transforming creativity through technology

By Frank Boyd, Knowledge Transfer Network


What is striking about the group of nominees shortlisted for the 2015 CIC Cross Industry Collaboration Award was that it captured the profound transformation that has taken place in the creative industries as a result of new digital technologies, tools and channels.

Importantly, these technologies have not so much subsumed the creative arts, but rather enabled them to flourish and to develop new forms of storytelling, practice and business.

Andy Serkis, whose understanding of his discipline as an actor was transformed when he encountered motion capture technology, is pioneering a revolution in the art and business of storytelling.

The Imaginarium is one of a number of world-class companies that are putting the UK in the vanguard of 21st Century film, tv and game production.

These businesses combine art form innovation with technological R&D, bringing together the craft of writers, art directors and performers with the latest in sensors, digital capture and software to create some of the most distinctive and commercially successful productions of recent years.

It is this fusion of art and engineering excellence that enable our video games companies to develop titles which reach new heights of creativity, encompassing narrative, interactivity and visual power.

The commercial value of these achievements, at the global level, is well known - Grand Theft Auto 5 reportedly earned $1bn worldwide in three days.

What is less often appreciated is how the impact of the creative sector is spreading out across the economy as a whole. Whether it is design, storytelling, branding, performance or craft, the strengths of creative businesses (underpinned in term by our renowned educational and cultural institutes) are a vital source of competitive advantage for British industry.

It is therefore particularly welcome to see that Gerry McGovern's inclusion in the list of nominees acknowledges the vital importance of design to Jaguar Landrover, a company which exploits many of the same 3D, augmented and virtual reality technologies as the entertainment industries in the development of new vehicles.

It is this fusion of creative and technological talent which will be crucial to the UK thriving in the years ahead. If the UK's government, education and investment agencies can fully recognise and support this, then the future will be very bright not just for our creative industries, but for the British economy as a whole.

Frank Boyd, director - creative, digital and design at The Knowledge Transfer Network, was a judge of the CIC Cross-Industry Collaboration Award at The Hospital Club's h.Club 100 Awards.