XRtists: Supporting the Implementation of Immersive Technologies

Closing Date: 13/07/2023

Funding available to lead a consortium to deliver a new three-year creative research and development innovation programme, XRtists.

AHRC and all four UK national arts development bodies want to commission a consortium to develop and deliver a new three-year creative research and development innovation programme, XRtists. This builds on the learning and successes of the CreativeXR, and Creative Industries Clusters programmes.

The programme will support the adoption and implementation of creative immersive technologies, and where appropriate other new technologies with the potential to influence the development of creative practice within the arts and culture sector across the UK.

The consortium will draw together partners with relevant knowledge and expertise from across cultural organisations, the commercial sector and research organisations. The consortium will deliver the programme in accordance with the objectives and targets required by the funding partners.

The objectives are to:

  • Support the arts and culture sector in the UK to develop skills and knowledge in immersive content and experience development, production and distribution
  • Develop a pipeline of funding opportunities to support organisations and individuals at different scales and readiness
  • Support the presentation and distribution of new immersive innovations enabled by XRtists via an annual industry showcase, championing and celebrating projects which derive from the programme
  • Support knowledge exchange and mentoring in immersive production and distribution between the academic, creative industries and arts and culture sectors
  • Support collaboration and ecology building across all regions of the UK in order to strengthen the UK’s creative immersive industries
  • Undertake research and mapping which will support the growth of the UK arts and culture sector and the creative immersive industries in the long term
  • Develop a programme brand and identity for XRtists that is widely understood and well regarded, nationally and internationally
  • Proactively champion and enable diversity and equality of opportunities to participate in the making and enjoyment of creative immersive productions by people of all backgrounds and across all areas of the UK.

The consortium will utilise a minimum of 60% (£3.6 million) of the total award budget to develop and run devolved funding programmes over the three years of the award. The devolved funding will provide approximately 200 to 250 awards in total, supporting three levels of applicants:

  • Entry-level: these awards are expected to range from £5,000 to £10,000. The awards aim to support small-scale research and development projects for organisations and individuals with limited prior experience of immersive technologies to test ideas or proofs of concept which could potentially result in applications for prototype funding
  • Prototype: these awards are expected to be in the range of £20,000 to 25,000. The prototype awards will be expected to push the boundaries of creative immersive production. Some awards might assist small-scale research and development projects to make the transition to full-scale prototypes. To support prototype development the consortium should provide access to mentors, workshops and facilities in addition to funding for production
  • Follow-on funding: these awards are expected to be in the range of £50,000 with the aim of enabling a small number of the successful prototypes to continue development. This funding will support audience-facing projects to become market-ready and sustainable in the longer term.
Funding body Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
Maximum value Discretionary
Reference ID S25158
Category Arts and Humanities
Fund or call Fund