I am the director of the Creative Industries Knowledge Transfer Network. We’re a network membership organisation that has two core functions. One, to interface with Technology Strategy Board, and for those of you who don’t know the TSB is, it styles itself as the UK’s innovation agency, but as the name suggests, it’s very much focused on innovation being driven by technologies. So our job is to advise them on the needs, the opportunities, the challenges facing the creative industries, and to act as an interface, to engage them in the creative industries, and the creative industries with their programmes.
Our second function, is to stimulate knowledge transfers between sectors, between sectors within industries, to try and get others to talk to people in TV, understand each other and share a common language, between industry and academia and also, increasingly between the creative industries and other sectors of the economy, as I think a lot of the licences and expertise acquired over the last 15-20 years has been pressing digital which is sometimes failing to have increasing relevance in other sectors of the economy.
I think, as a membership organisation working across all interests, from unique musicians to actors, we don’t represent any specific interests, we try to work with as many sectors as possible. In terms of our current priorities, the Technology Strategy Board is in the process of reviewing its initial strategy which was drafted four years ago, so a major priority for us is to ensure that the kind of issues that were addressed today, that we understand those and they are in some way reflected in its key priorities.
And I think the other thing is, a very short term goal, the Technology Strategy Board is setting up a series of work and technology innovation centres, called catapults, and there’s a catapult for the connected digital economy.
I think one clear priority is to make connections between catapults and CREATe. Five years ago or so, around 2005, we did a sample, looking at what are disruptive elements in the creative economy, we did slide this thing on to businesses and commissioners and users. One side had things like MySpace and Flickr on it, it was 2005, it didn’t have YouTube, it didn’t have Facebook on it. Predicting what can happen in five years is not easy, but I would say that one of the major areas is clearly going to be around what’s now described on the internet as agency, which I see as being a term like, agency behind something we’re going to be using five years from now, if we get it – what we’re trying to describe comes closest to a grander understanding.
But issues around data, around [inaudible] and in terms of CREATe and KTN, we will want to be looking for opportunities to collaborate with CREATe.