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15th January, 2016

New network launches to nurture collaboration between academics and creative SMEs

The National Academics and Creatives Exchange

The Culture Capital Exchange is today announcing the launch of The Exchange, a two-year pilot project bringing together Artists, Creative Small Businesses and Academic Researchers to explore and nurture research collaborations between the Arts and Creative Sectors and Universities.

Funded by Arts Council England (ACE) and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) The Exchange will build a national network through which artists, creatives and researchers can grow mutually beneficial relationships and break down barriers to collaboration. Creatives will gain better intelligence about their work and academics will be able to strengthen their research practice with direct access to industry partners.

These collaborations will be nurtured by through a series of 30 grants, seed funding of £5,000 each, available for 30 collaborative research projects, to allow academics and creatives to work together on an idea or avenue of enquiry.

To kick-start The Exchange, The Culture Capital Exchange is holding a series of free introductory networking events across the country during January and February 2016. The events are for Early Career Researchers (ECR), Artists, Micro Businesses and SMEs within the Creative and Cultural Industries, Research / Business Development Managers, and will be regionally split across the North, Midlands, South West and South East.

“With The Exchange we hope to develop a national network of Higher Education Institutions to share best practice, lessons learned from individual initiatives and avoid duplication in this developing area.  The Exchange will also provide a valuable peer-to-peer network and skills development opportunities for Early Career Researchers”, says Suzie Leighton, Director, The Culture Capital Exchange. “And for Creatives, we see academics being able to help articulate their business case to potential partners and funders and provide resources to move forward in artistic or business practice. We have had great success with this model in London so it’s exciting to see it roll out across the country”.

Joyce Wilson, London Area Director, Arts Council England, said: “With its 10-year track record in developing extensive collaboration and exchange between the university sector and the cultural and creative industries in London, The Culture Capital Exchange is now in a strong position to roll out its programme across the country and to build a more coherent and sustainable relationship between arts practice and academic research nationally, in line with the Arts Council’s priorities to improve sector resilience.”

The Culture Capital Exchange have now opened the call for the regional events, which will hold between 50 and 70 people each. For more information and to sign up to the events visit the website.

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