Funding Opportunity – CreativeXR Open Call


The UK has a unique community with strengths in art, culture and technology, sparking trends and influencing creative practice. CreativeXR unlocks the opportunity for this community to experiment with immersive content that inspires audiences.

Immersive technologies (including virtual and augmented reality) have significant potential to enable new formats of creative content for audiences and users. This emerging medium offers the arts and culture sector an unprecedented opportunity to create outstanding content that inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us.

After reading this brief, please refer to the FAQs to answer further queries.

Why you should get involved?

Focused on the creative industries, particularly the arts and culture sector; the three month programme works with the best creative teams to help develop concepts and prototypes of immersive content by offering access to finance, facilities, industry leaders and commissioning bodies, and the opportunity to pitch for further development funding. The programme has been developed by Digital Catapult and Arts Council England, with support from Innovate UK.

What is meant by ‘Immersive’?

Although ‘immersive’ is a broad term that can encompass many fields within arts, culture and technology, in the context of CreativeXR, this refers to experiences enabled specifically by virtual, augmented and mixed reality technologies (see FAQ for description of these technologies) and also encompasses immersive audio. It is the focus of this programme to explore the potential these enabling technologies have for audiences in the arts and cultural space.

CreativeXR supports:

  • Compelling new creative content formats enabled by immersive technology
  • The process of ‘content-led R&D’ whereby organisations are afforded space to develop riskier, content-focused projects that also contribute to the development of new skills, tools and business opportunities

CreativeXR will help the UK to make the most of the wealth of talent it possesses in the creative industries. Working closely with current and future content commissioners, the programme is designed to enable the UK’s arts and cultural sector to lead the field in immersive content creation and digital innovation.

Who should apply?

CreativeXR will support multi-skilled teams in the development of creative, consumer-facing experiences enabled by immersive technologies, which may include:

  • Artistic pieces.
  • Cultural experiences (including those inspired by museum, gallery, library or heritage experiences).
  • New forms of storytelling (fiction or non-fiction).
  • New forms of interactive entertainment.

Content may be intended for in-home use (i.e. distributed online) or location-based use (i.e. part of a physical installation) and delivered* using:

  • Virtual reality (including 360 video) technology.
  • Augmented/Mixed reality technology.
  • Immersive audio technology.

*Experiences may be extended with haptic or other sensory systems.

The content and user experience must be designed specifically for the chosen medium, and be enabled by one of these emerging technologies. Content may be purely digital or, in the case of location-based projects, it may incorporate an element of live performance if desired.

Content may be intended for different distribution methods:

  • In-home (i.e. content is distributed online, to users’ own devices, and is expected to be consumed in a home setting).
  • On-the-go (i.e. content is distributed online, to users’ own mobile devices, and may be consumed in any location).
  • Location-based (i.e. content is part of a fixed installation or exhibit in a specified location, with no device ownership required by users).

Whatever the distribution method, applicants will be expected to explain who the intended audience is, why it will appeal to them, and how they would access it.

For further information on eligibility, please see below.

Programme format

Creative teams can apply for support to complete a 12 week concept and prototype development project, after which they will have the opportunity to pitch to a number of content commissioners/publishers.

By being involved in the programme your business will benefit from:

  • Prototype Funding – Up to £20k to develop your immersive proof-of-concept prototype and supporting material.
  • Expertise – Access to a network of industry experts, high caliber peers and commissioning bodies.
  • Facilities – Access to immersive labs in London, Brighton, Bristol, North East Tees Valley* and Belfast* (Subject to programme start date and opening dates of these labs).
  • Workshops – Focused workshops to help develop your concept and pitch.
  • Pitch – Opportunity to pitch at final commissioner marketplace.
  • Development Funding – Chance to secure funding for further development.


Successful applicants will be expected to supply the following key deliverables over a 12 week period (4 December 2017 to 9 March 2018):


This working proof-of-concept should provide an immersive example of the core ideas to help inspire commissioners creatively, as well as giving them the confidence that it will be technically deliverable. It should therefore:

  • Provide an audiovisual and interactive benchmark of the experience, illustrating what a user will be expected to see, do, hear, and feel when they are within the experience.
  • Prove the feasibility of any key technological or logistical elements, particularly if they could be considered risky. For example, if the experience relies on a very specific piece of prototype hardware – this element needs to be tried and tested during this phase (however please note purchase of equipment cannot be covered within the funding).

Supporting material

A complete set of pitch material, in written and verbal presentation form, in preparation for the investor showcase, to include:

  • Creative concept material e.g. a treatment or script, concept art, storyboard.
  • Technical specification e.g. description of technology requirements and technical approach for production and distribution.
  • Distribution plan i.e. via online or location-based (installation) distribution.
  • Audience considerations (who will this appeal to and why).
  • Business plan (including cost breakdown for full production).
  • 20 second linear video teaser/showreel (or audio-only alternative) that can be used to demonstrate your experience in a ‘non immersive’ setting.

Participation in key events

Team representatives will be expected to attend a mandatory kick-off event and the final commissioner showcase, including presenting the prototype and pitch material to potential investors.

Case study and contribution to research

Digital Catapult and Arts Council England may carry out research related to this project, to help gain shareable insights around content making, and to assess impact of the content experiences and the programme itself. This may include (but is not limited to) producing published case studies or testimonies for which teams would be expected to contribute by providing appropriate feedback as required.

Please refer to the FAQs and T&Cs pages to answer any other questions you may have before applying.

How do I apply to join the programme?

Just complete the short interest form on this website. You will then be emailed with the link to the full application form.

Who can apply and eligibility?

Before applying please take into account the following factors:

  • The majority of work must be carried out in the UK.
  • The team must show a range of previous immersive content expertise (including production, technical and creative skills).
  • You may enter as a collaborative team, but there must be a lead company (this will be the only company paid).
  • All other companies/collaborators involved must be named in the application process.
  • A company can be named as a collaborator on more than one application, but can only be a ‘lead’ company once.
  • We will consider bidders that hold any legal trading form (e.g. ltd company, sole trader, consortium).
  • The lead company must have a business bank account.
  • We will carry out due diligence on the lead company so they must be willing to submit documentation upon request (including but not limited to bank account statements for the business and personal references).
  • Team must be able to commit to attending 2+ workshops hosted in London and the final Marketplace event at the end of March 2018.