Goldsmiths Digital: Research and Innovation in the Creative Economy

Grierson, Mick. 2017. Goldsmiths Digital: Research and Innovation in the Creative Economy. In: Morag Shiach and Tarek Virani, eds. Cultural Policy, Innovation and the Creative Economy: Creative Collaborations in Arts and Humanities Research. Palgrave, pp. 83-95. ISBN 978-1-349-95112-3 [Book Section]

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Academic research, in its purest form, is about changing how we understand the world. Sometimes this involves an entirely new philosophical, logical, or aesthetic principle. On other occasions, it sheds light on how different types of existing knowledge can combine. Or it may be characterised by new observations emerging entirely by accident, and that we as yet cannot explain.

In general, we understand innovation differently. We might say that innovation is about changing the way things are. The concept of innovation brings with it the notion of a new way to do something - not just a new way to understand it. In this sense, innovation implicitly requires practical outcomes and impact. This impact can be in any area, even the nature of research itself.

It is clear that academic institutions should be active in both research and innovation. The 2015 Dowling Review of Business-University Research Collaborations states that ‘use-inspired research’ drives new insights in fundamental research, and that greater funding of collaborative research and development, supported by ‘pump-prime’ funding, is required in order to deliver improved economic impact and more valuable research in general. It also states that the current strategy is not well coordinated.

However, there have been some attempts to explore how collaborative R&D might work better. In the past few years, projects such as Creativeworks London, and other similar, related enterprises including London Creative and Digital Fusion, and the NESTA, AHRC, ACE Digital R&D fund, have provided excellent opportunities to explore and better understand how institutions can more effectively collaborate with non-academic partners.

In 2014, in direct response to these opportunities, I set up Goldsmiths Digital, a research-led practice initiative to provide consultancy and contract research services to the Creative Economy sector, the primary outputs of which would be software and hardware prototypes.

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1 January 2017Published

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10 Jan 2017 12:39

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02 Jan 2020 02:26


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