Clwstwr announces latest cohort of innovators to benefit from research and development support

Clwstwr, which works to drive innovation in the creative industries in South Wales, has awarded grants to eight projects in its latest funding round. The cohort will work to find improved techniques in areas including remote interviewing, the workflow of set design in high-end television, mimicking the look of shooting in film using digital tools and Welsh language news for young people.

Proposed innovations also have the potential to improve sustainability, tourism and inclusion.

The 2021 Clwstwr seed cohort was chosen following a two-day Ideas Lab, where attendees learned about the principles of research and development (R&D) for innovation. The group will now work closely with industry experts and academics to develop their ideas over a three-month period.

Sara Pepper, Chief Operating Officer for Clwstwr, said: “We have been really impressed by the progress of the projects that we funded from our first Ideas Lab in 2020 and are looking forward to seeing what this new cohort will develop and deliver.

“Our commitment to early-stage innovators is a key part of our work. COVID-19 has had a significant impact on freelancers and businesses working in the cultural industries. We hope that by providing development opportunities such as this one, we are helping to maintain a thriving and vibrant creative sector in South Wales which will grow further in the years to come.”

Yeota Imam-Rashid, of Cardiff production company Little Bird Films, received funding for a project called Green Screen. Yeota said: “Green Screen will explore how we can achieve as close to a zero-net carbon footprint as possible in media production, by looking at every aspect of the process.

“Little Bird Films is very excited to be part of something that could have far reaching effects for generations to come. It has huge potential to put Wales on the map as a leader in sustainable media production.”

Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas, said: “Clwstwr is providing a wide range of Welsh creative businesses with the opportunity to explore new products and services through their next funding round. I’m delighted that Creative Wales is providing the match funding to enable these businesses to get this much needed boost through the well regarded Clwstwr programme.”

Clwstwr, led by Cardiff University in partnership with the University of South Wales and Cardiff Metropolitan University, is a five-year research and development programme that aims to nurture a thriving media production hub around the Welsh capital.

Funded through the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy, with match funding from Creative Wales, Clwstwr brings together all major Welsh broadcasters including BBC Cymru Wales, S4C and ITV Wales with independent film and television production companies, Wales’s national companies and creative organisations, creative coworking spaces, tech start-ups, strategic agencies including Arts Council of Wales, local authorities including Cardiff Council and Welsh Government.

Since 2019, Clwstwr has awarded £2 million to 66 projects to develop their ideas for new products, services and experiences for screen and news.