CreaTech is a relatively new term and one that may not be very familiar and whilst the influence of the entire creative industry has been fundamental to the emergence of CreaTech, the term does have a certain specificity. 

The Creative Industries Council (CIC) defines it as, “where creativity meets technology. It brings together creative skills and emerging technologies to create new ways of engaging audiences and to inspire business growth and investment.”

The key aspect of this is new. Tech Nation builds on this definition by explaining, “CreaTech is used to describe new tech that seeks to improve and automate the delivery and use of creative services.”

A Venn diagram with two pink circles. The diagram is illustrating how Creative Industries and Tech Sector overlaps with CreaTech

(Source: Tech Nation, 2021)

It is the interface of tech and the creative industries. Where deep tech is based on scientific and engineering discoveries, CreaTech is based on technological advancements that can revolutionise creative practice. 

At TechSPARK, we’re going to be publishing a range of CreaTech features, alongside content about the wider creative industries that intersect with tech and digital, but don’t quite encompass what it means to be a CreaTech organisation. 

CreaTech in the South West

According to Tech Nation’s CreaTech Report 2021, commissioned by CIC and Digital Catapult, the median Venture Capital (VC) investment made into CreaTech companies in the South West from 2015 to 2020 was the highest in the UK, totaling to an average of £1.65mn.

Tech Nation says, “Across the past 5 years, median investment has highlighted the emergence of this space with all regions showing strong investment.”

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning companies received the highest proportion of CreaTech investment across the UK in 2020 with £478mn, which highlights the importance of deep tech as a prominent driver of innovation within the CreaTech space. 

The significant investments is reflected in the hive of activity in and around the CreaTech scene.

There is a multitude of things to get involved with from the South West, from funds to events and awards. 

Innovate UK is launching a new funding competition called ‘Creative Industries Fund’. As part of UK Research and Innovation, the fund will invest up to £2.5 million in innovation projects – and applications close on 16th June, so don’t miss out! 

CIC is on a mission to bolster the CreaTech sector, working to raise the profile of CreaTech to that of FinTech or EdTech. Out of this, there are lots of opportunities to get involved with the team.

Coming up next week is CogX. From 14th – 16th June, entrepreneurs, corporate innovators, and creative visionaries will underline CreaTech’s potential to develop new UK investment, jobs and markets. 

Poster with pink background and image of a man in a motion sensor suit. The text says: CreaTech at CogX with Creative industries Council, 14-16 June 2021

Against a backdrop of record venture capital investment into the space where UK creative and tech industries overlap, the CreaTech topic stream at CogX 2021 promises the most detailed exploration yet of this potentially transformative phenomenon.

Sessions will range from discussions of new research into CreaTech’s impact on UK jobs and venture capital investment to discussions on the use of AI, 5G, virtual worlds and other technologies to deliver productivity gains, stunning audience experiences. and new revenue streams – you can grab a free ticket here!

Later in the month, CIC is putting together their annual showcase of the best innovations in UK CreaTech.

CreaTech Ones to Watch 2021 will celebrate inspiring companies and consortiums from across the UK which are developing new business models or revenue streams by bringing together creative skills from industries such as fashion, production, gaming etc. with innovative use of tech such as XR, AI, 5G, robotics,  blockchain, etc. 

They want to highlight innovative UK-based projects which are either changing the way people connect, engage and consume by using new and emerging technologies in creative ways or enabling innovation and growth through creative use of technology across other sectors of the economy – applications close 25th June!

Keep an eye out for CreaTech features such as our recent breakdown of awesome production studios based here in the South West

Shona Wright

Shona covers all things editorial at TechSPARK. She publishes news articles, interviews and features about our fantastic tech and digital ecosystem, working with startups and scaleups to spread the word about the cool things they're up to. She also oversees TechSPARK's social media, sharing the latest updates on everything from investment news to green tech meetups and inspirational stories.