Business Insight Report Launch
Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the UK are at the cutting edge of the fusion of immersive technologies, such as Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and haptics, and storytelling. Projects produced through the R&D and investment support from the Creative Industries Clusters programme exemplify these companies’ creative excellence and desire. However, the sector is fledgling in its nature, and business owners face multiple challenges, ranging from tensions between creative expression and business needs, through rapidly-evolving hardware and software, all within an immature ecosystem.
In this report, we look at the recent advances in immersive business model development as well as how these practices come together in new types of creative businesses. Our primary focus is on immersive content-creating SMEs — those pushing the boundaries of storytelling with emerging immersive technology.
This report was conducted by staff at StoryFutures, led by Royal Holloway, University
of London. StoryFutures is part of the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s (AHRC)unprecedented Creative Industries Clusters Programme (CICP). StoryFutures undertakes challenge-based research with partners in London and the ‘Gateway Cluster’ to deliver game-changing R&D projects that realise the potential of immersive technologies through innovation in story form and content.
Professor James Bennett is Director of StoryFutures Creative Cluster and Co-Director of StoryFutures Academy. He is Professor of Television and Digital Culture at Royal Holloway, University of London.
Professor Mark Lycett is Business Innovation Lead for StoryFutures. He is Professor of Digital Innovation at Royal Holloway, University of London.
Dr Marianna Rolbina is Research Fellow on the Business Innovation team at StoryFutures, focusing on mixed methods research on creative businesses.
Thanks go to the SMEs who participated in this research, for both giving their time freely and being candid in discussion. Acknowledgments are also extended to Olivia Hinkin, Kristina Glushkova, Iqra Bukhari, Claude Heathe, and Tom Holmes for their background work that made the report possible.