The REACT Objects Ideas Lab is on 17 October at Exeter Phoenix.

REACT to fund ground-breaking collaborations which will explore human experiences around internet-connected objects

On 17 October, Exeter Phoenix will host an Ideas Lab for those interested in making an application to the next REACT Sandbox Theme, ‘Objects’.   The Objects Sandbox will fund six ground-breaking collaborations between creative companies and academic researchers exploring human experiences around Internet-connected objects and is open for applications until 13 December 2013.

By 2020, 50 billion things will be connected to the Internet and REACT wishes to fund research into new questions surrounding material culture, and the interaction between physical and virtual worlds. Each project will receive £50,000, the advice of design and technology experts, and the opportunity to work intensively on their idea over three months beginning in March 2014.

REACT (Research and Enterprise in Arts and Creative Technology) funds collaborations between creative economy companies and Arts and Humanities scholars at its partner universities. These collaborations make innovative use of academic research and technological understanding to share academic knowledge with new audiences, generate economic value in the creative economy and move forward the scope of digital technology.

REACT primarily supports collaborative projects through the use of a Sandbox process.

The Ideas Lab will provide an opportunity to learn more about the Sandbox theme and should be attended by all those interested in making an application. It will also offer the chance to meet other interested parties in an open and collaborative atmosphere to begin to explore possible future partnerships.

Anka Djordjević, Research and Knowledge Exchange Manager for REACT at Exeter, comments, “the REACT initiative is great for arts and humanities scholars and creative in our region. New types of collaborative partnerships supported by REACT are emerging and they will bring benefit to the local economy and community. What’s more, the innovative ways of engaging with audiences that these projects bring are such fun!”

Charlotte Quickenden, Managing Director, Digital Producer and Client Liaison for Bow Software, and Dr Nicola Thomas, Senior Lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Exeter, were introduced at a previous Ideas Lab. They have since forged a successful collaborative partnership and their project, Digitising the Dollar Princess, aims to pioneer a new digital genre of biography. By using audio, film, and 3D imagery to create a reading experience that sits between book, byte size TV and physical exhibitions, the project allows the reader to explore the life of Lady Curzon in a non-linear form.

Charlotte Quickenden comments, “As a local digital agency, Bow Software has been keen to connect with the University of Exeter. The REACT Sandbox experience turned the idea of 'business networking' upside down and collided creative technology partners and academics together - everyone was out of their comfort zone, but the ideas flowed.”

Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), REACT is one of four UK Knowledge Exchange Hubs for the Creative Economy and is a collaboration between UWE Bristol (the University of the West of England), Watershed and the Universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter. To find out more about the University’s involvement with REACT, visit the University of Exeter research pages. Further information on the Sandbox theme is available on the REACT Objects Sandbox Microsite and visit the REACT event pages to book a place on the Exeter Ideas Lab. Applications for the Objects Sandbox are open until 13 December 2013.

Date: 4 October 2013

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