Updated: 06 Jan 2012

Creative Workshops to Help Business Boost Innovation and Profits

7th August 2008

A pioneering institute at De Montfort University (DMU) has won funding to run a pilot project to help traditional industry employees think more creatively, inspire innovation and increase profits.

Almost £17,000 has been awarded by the Arts Humanities and Research Council (AHRC) to DMU's Institute of Creative Technologies (IOCT) in Leicester to run trial creative thinking workshops.

The IOCT is now recruiting a workshop developer who will develop creative skills workshops for traditionally non-creative industries eg engineering firms, run by Leicester-based music production company, Bathysphere.

Bathysphere's artists include several graduates of DMU's unique Music, Technology and Innovation degree, who are also performing at this weekend's Summer Sundae event at Leicester's De Montfort Hall (8-10 August).

Workshops might include getting mechanical engineers to create a kinetic sound sculpture, helping electronic engineers to build virtual instruments and perform a concert, or helping staff to create an audio-visual representation of their company's database.

Dr Tracy Harwood, Senior Research Fellow at the IOCT who is overseeing the project, said: "The IOCT is an excellent catalyst for the project because we've got the knowledge and expertise in transdisciplinary collaboration, so this project will make the most of the creative skills of Bathysphere to support innovation among traditional industries not used to thinking of the arts as a business tool."

Susan Amor, Knowledge Transfer Programme Manager at the AHRC, said: "The AHRC believe that this series of workshops to be run by the IOCT was worthy of funding thanks to its innovative interdisciplinary approach to creativity. It is a wonderful example of the type of project linking academic and non-academic organisations together that we look for in our 'Knowledge Catalyst Scheme'."

The AHRC Knowledge Catalyst scheme supports partnerships between universities and non-academic partners, such as businesses, charities, not-for-profit organisations and some publicly funded bodies.

The scheme aims to exploit the research base in the arts and humanities for commercial and/or cultural gain.

Businesses wanting to find out more about the workshops or individuals interested in the workshop developer job should contact Dr Harwood ( tharwood [at] dmu.ac.uk ) .

For information and a short video by Bathysphere, see the IOCT website: www.ioct.dmu.ac.uk/projects/bathysphere.html and for more information about Bathysphere itself see www.bathysphere.co.uk .


Notes for Editors

For further information, to arrange an interview, please contact De Montfort University Press Office on 0116 2577021

Arts & Humanities Research Council: Each year the AHRC provides approximately £100 million from the Government to support research and postgraduate study in the arts and humanities, from archaeology and English literature to design and dance. In any one year, the AHRC makes approximately 700 research awards and around 1,000 postgraduate awards. Awards are made after a rigorous peer review process, to ensure that only applications of the highest quality are funded. Arts and humanities researchers constitute nearly a quarter of all research-active staff in the higher education sector. The quality and range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides social and cultural benefits but also contributes to the economic success of the UK. www.ahrc.ac.uk

For further information or to be kept informed about IOCT activities, please contact:
The Director, Institute of Creative Technologies,
De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH
Tel: (+44) 0116 250 6146
Email: eedmonds [at] dmu.ac.uk

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