South West Creative Technology Network

i-DAT is leading the University of Plymouth’s component of the South West Creative Technology Network (SWCTN).  The £6.5 million Research England funded project will expand the use of creative technologies across the South West of England through three one-year funded programmes around the themes of Immersion, Automation and Data.


The project is developing a new, networked model of Knowledge Exchange for creative technologies innovation through a collaboration led by the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol), in partnership with Watershed in Bristol, Kaleider in Exeter, Bath Spa University, the University of Plymouth and Falmouth University.

The grant is part of Research England’s Connecting Capabilities Fund, which supports university collaboration and encourages commercialisation for products made through partnership with industry.


The collaboration will invest in interdisciplinary R&D fellowships and prototype production across three challenge areas: ImmersionAutomation and Data. Our focus on creative technology brings together arts, design, computer sciences, engineering and business development to deliver new products and services.



Fellowships are at the core of the South West Creative Technology Network. Each theme supports Industry, New Talent and Academic Fellowships. In addition, a number of Producer fellowships have been supported. Each cohort will run for twelve months and focus on one of three challenge areas: Immersion, Automation and Data. The For more information check out the SWCTN website…


Following this deep research phase, the partnership invests £240k in making prototypes in response to the research findings. The Prototypes are offered through an open call and Fellows are encouraged to bid for this prototype investment. The For more information check out the SWCTN website…


A series of Showcase events are held to share the outputs and findings of the Immersion, Automation and Data themes. The Fellowships and Prototypes are presented through these public events, demos, podcasts, conversations and publications to attract business investors and sharing across networks and sectors. For more information check out the SWCTN website…


The South West Creative Technology Network is supported by focused Creative industries professional support for the region. This includes business investor, Legal Services, Accountancy Services and Intellectual Property advice and support. For more information check out the SWCTN website…


The South West Creative Technology Network offers a number of Small Grants (£1-2k) to members of the network to enable strategic interventions, proof of concepts, experiments and small productions. These small grants are offered by each of the partner organisations. For more information check out the SWCTN website…


The South West Creative Technology Network generates and supports events across the region, from workshops, presentations exhibitions and professional services, these events form a regional backbone for dissemination across the region, nationally and internationally. For more information check out the SWCTN website…


Let’s not forget the value of the network itself. Whilst each partner organisation provides a dynamic node of activity and support, the distributed network of individuals creating connections, interactions, sharings and exchanges is the substrate for innovations within the creative industries and creative practices into other sectors. For more information check out the SWCTN website…


The South West Creative Technology Network team are highly experienced in operating across the creative industries and overlapping sectors. The team is drawn from across the partner organisations, offering strengths in academic, research, producer, technology, business development and knowledge exchange support. For more information check out the SWCTN website…

The process



“Digital technologies are transforming the way we work and play, and this collaborative initiative focuses on some of the most exciting aspects of this evolution. The use of Data to improve our understanding of complex problems, the ability to generate powerful immersive experiences and the insights generated by artificial intelligence provide completely new perspectives on the world. We look forward to focusing the wealth of research experience we have in these areas to nurture innovation across the region.”
Professor Mike Phillips, Director of Research at i-DAT, University of Plymouth.
“This project will bring together the best and the brightest researchers in creative arts, technology and design to work with companies old and new to show what new kinds of value can be unlocked by the application of creative technologies. We are going to be working with immersive media, processes of automation and the new availability of big data to support business to find new ways of working with their customers and our citizens. Watch this space for the amazing new products and services we invent in the next three years.”
Professor Jon Dovey, Professor of Screen Media at the Faculty of Arts, Creative Industries, and Education at UWE Bristol, SWCTN Project Director.
“Falmouth University is geared for digital creative innovation, so we are delighted to be part of this initiative. The creative economy provides one in 11 jobs and is one of the fastest growing sectors of the UK economy. Building on the region’s well-established digital expertise, this collaborative project offers real opportunities to deliver economic impact for the South West.”
Professor Tanya Krzywinska, project lead for Falmouth University.
“The creative industries – from the smallest micro-businesses to the larger players – are a hugely important asset for our region and the UK as a whole, and this collaborative project is going to generate new opportunities which will transform how we engage with ideas and digital technology across the sector. We are delighted to be working with colleagues across the South West on a project which plays to our region’s world-leading strengths.”
Professor Kate Pullinger, Director of the Centre for Culture and Creative Industries at Bath Spa University.