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New research centre launched to help creative industries in the digital age

Thu, 31 Jan 2013

From illegal file-sharing to the market conditions needed to boost innovation - researchers from the University of East Anglia will investigate how creative industries can be protected in the digital age as part of a multi-million pound project which launches today.

The new Centre for Creativity, Regulation, Enterprise and Technology (CREATe) is designed to benefit the UK's creative industries - worth around £60 billion, or six per cent of the entire economy.

The project brings together internationally-renowned researchers in the fields of law, politics and policy-making, business, economics, technology, psychology and cultural analysis to study the problems of copyright and business models in the creative worlds.

Led by the University of Glasgow, the CREATe consortium includes UEA, the University of Edinburgh, Goldsmiths, the University of Nottingham, the University of St Andrews and the University of Strathclyde, as well as more than 80 industry and arts sector partners.

Over the next four years, 40 CREATe projects will focus on the links between culture, the economy and technology. As well as undertaking innovative research, the centre will advise government and stakeholders, and provide evidence to back key policy decisions. It will also develop cutting edge technologies to help artists and users.

Researchers from UEA span the schools of Law, Economics, Psychology, Political, Social and International Studies, and the school of Film,Television and Media Studies. The new partnership will particularly draw on expertise from UEA's Centre for Competition Policy, as well as from its 50-strong media@uea network. They will investigate topics including the economic and social factors that influence file-sharing behaviour, the challenges for young and upcoming musicians in building a digital music career, the market conditions needed to enhance innovation, and the standards of human rights that facilitate creative industries.

Law lecturer Dr Emily Laidlaw, who represents UEA on the centre's management committee, said: "The UK leads the world with its creative industries - from film and TV to music, games, design, fashion, publishing and new media - and we will look at how to protect, maintain and boost the UK's global lead in digital innovation. This will also be an exciting contribution to the creative community of Norwich and Norfolk."

Prof John Street, one of the co-directors of media@uea and a key contributor to the CREATe project, is attending today's launch at the University of Glasgow. He said: "When people talk about creativity, they often assume that it is the opposite of regulation or enterprise. But actually they are all intimately linked.

"The real issue is how best to connect them, and for this you need an unusual mix of academic expertise. UEA has this unique combination and CREATe provides an amazing opportunity for us to work both with other leading centres in the field and major players in the UK's creative industries."

CREATe is supported by £5m of funding over the next four years from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and Economic and Research Council (ESRC). The University of Glasgow is committing a further £1.7m to research posts and PhDs in the College of Arts and Social Sciences.