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Flagship REACT projects propelled beyond prototype

Images illustrating the three funded projects: Naked Objects, Mayfly and Quipu

Press release issued: 21 May 2015

Three collaborations between University of Bristol researchers and creative businesses have been awarded acceleration funding from REACT, an AHRC-funded knowledge exchange hub, to take their ground-breaking ideas to market.

Digital agency Aerian is collaborating with Jo Elsworth from the University’s Theatre Collection on Naked Objects, a project which aims to develop intelligent software for museums to enhance user engagement with objects.

For the Quipu project, media production company Chaka Studio, in collaboration with Dr Matthew Brown of the School of Modern Languages, is pioneering a unique method for online participation and civic engagement: an interactive phone line directly linked to a live website.

Stand + Stare, creators of immersive theatre and interactive design, in collaboration with Professor Tim Cole of the Department of History have created the Mayfly Sound Journal, a place to store precious memories of travel with an accompanying iPhone app to make sound recordings and tag them to the pages.

Clare Reddington, REACT Executive Producer said: “As REACT enters its final year we are delighted to be able to award some of our flagship projects additional support to help them move towards sustainability and growth as well as help them understand how collaborations between arts and humanities research and the creative economy can scale and achieve commercial success.  This is a unique and bespoke programme designed to help our projects fly.  It will support our teams to go beyond prototype and get their products into the hands of users.”

The REACT Alumni Scheme is being delivered by two incubator partners, Station 12 and Upstarter, who will work together with the companies and academics and bring in developers and specialists needed to create a market ready product.

Both Upstarter and Station 12 have extensive experience in developing and scaling businesses and will deliver a programme blending individual meetings, group workshops and consultancy and services, tailored to the needs of each project.  Needs could include marketing strategy, product market fit, investment readiness, go to market strategy, seeking potential partners, strategic direction, proposition prototyping, user centred design, investment readiness, legal advice and support with company structure and governance.

About the Bristol REACT Alumni Projects

Naked Objects is looking to develop intelligent software.  Their prototype involved taking a museum case, augmenting the physically displayed object with digital information, and turning the glass front of the display into an interface that enables users to interactively explore and discover more.  The product is powered by a web application, creating a system that captures real world interactions and patterns in order to deliver intelligence to the museum and experiential industries about user engagement with objects.  The University of Bristol Theatre Collection will provide the curatorial expertise necessary to help shape the analytics package, ensuring it is more than just ‘fit for purpose’ for the museum industry.

Quipu is an interactive documentary about the men and women who were sterilised in Peru in the mid-1990s without consent and who are still seeking justice.  At its core it is a unique method for online participation and civic engagement: an interactive phone line directly linked to a live website.  This partnership will allow the team to explore the potential of this method and learn how to abstract the key principles into the fields of civic engagement, academia, social activism and third sector activity.

Mayfly has created the Mayfly Sound Journal, a place to store precious memories of travel.  Each page has a pocket designed to hold small souvenirs collected from a trip, along with space to sketch and make notes.  The journal also includes an accompanying iPhone app to make sound recordings and tag them to the pages.  This partnership brings research expertise in materiality, landscapes, memory, travel and tourism – ideas, which continue to inform the evolution and development of Mayfly.  Professor Tim Cole will also collect evidence on the impact of the project that will support the business plan.

Further information


REACT (Research & Enterprise in Arts & Creative Technology) is one of four Knowledge Exchange Hubs for the Creative Economy funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to develop strategic partnerships with creative businesses and cultural organisations, to strengthen and diversify their collaborative research activities and increase the number of arts and humanities researchers actively engaged in research-based knowledge exchange.

REACT is a collaboration between UWE Bristol (the University of the West of England), Watershed (and iShed), and the Universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter.  It is a unique collaboration supporting innovative products and transformational services by bringing together companies and academics across the South West and Wales.

It reaches across two dynamic UK regions, and uniquely across three cultural areas and two languages and creative economies. Together it aims to generate a transformation in arts-driven economic and social impact, by combining demand from the creative economy with arts and humanities research excellence.

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