This FAQ explains a little about what REACT is trying to achieve and the kinds of projects it is looking for. Please read and consider these points when writing your application. Click on the links below to jump to a specific category.

What is REACT looking for? Details about what REACT looks for in its applicants

Who is eligible to apply for REACT funding? Questions about who can apply for REACT funds

Other questions Other frequently asked questions, including decision making, IP ownership

What is REACT looking for?


REACT is funded to create Impact in the Creative Economy through collaborations with Arts and Humanities researchers.

What do we mean by Impact?

  • Impact may take a number of forms but the key feature is that your project must connect with a user community or a market. This connection should catalyse change within that community or market; the impact is in that change.
  • REACT’s funding is intended to make a positive economic Impact on the Creative Economy. We are looking for projects where there will be a tangible economic Impact for the creative company that at least equals the REACT investment in their enterprise. 
  • We are also looking for more significant transformative economic impacts from some of our investments. We will support those projects with a clear potential to take a new product or service to market and transform their business over a two year period.
  • Projects may aim for Impact on Citizenship (for instance working with ethics, data or the creative applications of social media). Such projects must have a clear understanding of how they would create long-term value for their participants. (Where value is not understood solely as economic i.e. inclusion, regeneration, participation)
  • Projects can aim to create Impact in commerce by modelling initiatives that would enable particular sectors of the Creative Economy to take advantage of the disruptions created by digital technologies.

What is the Creative Economy?

The creative economy is a term that encompasses a variety of activities, we refer to these as creative companies These include:
•    Museums, galleries, heritage
•    Exhibition, festivals
•    Music, Performance, Visual & Graphic Arts
•    Architecture, Craft, Design, Fashion
•    Advertising
•    Publishing
•    Film, Broadcast, New Media
•    Internet and social networking
•    Creative R&D with science and technology
•    Creative interfaces with business
•    Ethical developments around new technologies
•    Regulation and Intellectual Property work.


What do we mean by Innovation?

•    REACT projects are always the beginning of a story not the end.
•    Innovation is key for REACT because it creates the conditions for ongoing relationships between partners. If your project is doing something new then its more likely that you and your partners can further exploit it in the future.
•    REACT is not primarily a technology lab or place for inventing technology. However, such outputs are welcomed.
•    REACT is a place for applying digital technologies in new ways, finding new combinations of ideas and creating new opportunities for the Creative Economy.
•    We understand that what might be last year’s cutting-edge idea in a technology lab might still be breaking new ground for an academic or creative company. However applicants need to show some awareness of the field – just because an application is new to you, it doesn’t mean it is innovative; it might already have been tried and failed.
•    In summary, if the idea uses technology creatively, has not been tried and failed, is new to the partner’s business model, and has a clear route to Impact then fits our bill for ‘innovation.’


What does REACT not fund?

•    Public engagement projects where the aim is to expose academic research to a public rather than to have an impact on the Creative Economy.
•    Digitisation of archives
•    Projects that are just a one off, not part of a longer development story.
•    Projects that have no obvious audience, user community or market beyond academic peers.
•    Previously funded Sandbox participants. REACT is committed to developing new partnerships through the Sandbox programme. Participants that have already taken part in a REACT Sandbox are not ineligible, but must make an exceptional case for the additionality of further REACT funding. We do, however, welcome the opportunity to advise previous participants on further sources of investment.

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Who is eligible to apply for REACT funding?

I am an academic. Can I apply to REACT for project funding?

You must be an academic within one of the five REACT partner universities to apply for REACT project funding. The partner Universities are: UWE, Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter.
All REACT projects must be led by an academic from one of these five REACT partner universities. Academic leads can be drawn from any discipline but must use or develop Arts and Humanities research, methods or approaches.

I am an academic working at an institution that isn't part of REACT, can I apply?

If you are an academic from a non-REACT university, you can be included in a project bid as an affiliate academic.
An affiliate academic is an academic from a non-REACT university who has been invited by an academic within a REACT university to collaborate on a project.
Affiliation will be for the duration of the REACT funding award. Affiliation must support genuine collaboration between the HEIs and not be just a mechanism for delivering funds to non REACT HEIs.

How do I become an affiliate?

An academic from a REACT partner university must extend the invitation of affiliation to another academic. The academic extending an invitation of affiliation must seek prior approval from his or her University Research Office. The decision to offer affiliate status will be with the REACT partner University.
What is the purpose of affiliate academic status?
The intention of affiliate academic status is to enable REACT partner academics to bring in valuable expertise from any university in the UK. It allows REACT to maintain the quality of our outputs and recognises that partner academics have a range of research collaborators beyond Wales and the West. This will support genuine collaboration and knowledge exchange. Each university may have their own strategic aims in developing peer to peer collaboration in their region. In particular affiliation status will be targeted at building positive KE relationships in Wales and the Devon & Cornwall regions.  REACT academics should speak to their research office for further guidance.

I have an idea for a project but am not from a REACT university. Can I approach a REACT partner academic with my idea?

You can approach known collaborators or research partners that you have already worked with or have a strong shared interest with. However it must be a genuine collaboration and not just a way of accessing REACT investment. Each REACT project must be led by an academic from one of the REACT partner universities, and this leadership must be genuine. E.g. a Sandbox requires c30 days of academic time, which could be shared, but the lead academic must attend community workshops and events.
Does the partner have to be from South West or Wales? 
No, the partner can be from anywhere in the country but both partners need to be able to attend the Sandbox monthly events and showcase in order that maximum shared value can be achieved.

Can the partner be international?

Yes, but the process is competitive and we will be looking for projects with the most impact/collaboration potential, which may be tricky if you cannot meet regularly. Again both partners need to attend the Sandbox monthly events and showcase in order that maximum shared value can be achieved.

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Other questions

Who will make the funding decisions?

The applications will be checked for eligibility and then sent out for peer review. Each application will be received by at least one academic reviewer and at least one creative economy reviewer. These reviews will be used to compile a short list who will be invited for interview.

Who will own the IP in the projects?

Sandbox participants will sign a three-way contract between the company, the University and iShed, which will protect the background IP of all parties. Going forward, the creative company will have complete freedom to commercially exploit any new IP generated as part of the project but all parties will be allowed complete access for non-commercial use (publicity, papers, further collaborations etc)

Does my project need a research question?

REACT is a Knowledge Exchange process; we make the assumption common to such processes that you will bring high quality academic research to the project that you wish to apply in a new way. So your research inquiry is likely to be about application rather than primary research. We expect that you will bring academic research, knowledge and approaches, that can be applied in new ways with new users.

What do you mean by 'this cannot be part of the creative company's core business'?

If you could classify the partnership as consultancy or service provision, this funding isn't for you. Both partners need to enter the project with questions that they couldn't answer on their own. For instance, an academic partner can't commision a digital media company to make them an app or a web site to showcase their research. This doesn't mean an app company can't participate or produce an app, but the project would need to develop knowledge and answer a problem that the company previously hasn''t been able to explore.

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