Creative Cluster

StoryFutures Creative Cluster creates and helps fund R&D projects with creative businesses in the 'Gateway Cluster region' immediately to London's west.

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StoryFutures Academy delivers cutting edge training in immersive technology and immersive storytelling for the traditional screen industries nationwide.

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StoryLab Commissions

The Modern Collectibles: How a passion for collecting tells our stories

Discovery Lab 21
This call is now closed.

Are you a creative company working in augmented, virtual or mixed reality storytelling? We have a significant and rewarding opportunity for you.

StoryFutures & Discovery have teamed up to launch an innovation challenge exploring the role next generation technologies could play in enhancing our passions for collecting and collectibles in Britain today.

This challenge is open to companies UK-wide and it builds on insight and analysis from some of Discovery’s key programming genres in the UK. On offer for the winning company is a £100,000 cash production budget to deliver a prototype experience, along with significant R&D support, and business expertise from Discovery and StoryFutures worth another £100,000.

Shortlisted companies will be invited to take part in our open innovation development process, StoryLab in March 2020. The winning SME will then develop and produce an audience facing prototype by 1 October 2020.

This call is now closed.

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Check out our previous calls below

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We've teamed up with Heathrow for a second time to launch our next StoryLab call

Heathrow Immersive Football Challenge

Celebrating Football

This challenge is now closed. Read on to see what we challenged local SMEs to create, and keep your eye on the ball as we start work on this exciting project.

StoryFutures is pleased to announce its latest research and development (R&D) challenge with Heathrow. Creative companies in our local region are invited to apply for a £60,000 budget to create an immersive prototype experience that encourages passengers to celebrate their love of football.

On offer is the chance to work with StoryFutures' cutting edge R&D team and the UK’s largest airport, with a passenger footfall of over 80 million, to explore the role immersive storytelling can play in Heathrow’s passenger experience economy.

We’re looking for the best and brightest Small-to-Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to come up with exciting ideas for immersing audiences in a complete football experience that brings their love of the game to life. StoryFutures' R&D will help drive innovation for the winning idea by supplying our world class research team, with expertise spanning psychology of audience engagement, haptics, computer vision and emotion recognition, business modelling and storytelling

Winning SMEs are supported in the delivery of the commissioned work by having access to professional producers, academic story-consultants, our business modelling experts, and our world-class audience insight team. By utilising cognitive psychology, neuroscience and media analysis, we help establish the effectiveness of new content experiences.

Even if you’re not successful in our StoryLab process, SMEs that take part still have access to other opportunities to collaborate with us and our industry partners. This can take a variety of forms; including investment, business support or academic partnerships.

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Check out our previous StoryLab calls below

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Virtual Veronese at The National Gallery ©

The National Gallery Challenge

This Challenge is now complete.

Winning SME Focal Point VR, based in Guildford, have produced the first-of-its-kind prototype 'Virtual Veronese' in collaboration with StoryFutures and The National Gallery. Read the news article here.

Read on for the brief we first set SMEs in collaboration with The National Gallery.

"The National Gallery has in its collection a 16th Century painting that it would like its visitors to experience as they would if they saw it in its original home; a historic chapel in northern Italy. The aim is to create a scaleable pilot and temporary installation that will be a multi-sensory, immersive experience. It will draw on the original lighting conditions in the church, the soundscape and music that would have been a part of worship, as well as the architecture and frescoes that originally surrounded the painting. Virtual/Augmented/Mixed Reality and Immersive Audio are all potential opportunities but it’s the story, the experience and audiences that should drive the development of this pilot.

The production budget on offer for the pilot experience is £66k (including VAT). With access to digital assets and R&D staff time, the value of the challenge increases to £100k. The winning SME is being supported by considerable StoryFutures R&D resource spanning audience insight, business development, storytelling form and understanding of multi-sensory perception in immersive space."

The Heathrow Pop Pour DropChallenge

This Challenge is now complete.

Winning SMESurround Vision has produced a new immersive experience that tackles coffee cup recycling through object recognition and machine learning.

Check out our news article announcing state-of-the-art Virtual Reality production studio Surround Vision as winner of the challenge, or read on to gain insight into the StoryLab process:

"The Heathrow Challenge was an Open Call for SMEs in the Gateway Cluster (see the map) to win a commission funded by us and Heathrow to pilot a new experience for the sustainability team at Terminal 5. Heathrow wants to encourage visitors to Costa Coffee to recycle take-away cups into the right bins. And we want to make it fun.

The cash budget expectation was £60k (incl. VAT) and there was be top-up funding-in-kind on offer from our technical and R&D support teams.

Selected SMEs were invited to come along to 2 events as part of the commissioning process:

  • First, SMEs met the StoryFutures team and prepped ideas with our experts on story-form and audience behaviours, getting to grips with the Heathrow brief and the opportunity on offer.
  • Second, SMEs joined a 2-day workshop to rash around ideas and work with our academics and industry specialists who provide cutting edge research on technology, audience insight and testing, data workflows and delivery models. A panel from Heathrow and StoryFutures decides the winning SME.

This way of commissioning means that SMEs don't spend time and resources in lengthy pitching preparation and get to have face-to-face time with high profile commissioners such as the National Gallery, Heathrow and BBC."

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