohort.

The first funded Clwstwr projects are:

  • AI in the Newsroom (AMPLYFI)
  • Bombastic Digi Platform (Bombastic)
  • CaseFinder (Caerphilly Media)
  • Creating a New Production Management Platform (Bait Studio)
  • Film Project and Gaming (Severn Screen)
  • FutureNews Labs (Tinint)
  • Geolocated Fragmented Storytelling (Yello Brick)
  • Global Women’s Football Hub (Nimble Productions)
  • Image Vision (Object Matrix)
  • Interactive Documentary Format (Hidden Narratives)
  • Life Lab (Martha Stone Productions)
  • Made in Wales (Film Hub Wales)
  • Moving Layers (National Dance Company Wales)
  • News Storytelling through Modular Journalism (Monnow Media)
  • Real-time 3D Configurator (Bomper Studio)
  • Real-time Render/Interactive Promo (Good Gate Media)
  • Reinventing Animation Production with Game Engine Technology (Cloth Cat Animation)
  • Remote Creative Editing Facility (Gorilla TV)
  • Schools News (Core)
  • Setpiece (Painting Practice)
  • Space Scavengers (Galactig)
  • Taking Welsh Back-to-back Expertise to the International Market (Triongl)
  • Using VR to Transform the Experience of Childbirth (Rescape)

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