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Wales: Media Cymru Innovation Pipeline makes £10k available to creators

January 24, 2023

Creative freelancers and SMEs in the Cardiff Capital Region and across Wales with an idea for new products, services or experiences in the media sector can apply for up to £10,000 of seed funding, thanks to the launch of the Media Cymru Innovation Pipeline.

Applications for the first Media Cymru Seed Fund round open on 23 January, offering creators an unprecedented opportunity to secure innovation funding for research and development (R&D) of ideas.

Launched in 2022, Media Cymru exists to help develop businesses and individuals within the sector with a series of funding rounds, training, research and opportunities over five years. Its aim is to turn Cardiff and the surrounding capital region’s media sector into a global hub for media innovation with a focus on green and fair economic growth.

Through the Media Cymru Innovation Pipeline, financial backing will allow Welsh creatives the chance to take very early-stage ideas through to fully validated projects. Over a three to five month period successful applicants will also be supported by experts from the Media Cymru Consortium – PDR and the Alacrity Foundation.

Following the successful completion of seed funded projects, applicants may also be eligible to apply for further support via Media Cymru’s Development Funding, which is due to launch in July 2023.

Lee Walters, Senior Producer and Funding Manager, Media Cymru, said: “This first round of Media Cymru Seed Funding is a real opportunity for creative thinkers to explore early-stage ideas through a supported period of research and development (R&D).”

“We know that Wales and the Cardiff Capital Region is brimming with creators who have great ideas, and we can’t wait to hear them, help turn them into reality, and work together to accelerate innovation in the media sector in this part of the world.”

Media Cymru is keen to receive applications from creators operating in a range of disciplines and industries, with particular interest in ideas relating to virtual production, new formats and ways of creating content, gaming, immersive storytelling, bilingual production, and fresh approaches to delivering the news.

Media Cymru is a 23-partner Consortium and projects from those member organisations include making the screen industry more environmentally sustainable, addressing issues relating to diversity in film and TV, and a focus on future skills needs and increasing efficiencies with emerging technologies.

Creative Wales, an economic development agency within Welsh Government which promotes the growth of Wales’s creative industries, is a member of the Media Cymru Consortium.

Dawn Bowden, the Welsh Government’s Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport said: “We know that Wales is home to creators and producers who make a huge contribution to our economy and our international profile. In line with our Programme for Government commitment to support more R&D in the creative sector, the Welsh Government through Creative Wales is supporting Media Cymru to ensure that initiatives such as this seed fund enable further Welsh talents to develop new innovations.

“This seeding fund is more than launchpad for new ideas. It represents an investment that will deliver real returns for our economy and society, as Wales becomes an international hub for innovation in the creative industries.”

Media Wales aims to strengthen the economic contribution of media activities in the CCR, creating millions of additional turnover across the next five years, hundreds of jobs and supporting the creation of new start-ups in the media sector.

The collaboration is led by Cardiff University, with government funding provided through UK Research and Innovation’s flagship Strength in Places Fund, Welsh Government through Creative Wales, additional support from Cardiff Council, industry and university partners, as well as the CCR City Deal.

The CCR covers the ten local authorities of Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend County Borough, Caerphilly County Borough, Cardiff, Merthyr Tydfil County Borough, Monmouthshire, Newport, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Torfaen, and Vale of Glamorgan, and includes some of the country’s most deprived areas.

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