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There was a celebratory mood as Creative Cambridge 2022 brought us together again – in person, at last – to celebrate a community of a hundred Cambridge innovators, researchers and creatives working to build connections and foster collaboration between academia and the creative and heritage industries.  

The programme was designed to spotlight existing projects and partnerships, with a strong emphasis on learnings from collaborations in cultural heritage, and on innovation in the creative industries. There was special pleasure in unexpected points of contact between speakers – a conversation on how we can navigate Cambridge’s cultural thresholds, invisible or physical; reflections on how the resources of videogaming and cultural heritage can be used to tackle trauma in individuals and communities; discussions of the value of tactile verses augmented reality experience; and how new technologies will play a part in combating unsustainable practices in the fashion industry. 

It was wonderful to have guest speakers join us from further afield, including Jo Byrne of Historic England to introduce some of their focus around evaluation of wellbeing improvements linked with heritage engagement; Karishma Gupta of Satatland with her very personal reflections on her entrepreneurship journey and the need to reconfigure our ideas of ownership in relation to clothes; and Robert Pepperell’s demonstration of FovoRender, a novel way of visualising and rendering digital environments inspired by an artists’ eye view of the world.  

We were delighted to be able to hear from a wide range of “Pitchers”, calling for collaborators or advertising their support. Highlights here included:  

  • Zrinka Mendas’s request for expertise to create educational games for sign language learners 
  • Selen Etingu-Breslaw’s announcement of the new round of Creative Encounters funding and support to seed collaborations between researchers and artists 
  • Lisa Lin’s introduction to the moving and unsettling augmented reality experience created by Anglia Ruskin’s StoryLab through their collaboration with the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust
  • Dan Wilkin’s amazing and nostalgia-inducing whistle-stop tour of all the good things happening at Cambridge’s Centre for Computing History. 

We want to thank everyone who joined Cambridge Enterprise and supported the day, in particular our sponsors cofinitive, funders the Economic and Social Research Council, our speakers, and the brilliant panel chairs Sue Keogh, Tyler Shores and Chris Doran. 

Revisit the 2022 Programme

Watch the highlights

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Creative Cambridge 2022 Annual Conference


The takeaways

Cambridge Enterprise exists to support researchers, academics, staff and students at the University of Cambridge to turn their expertise and research into impact and innovation outside of academia.  

We know that when our researchers take a collaborative approach to learning from expert partners such as creatives, practitioners, businesses and communities, this helps them to translate their ideas into something really meaningful and adoptable in real-world settings, and hugely widens the imaginative scope of the research.  

We also know that the university can be a confusing place to navigate and that more can be done to shape and foster such partnerships. There are creative and cultural heritage organisations who would like to access the expertise, collections, research insight and capacities of the university, but struggle to find a way in. 

How can help matchmake and seed early collaborations which lead to impactful innovations from gaming to education, wellbeing to architecture, heritage interpretation to media?  

  • We are especially keen to grow our awareness of artists and creatives who would be interested to link up with researchers -whether through schemes like Menagerie’s Ideas Stage or in more informal ways such as the Creative Encounters programme or as part of programming at the Cambridge Festival. 
  • There are also opportunities to pilot different kinds of partnership working, including placements and exchanges, hackathons, and community-based projects.  
  • As we heard from many of our speakers, there is often an element of serendipity in how a large collaboration has blossomed out of a chance encounter. We are glad to facilitate introductions and to devise more fora and events to make some new connections! 

We believe that Creative Cambridge can develop into a platform for likeminded people to create connections between academia and the creative industries in Cambridge, and for us to take a “what works” approach and learn from each other.  

If you are interested in keeping in touch with Creative Cambridge, or if you have opportunities or ideas to share, please sign-up for our newsletter below or get in touch.