Creative Cluster

StoryFutures Creative Cluster creates and helps fund R&D projects with creative businesses in the Gateway Cluster and Greater London.

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StoryFutures Academy delivers cutting edge training in immersive technology and immersive storytelling for the traditional screen industries nationwide.

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R&D On Demand

'R&D On Demand’ enables SMEs to access university expertise to develop new ideas and solve innovation challenges in next-generation storytelling. We have research experts in areas such as story form development, audience insight, immersive technology, business models, routes to funding and many others.

We are looking to support exploratory and early-stage R&D collaborations between SMEs and researchers, that show clear potential for growth and innovation.

Some examples of areas where we can help:

  1. Audience Insight: We offer audience testing of prototypes, pilots and fully-fledged projects to understand how they respond to multi-sensory attention cues. We provide insight into audience behaviours and access to data in long-term trends in consumer habits.
  2. Scale-up support: We offer business development support, including collaborating on funding applications and helping companies innovate in business models.
  3. Story Form: We offer creative or tech companies with a platform, software or hardware help creating, researching and testing great stories.

Some key points about the process:

  • You can usually access between 8-15 days of researchers time
  • There is up to £3000 bursary on offer for the SME, if required, to enable participation.
  • Access to researcher time must be matched by equivalent resource and time invested in the R&D collaboration by the company.
  • SMEs can expect to benefit from IP resulting from any R&D collaboration.

We accept applications at any time, so if you are an SME who can benefit from this opportunity, we'd love to hear from you. Please read our quick guide for SMEs below, and express your interest in our form.

SME Quick Guide
BRIEFING 6 3 19 64


To apply you'll need to meet the following requirements:

  • Location: Companies applying for R&D On Demand support must be based in the Gateway Cluster (see map)
  • Project Scope: Companies must provide a short statement on their R&D project, the opportunity for innovation, business motivation, commercial potential and expected outcomes
  • Partnership: Companies must agree to anonymised academic publication of results and contribute to the R&D collaboration via any mix of the following: staff time, cash, IP licensing, facilities, equipment.
Express interest