Technology Strategy Board announces £30m funding for SMEs in creative industries

The Technology Strategy Board has launched a strategy to boost innovation and growth in the creative industries

The Technology Strategy Board (TSB) has launched a strategy to boost innovation and growth in the creative industries by helping small digital businesses.

The strategy will encourage the sector to grow by helping businesses centred around digital technologies and design.

The TSB will be putting forward £30m in support for businesses in the creative industries sector. 

Additionally, Creative Skillset – the licensed Sector Skills Council for entertainment media, fashion and textiles, publishing and advertising, marketing and communications – will provide funding for training.

“There are great opportunities for further growth in the creative industries sector, especially for the small businesses and startups which just need an opportunity to bring their ground-breaking ideas to market,” said Iain Gray, chief executive of the Technology Strategy Board.

Additional funding competitions as part of the strategy 

  • Frictionless commerce: Up to £2.5m for projects leading to the creation of digital transactional environments for the creative industries and beyond.
  • Hyperlocal Media Demonstrators: At least £1.5m focused on demonstrating the potential for hyperlocal media and technology-led location-based services across the UK.
  • Location-based services: £4m to help businesses engage with their customers in a "here and now" context.
  • Valuing & Pricing Digital Assets: £2.5m for "developing ways to agree value and price" in digital transactions.
  • Greater Manchester Creative & Digital Launchpad: £1m support programme for the creative and digital cluster in Greater Manchester.

"This strategy is designed to help them turn their ideas into reality," he said.

The sector currently contributes 5.3% of UK GVA and employs 1.4 million people across the country. But the TSB strategy aims to increase this by highlighting innovative technology solutions, including: 

  • Data and metadata;
  • Capturing value and managing transactions;
  • Enabling content to work across different devices and environments.

The £30m from the TSB will be available as part of a series of funding competitions (see "Additional funding competitions" box) to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that will encourage innovation in areas of digital media production, engagement with local communities and services and the development of online business.

Additionally, Creative Skillset will introduce training schemes to develop the skills and talent within UK creative industries.

Applications for the TSB’s first funding initiative will open on 23 September. Up to £15m will be available to businesses working in digital media cross-platform production.


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