The Fuse at Ten report launched at the House of Lords

We were invited by Wired Sussex to attend the launch of FUSE at Ten: Reviewing a Decade of Research Impact, hosted by Lord Vaizey.

The report, which can be downloaded from here, details how Creative Fuse has supported more than 500 creative, digital and IT businesses and freelancers. It states its interventions have enabled companies to innovate in their thinking, processes and products. The report also underlines the benefits of the North East’s five universities working together, which means academic expertise is easily accessed in one place.

The work pioneered by Brighton Fuse investigating the clustering of creative and digital businesses triggered directions for a host of subsequent projects: a follow-up business survey three years later; a study of freelancers and their role in the creative cluster; a study in the economically different North East of England, mapping the creative economy and developing innovation pilots and business support through diversified funding from the European Regional Development Fund and Arts Council England.

Work with Brighton businesses has continued through the establishment of the FuseBox following the original project, which set out to host, inspire and support small businesses with creative tech innovation.

A photograph of The Fuse at Ten report book

The impacts of the Fuse research agenda were felt across several UK regions through municipal initiatives and successive AHRC investments such as the Creative Industries Clusters Programme (CICP). The still live CICP is a £55m investment as part of the Government’s Industrial Strategy, funding nine regional R&D and commercialisation partnerships, localised to encourage collaboration between creative and tech developers.

I spent this afternoon at the House of Lords as a guest of Wired Sussex, at a small gathering hosted by Lord Vaisey.

It was to review a decade of impact created by The Brighton Fuse report, and the subsequent widening of the creative superfused creative/tech model in Newcastle, London, New Zealand, South Africa and beyond.

I think a lot about eco-systems (whatever that means) and the shared conversations about place – between businesses, research institutions, government (local and national), education and wider creative ecologies.

It feels like now, more than ever, we have to really understand what makes places work and how we can unleash sustainable growth/change/adaptation/opportunity/story-telling – but with a common agreement, that no one works in isolation.

I’m fed up of objectively bad outcomes as a result of good people working in a bubble.

The Brighton Fuse report was pioneering in giving equal weighting to academics, business and creative makers. It makes a compelling case for fusion – of ideas, disciplines, expertise and lived experiences – as a backbone of a 21st century city economy. And the subsequent impact is clear.

Richard Freeman

CEO, always possible

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