createch showcases innovation
in adversity at London Tech Week 2020
Leading speakers and pioneering showcases explored Covid-19’s catalysing impact on tech-enabled creative innovation at London Tech Week on 7 September.
Sessions during the free event illustrates the power of creativity, fuelled by technology, to attack adversity with innovation. They showcased the pioneering UK talent who, in the face of the COVID-19 crisis, have forged new ways to make creative ideas a reality and engage audiences in the virtual realm.
With a rich heritage of creativity, technological innovation and a world class research base, the UK is already at the forefront of this space. But the current crisis has placed the rapidly emerging specialism centre stage, with many creative and cultural organisations - severely hit by the impact of lockdown - turning to the fusion of creative practice and cutting edge tech to find new ways to tell stories, create shared experiences, diversify income streams, and pivot traditional business models.
The day-long programme of expert panels and best practice, hosted by the Creative Industries Council, explored how creativity and technology are coming together to drive innovation within the creative industries and beyond.
Issues and speakers included:
- Caroline Rush, CEO, British Fashion Council on how technology can help drive sustainable manufacture and supply in the global fashion industry.
- Nigel Vaz, Global CEO, Publicis Sapient & IPA President, discussing how blockchain technology will help solve issues of trust and transparency in the online advertising ecosystem.
- Emma McGann, musician and online live streamer, spoke about how independent artists are using virtual touring platforms to connect with fans.
- Susan Cummings, Director, Fictioneers Ltd, explained how a creative digital and academic consortium, including Aardman are taking their much-loved characters Wallace and Gromit into a new interactive concept of storytelling.
Half of the UK’s immersive tech companies are based outside London and 25% are growing start-ups, according to Immerse UK. This year’s event also showcased leading companies that featured on the Createch 2020 'Ones to Watch’ list, including:
- Charisma.ai: With venues in lockdown, Charisma.Ai’s founder Guy Gadney teamed up with Creation Theatre in Oxford and Big Telly Theatre Company in Belfast, to blend live acting and the latest in AI and online video techniques to create an immersive interpretation of Lewis Carroll's classic, 'Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland', through live Zoom performances.
- Bright White: Supported by funding from Innovate’s Audiences of the Future programme, York-based Bright White is part of a consortium – led by voice-interactive media specialists, Forever Holdings, and including Manchester Metropolitan University – to create an interactive digital portrait of a very well-known American music producer and musician, that enables an audience to meet him and ask questions about his life and experience.
- Kovet.Art: an online platform for the UK’s emerging artists. Since launching in June, Kovet has held its inaugural VR exhibition, sold its first artworks and has been heralded in the press as “Democratising creativity through the tech-led gallery of the future.”
- Bright Little Labs: Sophie Dean and her team make cartoons, games and toys to promote STEM, 21st century skills, critical thinking and equality for all kids aged 3+. The company has users in 100+ countries and raised Series A investment with WarnerMedia in 2018.