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Innovation Pilot Theme: Digital (R)evolution

Innovation through blending the creative and digital is what Creative Fuse is all about. Most of our Innovation Pilots will contain some digital elements, but the projects in this category are dedicated to digital transformation. Expect digital solutions within the region’s fashion industry, cultural organisations, freelancer communities, and the construction and legal sectors.

NE Culture is Digital

Who was involved?

Sage Gateshead, Festival of Thrift, Theatre Hullabaloo, University of Sunderland and Teesside University.

What did they do?

This pilot developed a multi-phase process that enabled partners to engage with both universities and SMEs to explore common overarching challenges; it involved co-designing and testing a creative and digital tender brief articulating a perceived innovation challenge with regional SMEs. The project explored a novel
process to support commissioning and procuring of creative and digital services and products between the regional arts and cultural sector and locally based CDIT SMEs.

Calm Digital, an SME who won one of three tenders developed through the co-design process, said:

‘The event allowed the companies planning to post the tender to discuss their aims with the creative and digital sector in more detail, which in turn allowed them to be more focused when writing their tender documents – and for those attending to understanding the requirements in more depth. This event was both a positive experience and beneficial for Calm Digital in understanding the creative sector’s varied needs.’
Carl Thom, Business Development


Digital Evaluation Toolkit for the Creative Industries

This project will draw together arts organisations, researchers, and creative digital makers to pilot a digital evaluation toolkit for arts organisations wanting to assess the impact of arts activity on participants. The project would explore the potential of developing an app that could be modified by organisations according to their projects and audiences, and developing an analysis framework around the data generated.

The ability to accurately and robustly evidence the impact of a project will allow cultural organisations (and others) to not only better develop future projects, but crucially bid more effectively for future contracts, being able to clearly articulate the value and benefit of their work.

GearBuddy: Exploring the Sharing Economy in the Construction Sector

This project will explore the potential application of the sharing economy within the construction sector, producing a business case for a digital platform which facilitates equipment sharing. The project team will develop an Internet of Things (IoT) device which can monitor construction equipment usage patterns, testing this within a trial construction site. The findings will be analysed and made available within a final report and business plan.

NEone Creative

NEone Creative is an early-stage online platform designed to promote open-source creative practice between individuals. This project will respond to the challenges identified for freelancers in the Creative Fuse Initial report, and aims to develop a digital platform designed to lead to face-to-face collaboration between freelancers and larger organisations, and other freelancers.

A consortium of people from various working environments, NEone Creative: Driving Freelancer Fusion will create and pilot a refined prototype platform and launch this amongst the Creative Fuse network of freelancers.

Digital Alumni

Who was involved?

Tees Valley Arts, Teesside University, Durham University

What did they do?

This pilot explored the concept of ‘digital alumni’ to capture narratives of the transformative impact their arts programmes have on people’s lives. The aim was to provide the organisation with robust cases for support and to develop a digitally centred network to reconnect past participants with TVA. During this process, TVA were invited to engage with the Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA) to help facilitate grassroots support for a UK City of Culture 2025 bid.

TVA generated a series of consultation events working with a specifically diverse group from local communities to discuss how culture impacted their lived experience and what ideas they had to shape the City of Culture bid.  Subsequent work discovered that TVA were collecting powerful stories as to how their programmes had transformed participants’ lives. This data had not been collected by funders. This led to a workshop with TVA, academics, TVCA, MIMA and Middlesbrough Council to create a comprehensive picture of how metrics around cultural programmes travel between organisations, funders and government.

What next?

Going forward, the team will continue working together as it has uncovered a significant and unique picture of metric translation following the workshops.

Virtual Resolution

This project is currently commercially sensitive, more details will be published as the project gets underway. The project is a fusion between the digital and legal sectors.

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