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Research Fora and Grand Challenges

At TCCE, we work intensively with researchers, artists, creatives and other stakeholders to respond to key societal and environmental challenges or to issues concerned with change and uncertainty. We also work in response to emergent funding opportunities and policy developments. Currently, we run a number of research fora, outlined below, and in the recent past, we’ve run events under other brands including: Hackademia, Impossible Partnerships and Ideas Labs.

Research Fora

In collaboration with our academic members, TCCE has developed a number of research and activity fora focused around themes of mutual interest and strategic priority.

 These fulfil a number of functions including: networking TCCE researchers with complementary interests to discuss and showcase work, networking researchers and creative practitioners and horizon scanning for funding bids and other opportunities. TCCE are currently supporting four fora:

Arts and Health 

  • Led by Dr Elena Cologni, Co-Lead of ARU Arts, Health and Wellbeing Research Network, Anglia Ruskin University 

Knowledge Exchange and Impact 

  • Led by Professor Maria Chatzichristodoulou, Associate Dean Research, Business & Innovation, Kingston School of Art, Kingston University 

Arts and Digital Creativity 

  • Led by Dr Eduardo Alonso, Director of the Artificial Intelligence Research Centre, CitAI, City, University of London

Intersectionality: Race, gender and class 

  • Led by Dr Javeria Shah, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London

In the last academic year, we ran events including

  • Workshopping KE metrics
  • Student Knowledge Exchange
  • The Knowledge Exchange Framework: Reflections and Future Actions
  • The Evolution of Knowledge Exchange Practice in Higher Education
  • KEF Narratives Roundtable 
  • NFTs and Poetry 
  • AI, Art and Activism
  • Arts and Digital Creativity 
  • Pandemic and Performance 
  • Reflections on Cop26: Working together for our planetary futures 
  • Arts and Health Research in a Pandemic 

If you would like to be involved in our fora, or for more information, contact in the first instance

From left: Dr Romy Gad el Rab, Hyphen-Labs; Abira Hussein, Independent Curator and Researcher; Dr Christine “Xine” Yao, UCL; Charlotte Frost, Furtherfield

I have found TCCE events consistently helpful in consolidating relationships with existing partners and making new connections that support us to submit a range of bids to a variety sources as a consortium approach to research funding becomes ever more ubiquitous

Dr Maria Chatzichristodoulou,
Associate Professor in Performance and New Media, Head of External Development and Enterprise,
School of Arts and Creative Industries, London South Bank University


Hackademia was an annual event aimed at Early Career Researchers, developed as part of our HEFCE and Arts Council England supported project The Exchange.  

Hackademia brought together ECRs from across a wide range of research disciplines with representatives from research councils and professionals from areas such as publishing, film, and arts and the wider creative sectors. It aimed to help ECRs: to develop skills to establish meaningful research collaborations, to learn about opportunities for exchange and collaboration and to develop valuable networks.

The Hackademia archives can be found here.

It has been a privilege to contribute to The Exchange. The events bring together an exciting mix of creative professionals and early career researchers and generate new ideas to make knowledge flow between sectors.

Dr Steven Hill,
Director of Research,
Research England

Impossible Partnerships and Ideas Labs

We ran an exciting series of collaborative events entitled Impossible Partnerships during 2016/17. 

Impossible Partnerships was a series of small-scale, informal, convivial meetings, developed and curated by TCCE to boost the collaborative potential of projects and topics, in order to support new networks between research and the creative sectors. Among the themes covered were citizen science, distributed data and the arts, the gig economy.


From time to time, TCCE curates small-scale Ideas Labs designed to bring together researchers and practitioners from diverse backgrounds with a view to exploring future research bids and/or encouraging particular conversations with interested parties beyond the academy.

Some examples include:

Technology, Ethics and the Arts Now as part of Inter/sections 2017

Ageing and the Arts and Culture Sector in collaboration with the Drama Department at Queen Mary and Split Britches Theatre Company

The Museum of The Futures in collaboration with The Community Brain 

RobotTechCraft in collaboration with The Crafts Council. 

We ran an Ideas Lab in partnership with the TCCE bringing together academics from across disciplines and art sector professionals to discuss issues around ageing and the arts, and to begin to identify strategies to counteract the current lack of elders either working as either practicing artists or art sector workers. It was just a fantastic way of bringing different people together to think about a pressing issue.

Gini Simpson,
Development Director,
In Company


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