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CreaTech is ‘one to watch’ in 2021

CreaTech is ‘one to watch’ in 2021

Credit: Creative Industries Council

Carlos Grande | Creative Industries Council

4 min read Partner content

As the UK seeks to recover from the economic effects of Covid-19, CreaTech has the potential to open up longer-term business opportunities and bolster the UK’s record in exporting creativity and new creative technologies.

      

UK businesses at the intersection of creativity and technology are poised to grow Britain’s reputation in the fast-growing CreaTech sector in 2021 and beyond.

One hundred pioneering companies, featured in the Ones to Watch list, are among the many UK CreaTech businesses changing the way people connect, create, and consume.

They form part of a nascent category, which has been supported by ministers and industry leaders for its potential to encourage investment and foster new jobs in businesses across the UK.

CreaTech brings together creative skills from industries such as fashion, film, videogames, music, design, and advertising with new uses of data, connectivity, and 'smart' technology.

It builds on the UK’s strength in these two fields, which translated into digital industries contributing £149bn and creative industries adding £111.7bn to Britain’s economy in 2018.

CreaTech bridges both industries. It has already produced innovative digital experiences, and new forms of storytelling and performance that use virtual realities, artificial intelligence, 5G, and other tech developments.

With audiences largely deprived of access to creative venues during the pandemic, CreaTech organisations have helped bring entertainment, inspiration, and community to audiences round Britain.

As the UK seeks to recover from the economic effects of Covid-19, CreaTech has the potential to open up longer-term business opportunities and bolster the UK’s record in exporting creativity and new creative technologies.

The UK creative industries have traditionally punched above their weight on the global stage. In 2018, these industries accounted for 12 per cent of all UK service exports or more than twice their share of the national economy.

However, many parts of the creative industries  – which employ over 2m people in the UK, including large numbers of self-employed  –  have been hit hard by the economic disruption caused by the pandemic.

The next 12 months will bring new CreaTech names into the spotlight. It will show us how well the young companies on the current list have come through the unique experience of a pandemic and recession.

In June, as part of the Virtual Cog-X Festival, Minister of State for Digital and Culture Caroline Dinenage acknowledged the economic and social value of Britain’s creative industries.

Outlining the Government’s package of support for businesses through the pandemic, Dinenage stressed the need to return the creative industries to their growth trajectory, and emphasised the role of CreaTech within that revival.

She said: “We need to think about the future of the creative industries, and how they can not only survive, but regain the very strong growth path they previously had.

“Over the next decade our world leading creative industries will become a cornerstone of our country, accounting for an even greater proportion of the economy and employment, and cementing the UK’s soft power around the globe.

“That to me is why CreaTech is so vital, as it presents significant opportunities for the creative industries to grow and recover from the current situation and re-start a path of strong growth.”

Before Covid-19 struck, CreaTech was powering growth in the UK creative industries, which were expanding five times faster than the rest of the UK economy.

It was because the Creative Industry Council (CIC), a forum of Government ministers and business leaders, recognises the growth potential of CreaTech, that it publishes the annual ‘Ones to Watch’ list.

The companies on the 2020 list were nominated by a combination of the Digital Catapult, UKRI/AHRC and Innovate UK, members of the CIC, the Department for International Trade, and Moore Kingston Smith, the professional services group.

The next 12 months will bring new CreaTech names into the spotlight.

It will show us how well the young companies on the current list have come through the unique experience of a pandemic and recession.

And whatever else it brings, it will surely prove that CreaTech is here to stay.

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