I’m Rick Rylance, I’m the chief executive of the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the chair of RCUK. So, in a sense, I’m just here to speak about the bottom line, the funding, in which we have got three main roles.
One is to make sure that public money is spent appropriately, and that’s the dry bit of the job. We will also want to contribute our moiety to the strategic development of CREATe, and we’re very interested in developing a positive feedback link between the community of users and researchers like yourselves, and the strategic direction of CREATe. And then, I think the third thing we can bring, is around working cross-centrally, because we straddle a great deal of different kind of activity across the whole of the domain, and we can help you with brokerage, with connection and all those activities.
One of the very impressive things I’ve witnessed today during the sessions has been that appetite for connectivity. If we’re thinking about heartening messages we can take from that, that would be my No. 1.
One of the very impressive things I’ve witnessed today during the sessions has been that appetite for connectivity and I do think, if we’re thinking about heartening messages we can take from that, that would be my No. 1. It’s that willingness to work with each other, which I think is going to strengthen, and in the end, underwrite the success of CREATe.
So, my issue really is around that, it’s around how different bodies, different entities relate to each other, how do its disparate communities connect, how do multiple agencies ensure that they’re talking the same language and with common purpose, how do different countries share ideas – all of those things are very significant, attritional challenges and we underestimate their potency to our hazard. It is clear, that this polarity is a dead easy thing to say, but it’s blooming hard to do, and a lot of the failure in anticipation in these projects, have been about under investment in modest brokerage, initially. I think it’s great that we’ve tried to develop that today.
So, looking to the future, I think those challenges will persist, because they’re generic. But the one I’d add to the comprehensive list of things which my colleagues have already recognised, is I do think we’ve got, not just a data gathering and evidence gathering challenge before us, we’ve also got an educational challenge, and an advocacy challenge in the policy domain. The creative industries are now the fastest growing part of the UK’s economy – reaching a scale equivalent to the usual things cited such as the city and biotech. How we can realise, and capitalise, and articulate that position, I think will be a particular challenge for us, and realising that sectorial power that we have within the emerging, coming times, I do think is something which CREATe can help and enable. So, good luck to you all.