Fifty breakthrough UK businesses and projects harnessing creativity and technology are featured in a report published at the Createch 2019 conference, part of London Technology Week.
The Ones to Watch report was launched at the annual Createch event, hosted by the Creative Industries Council (CIC) to bring together industry leaders, international delegations and attendees from different creative and tech disciplines.
The report reflects the UK’s strong international reputation in both technology and creative fields, with the government estimating that global companies plan to invest at least £1.2 billion in UK technology.
Digital and creative industries contributed £130 billion and £101.5 billion, respectively, to the UK economy in 2017, and there is excitement over the area – known as Createch – where the two industries interact.
Compiled by innovation specialist Springwise with support from London & Partners, Digital Catapult and the GREAT campaign, ‘Ones to Watch’ features examples of how creative and tech expertise can combine to transform products, services, and experiences.
The report was launched by Tim Davie, CEO of BBC Studios and Co-Chair of the CIC, a joint forum of government and industry, who described it as a “who’s who guide of the UK companies at the forefront of Createch”.
The document identifies four main growth opportunities where creative skills interact with artificial intelligence, mixed reality and other forms of technology.
These opportunities are:
‘Ones to Watch’ includes innovators bridging technology and advertising, architecture, crafts, TV and film, all forms of design, music, the performing arts, photography, publishing, and the visual arts.
The report categorises innovations according to how they are experienced by individuals – for instance, whether they are experienced as more emotional or more functional.
This model was used to shape the conference programme, which has attracted delegations from China, South Korea, Japan, India, and Argentina. They form part of the event’s unique audience of senior decision-makers, entrepreneurs, creatives, and technologists.
In addition to BBC Studios, other organisations participating in Createch include the Premier League, Digital Catapult – the UK technology innovation centre, Westwin China – the specialist in Chinese marketing, and Rewind – the immersive entertainment business.
Government participants included Margot James, Minister of State for Digital and Creative Industries, and Graham Stuart MP, the Minister for Investment.
“The UK is world class for brilliant creative talent and technological expertise and Createch 2019 is an exciting opportunity to explore the boundless possibilities presented by the interaction of the two sectors,” said Davie. “The publication of the ‘Ones to Watch’ report provides outstanding examples of companies of all sizes from across the country who are breaking new ground in this area and changing our lives.’
Createch 2019 was supported by Facebook, Imagination and Kingston Smith. Nike supported a ‘Meet the Corporate’ strand.
To coincide with Createch, a new three-year export strategy for the UK creative industries was also published.
The strategy was developed by the Creative Industries Trade & Investment Board (CITIB), which is chaired by Annette King, CEO of advertising network Publicis Groupe UK.
The board was set up as part of industry commitments in the Creative Industries Sector Deal agreed between ministers and the CIC in 2018.
Its strategy sets out a raft of recommendations to help the UK achieve its target of increasing the value of exports of creative services and goods by 50 per cent between 2018 and 2023.
Recommendations cover areas such as improving links with Trade Commissioners to promote the UK creative industries in the priority exports markets of China, USA, Europe, the Middle East, and Japan.
Board members will also aim to recruit industry leaders with a presence in target markets to act as Creative Industry Ambassadors.
“The UK is a world leader in creative industries thanks to both the wealth of talent we have here, and attract from across the globe,” noted King..
“By continuing to build on the success of our small businesses this strategy begins a new stage in our industry’s relationship with government, where we work together to drive the success of our vibrant and exciting industry.”