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25th July, 2017

Developing Effective Research Collaborations

The Culture Capital Exchange

Creativeworks London and TCCE have created this mini-toolkit, with the hope that it might be useful to people interested in undertaking, supporting or better understanding research collaborations.

We hope therefore it will be useful to a range of different readers. These will include: academic researchers wanting to work with the cultural or creative sectors, artists and creative businesses seeking to collaborate with university research partners, funding bodies that may be planning to develop new funding streams to support collaborations into the future, policy-makers interested in the processes and practices of collaboration and brokerage, and Knowledge Exchange managers tasked with helping to support such activity within universities and other research institutions.

Creativeworks London is one of four Knowledge Exchange hubs in the UK funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. The hubs were established to connect excellent research in the arts and humanities with a range of creative and cultural organisations, across the UK to accelerate growth and innovation, generate new opportunities for Knowledge Exchange, foster entrepreneurial talent and contribute to the development of the UK’s Creative Economy.

The Culture Capital Exchange has led the Knowledge Exchange Programme for Creativeworks London since it was launched in September 2012 and through that we developed a series of initiatives to support research collaborations between our research partners and small-scale arts, cultural and creative sector businesses and individuals. These included: Creative Vouchers, Creative Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Researcher in Residence and a follow-on fund called BOOST.

We developed these research collaboration opportunities so knowledge could be shared in and between different fields; innovation could be supported; products, projects, new research and other outputs could be created.  We also wanted to create the opportunities to develop and enhance networking opportunities and possibilities for cross-sectoral working and knowledge co-creation. Between 2012 and 2015 we were delighted to be able to  support 109 projects across the 4 schemes named above.

This toolkit aims to bring to light some of our key learnings over these last years. It is not intended to be an exhaustive document but by using case-studies, quotations, data, anecdotal evidence, feedback and, drawing on our day-to day experience of running the programme, we hope to bring to attention some of the main benefits and challenges associated with developing research collaborations and  to provide information, based on our experiences, that we hope will be of help should you be planning to set up, support or be otherwise involved in such activities.


Evelyn Wilson and Rachel Lasebikan

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