Digital R&D Accelerator

Working in partnership Nesta and Arts Council England are providing a further stage of support for up to 10 of the 52 projects in the form of an accelerator, as it was clear that some projects would benefit from support and investment beyond their R&D phase, to help them fully realise their product or service. This intervention is designed specifically to help projects become ‘investment ready' with the aim of attracting new forms of finance beyond traditional routes. The accelerator will take the form of a three-month programme of business support to help projects explore the further potential of their original ideas. 

This new, one-off initiative will allow Arts Council England and Nesta to test how the accelerator model, which is now common in other sectors of business innovation, might work for the arts and cultural sector more generally. Is an approach more usually found in tech start-ups relevant and transferable to this field?  

Digital R&D Insights & Resources

Resources Legacy of Digital R&D Fund

For the past three years, Arts Council England, the Arts and Humanities Research Council and Nesta have been working together to deliver the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts supporting collaborations between arts organisations, technology companies and research partners. 

The programme supported a total of 52 projects across a wide range of themes from delivering remote music tuition digitally in North Yorkshire to designing an app-based clapping game to teach rhythm based around the music of Steve Reich. 

The Digital R&D Fund has now come to an end, and leaves a legacy of online toolkits and resources to support the arts and cultural sector: 

The Digital R&D Fund legacy website showcases the projects supported by the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts, sharing their insights and research as well as lots of other stories of what works and what doesn't work when it comes to digital innovation in the arts and cultural sector. 

You can access more information about all the projects funded by the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts here. As part of the Fund legacy free resources and tools have been produced, including Theme Guides and a Digital Toolkit

Toolkit summary:

The site also includes curated a selection of case studies, in partnership with British Council, to showcase some examples of best practice in the use of R&D and digital technology in the arts from around the world. You can find these in the Global R&D section of the site. 

Find out more