One of the aims of CReATeS is to enable knowledge exchange and learning across the Digital R&D Fund for Arts and Culture in Scotland by facilitating the sharing of information and insight into the funded projects. At the end of last year, we interviewed all six of the Arts and Cultural Organisations involved in the first call to the Digital R&D Scotland programme and asked them for any top tips for arts organisations applying to the second round of funding. We then disseminated these recommendations via the Nesta website in the hope that they would prove helpful to second-call applicants to the Fund. Although each of the projects had their own specific advice, common recommendations emerged.
Prior to submitting a funding application, several of the projects advocated taking the time to devise a strong, simple and well thought-out idea. Although the organisations recognised that this idea may change over the course of the project and that second-call applicants should not limit themselves, they stressed the importance of an initial clear vision. In turn, they suggested that this focus would make the application process much more straightforward. In addition, many of the arts organisations recommended taking advantage of workshops run by Nesta prior to submitting funding applications – the content from the digital advisory day workshop can be viewed online, here. One organisation also emphasised the importance of thinking through the budget carefully, consulting with relevant divisions and departments to ensure that that the funding is sufficient to cover all areas of the proposed project.
While having a simple, focussed initial idea was seen as vital to ensuring funding success, many of the projects also stressed the importance of innovation, creativity and ambition. In order to come up with a truly innovative idea, some organisations recommended exploring what else is out there as well as retaining a sense of how individual projects might fit into the wider cultural sector.
Finally, each of the six arts organisations stressed the importance of establishing a good working relationship with a digital technology partner. Several recommended taking the time to interview digital technology providers to find a suitable partner who is genuinely enthusiastic and passionate about the project and who understands both the individual idea and the ethos of the arts organisation more widely. It was also deemed helpful to find a technology partner with specific experience in carrying out the type of work that the project requires.
The deadline for the second call of the Digital R&D Scotland fund closed on 1 February 2013.