2014 Funding Success Stories

Throughout 2013-2014, the Creative, Digital and Design team have supported relevant Innovate UK competitions, helping to scope competitions, partner on briefing and networking events, and establish relationships between Innovate UK and other funding partners such as Nesta. Here's a rundown on the successfully funded organisations from results announced in 2014.


Cross-Platform Production in Digital Media

November 2013

A £15m competition to address the challenges of convergence in digital technologies, covering film and television, online video, animation and video games (including pre-production, production and post-production processes). This competition funded business-led Feasibility Studies and Collaborative R&D projects within these industries to develop new applications, tools, devices and software that will sustain creative and commercial success on a global stage.

Winning projects include...

  • Processes for rendering and reviewing CGI and video-based media 
  • Real-time media production for film, broadcast and interactive media
  • Harnessing real-time computer graphics for cinematic content
  • An advanced video asset management system with unique visual fingerprinting and visual search capabilities.

Competition winners

Feasibility Studies: AMBX UK, Emotion Systems, Gameware Europe, Headstrong Games, Hibbert Ralph Animation, Nea Onta, Numerion Software, Portal Entertainment, Pulse Films, Storythings, Syncscreen, Systemia, Tag Games, The Future Customer, Theoko.

R&D: Aimes, Axis Animation, BAFTA, BBC, Centroid 3D, Double Negative, Electronic Arts UK, Electronic Filmlight, Film London, The Foundry, Industrial Light and Magic UK, Imagineer Systems, Imaginarium Studios, Render Nations, Thinkbox, University College London, University of Surrey, Vicon, Walt Disney Corporation.

Full competition results (Innovate UK documents)


Frictionless Commerce - Transactions in a Digital Landscape

November 2013

A £2.5m fund for Collaborative R&D projects that lead to the creation
 of ‘frictionless' digital transactional environments for the creative industries, and in other sectors where transactions in the digital sphere are vital. The aim
 is to make it easier for businesses to transact with one another and with their customers, by overcoming problems around outdated regulation and business models, poor data interoperability, and poor user experience.

Winning projects include...

  • Reversing the deeply-ingrained convention of rights clearance as a post-sale activity in the arena of media repurposing
  • Developing a set of standards, tools and platforms to make it easier for textile crafters across the globe to source materials and tools and start new projects
  • A universal mobile transaction platform that uses SMS text messaging to allow the public to make use of text messaging practices to purchase and gift goods and services
  • An online music service that supplies professional channel creators with sync-music licenses while compensating artists and composers.

Competition winners

BAFTA, Broadmargins, Cheshire Bespoke, CueSongs, Debbie Bliss Products, Designer Yarns, Film London, Gabble, Indulge Retail, Parcelpoke, Real World Operations, Tailormade London, Thomas Ramsden, University College London, University of Sussex.

Full competition results (Innovate UK document)


Destination Local Demonstrators

March 2014

A £2.5m competition developed by Innovate UK and Nesta following on the back of an 18-month partnership between these two major innovation agencies specifically to explore commercial opportunities within the UK hyperlocal media marketplace. The competition and aligned programme focused on supporting projects that enable the delivery of new forms of online news, information and content services to local communities.

Winning projects include...

  • A social media-based community channel aimed at older people
  • Testing the efficacy of a flexible and innovative broad spectrum with publishers, journalists, core developers, games developers, manufacturers and academics combining forces
  • A demonstrator to enable customers to access hyperlocal media stories from a range of publishers on mobile devices based on relevance at their precise location
  • The development of open source, open data platforms in Leeds and York.

Competition winners

Archant Community Media, Bournemouth Housing Society for the Elderly, CarelineUK, Dorset Local Authority, Hebe Media, LocaFizz, London Belongs to Me, Near You Now, Rancon, RPPTV, Streetbook, University College London, University of Central Lancashire Media Innovation Studio, University of Sussex.

Full competition results (Innovate UK document)


Data Exploration - Creating New Insight and Value

March 2014

£7m investment for Collaborative R&D that addresses the technical challenges and business opportunities presented by the huge growth in data. The funding was jointly from Innovate UK, Arts & Humanities Research Council, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, the Economic and Social Research Council, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, and the Natural Environment Research Council.

Winning projects include...

  • Utilising a hidden source of coding-related metadata for automated tagging and visualisation
  • Using Big Data to develop the world's most advanced consumer protection solutions to support the global gambling industry
  • Making industrial workplace management reports easier to use for non-technical people
  • Giving authors and publishers the tools to make data-based decisions; creating tools for predictive modelling and data visualisation for use in the music publishing industry
  • Developing an innovative crowdsourcing solution for the analysis of aerial photography and satellite image datasets by the general public via an online platform.

Competition winners

Audio Analytic, BAFTA, Bet Buddy, Butterfly Projects CambridgeIP, CASM Consulting, City University London, Cranfield University, Customer Service IP, Daden, Digital MR, Edinburgh Napier University, Food Investments, Geospacial Insight, Growing Interactive, High Performance Computing Wales, International Paint, Jellybooks, K2L, Kings College London, Knowledge Now, Logic Programme Associates, Marketmine, The Media Institute, Microlise Group, MORI, NPL Management, Numerical Algorithms Group, Nvidia Development, Orbitil, PHP Genie, Placr, QPC Holdings, Queen Mary University of London, RailEasy, Remote Sensing Applications Consultants, Ridgeway Kite Software, Satellite Applications Catapult, Sentric Music, South Coast GIS, Swansea University, Tata Steel UK, Thales UK, University College London, University of Essex, University of Nottingham, University of Portsmouth, University of Sheffield, University of Southampton, University of Sussex, University of York, Warwick Business School.  

Full competition results (Innovate UK document)


Innovation in Location Based Services

June 2014

A £5m collaborative R&D competition to help businesses to engage with their customers in a 'here and now' context. A location-based service is any information, entertainment, or social media service that is available on a mobile device, and makes use of geographical position (determined by telecommunications technologies such as GPS, Wi-Fi triangulation etc.). The aim of the competition was to support projects that capitalise on the increasing accuracy, coverage and speed of global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) such as GPS and other non-satellite technologies such as iBeacon, Wi-Fi and radio frequency identification (RFID) to build innovative location-based services or improve the user experience of existing services.

Winning projects include...

  • A system with the objective of management and rehabilitation of offenders
  • An app that passively and actively stitches together the most important moments of any trip or life event into a digital story of your memories
  • Novel technology to track the locations of trackside workers in the rail industry
  • A system that helps people rescue themselves from hazardous environments (caves, shipwrecks, smoke-filled buildings)
  • A mobile Augmented Reality solution for visualising proposed urban developments
  • The first cloud platform for rapid development of location based services by developing an exemplar application for WOMAD, the global festival of music and dance.

Competition winners

1248, 3Squared, Arrow Technical Services, Aston University, Bestway Cash & Carry, Blispa, Bluefrog Design, CareWhere, Firefly Experience, Globavista, Goldsmiths University of London, Guidance Navigation, Heriot-Watt University, J&M Inertial Navigation, Linknode, MergeWorlds, Microlise, Network Rail, Nottingham Scientific, Omnisense, RHF Digital Innovation, Satellite Applications Catapult, Sheffield University, University of Oxford, University of Lincoln, University of Nottingham, Walters Group Holding, WOMAD.

Full competition results (Innovate UK document)


Enhancing the Value of Interactions with Digital Content

June 2014

A £2.5m collaborative R&D competition for projects to explore ways of deriving value from consumers' interaction with digital content. The aim of is to help businesses enhance the value of interactions with and consumption of digital assets, particularly in the creative industries. Over the last decade, many sectors of the UK economy have become based on digital services and products. With this digital revolution has come the realisation that the data created by consumers' interaction with these products and services is itself a potentially valuable asset.

Winning projects...

  • A Personal Identity Management service designed to put everyday users of the internet, or citizens, back in control of their digital identity
  • A digital interaction platform that measures the attention that consumers give to digital content, puts a price on that attention, and communicates the value of that attention and interactions to them
  • Targeted Native In-Video Advertising based on the consumption patterns, interests, trends, influences and community interactions revealed by data analytics from on-line platforms and social media channels.

Competition winners

Cambridge University, Citizen Me, Lumen Research, Mirriad, RowAnalytics, Semetric.

Full competition results (Innovate UK document)


Learning Technologies - Design for Impact

July 2014

Innovate UK and the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) invested up to £1.1m for exploratory studies into the design of technology-based products and services that will improve learning outcomes. This Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition sought to stimulate business performance 
in an already vibrant education technology sector by supporting high-quality design of commercially viable products and services that can be delivered at scale while being affordable and easy to use.

Winning projects include...

  • Exploring the potential of haptic (tactile) technology to improve learning outcomes
  • Friendly and engaging graphical touch screen software to introduce pupils to the world of computer programming
  • A national Virtual Field Trip Service, bringing the benefits of virtual worlds to educators and students in the face of challenges in providing such trips in reality
  • Embedded, personalised reading strategies for learners with dyslexia
  • A 3D virtual laboratory to support problem-based learning in the natural sciences at university level
  • Interactive multi-sensory environments for learners with support needs, particularly learning disabilities and autism.

Competition winners

Anarkik3D, Dr Anna Walton, BBC, Birmingham e-Learning Foundation, Blatchington Mill Secondary School, Brandwatch, Brighton University, Carduino, Daden, Design Thinkers Group UK, Dolphin Computing, Dublin Institute of Tevhnology, Durham University Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring, Environmental Science Teachers Association, Family and Education, Field Studies Council, Glastonbridge Software, Goldsmiths University of London, Hatch, InLifeSize Design, Institute of Education, Interactive Scientific, Lana Porter, Lee3D, Linkage College, London Knowledge Lab, Maria Yehl, MMU Business School, National Centre for Entrepreneurship Education, Open University, Pearson, Pervasive Media Studio, Queens University Belfast, Redburn, Red Ninja Studios, Roger Wilson, Royal Society of Chemistry, Dr Sarah Morley-Wilkins, Seeper, Slemish Integrated College, Solvexx Solutions, Southern Regional College, Stakeholder Design, Stepping into Business, TAG Assessment (Part of Sherston Software), Technology Education Research Unit, Technology Will Save Us, The Women's Organisation, Tinder Foundation, Tonguesten, UK Enterprise Educators, University College Dublin, University College London, University of Lincoln, University of Portsmouth.

Full competition results (Innovate UK document)


2015 Competitions

Relevant Innovate UK competitions for early next year have yet to be officially announced but will be in the areas of Cyber Security, Wearables, Financial Technology and User Experience. Announcements will be made via our twice-monthly newsletter – receive it automatically by registering as a Creative, Digital and Design KTN member.