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Carry on Fusing

14th October 2018

NGCV enabled the cultural sector to get involved in a region wide programme focussed on business innovation and 'fusion' between cultural sector freelancers, practitioners and organisations, academics and businesses from the Creative, Digital and IT sectors.  By working with the universities to build in the cultural sector to the £5m regional initiative (supported by AHRC, ERDF and Arts Council England), NGCV was able to open up access to all of the opportunities available through the Creative Fuse NE Cultural Sector Engagement Programme over the last 18 months.

Creative Fuse NE has been a ground breaking initiative, which has brought a lot of benefits to the creative economy in the region...and it's not over yet.

Celebrating cultural fusion - what Fuse did for us

The Creative Fuse NE Cultural Sector Showcase was hosted by Tyneside Cinema on 27th September and was a celebration of the sector's engagement right across the Creative Fuse programme and involving all 5 universities in the region. 

Declan Baharini, Cultural Sector Engagement Broker, who supported the involvement of the sector in Creative Fuse NE said, "From the Tweed to the Tees, the cultural sector responded enthusiastically to the range of Fuse opportunities on offer. 

Freelancers, micro-businesses, not-for-profits large and small have brought ideas, invention and creativity to the programme, as well as receiving business innovation support, building new relationships and accessing academic and Creative Digital and IT expertise that has helped develop their own practice, businesses, products and services. They've also benefitted from new skills, knowledge and growing organisational capacity. 

There have also been a range of initiatives which will provide a lasting legacy for the region, from the development of immersive technologies for cultural and heritage sites to the Digital Literature programme, which has created a wealth of resources for writers in the region.  It really has been an explosion of creativity."

The Showcase event highlighted the range of impacts and the depth and breadth of the sector's involvement.

Creative Fuse Project Director, Mark Adamson, also announced the extension to Creative Fuse NE and talked about future opportunities. He said, "The project, which is continuing, has worked to explore, develop and scale the innovation capacity and potential as part of a growing regional economy and to contribute to the North East's innovation and economic strategies. It has presented new ways of cross-sector working and collabiration, whcih we hope and believe will influence and support emerging regional and national policy development."

What happens next?

Newcastle University's Creative Fuse NE team leads the project and is working with the other 4 universities, key stakeholders and partners to explore ways to continue the Creative Fuse NE programme and approach.  There will be a number of events (Collaboration and Knowledge Exchange) and a range of research reports and media produced to highlight the outcomes and impact of the whole Creative Fuse NE programme over the last two years.

People are encouraged to sign up online for updates.

Information about new events, support and opportunities

In the meantime, there are lots of Fuse and Fuse related activities, funding and support still available across the region, which the cultural sector can get involved in - including ongoing business support in Tees Valley and new commissions, funding around immersive content and business innovation, a workshop on music analytics, a new programme for creative learning for small businesses innovation and a creativity festival - just to name a few.

Click here to download the final Creative Fuse NE Cultural Sector Update to find out more and follow the links to opportunities.

A range of resources, links and information are also online here as part of the Cultural Sector Engagement Programme - with information about the Cultural Sector Showcase event, speakers and panellists, a range of films about Creative Fuse activities, approaches and impact, links to cultural sector networks and partnerships across the NE, as well as to digital and technology networks, funding and support.