Policy Briefing: R&D in the Creative Industries

14 February 2022

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Eliza Easton, 

Eliza Easton

Founder, Erskine Analysis. Previously Deputy Director at the Creative PEC

Benjamin Kulka, 

Benjamin Kulka

Professor Hasan Bakhshi MBE

Professor Hasan Bakhshi MBE


Hasan is Professor of Economics of the Creative In...

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This five page policy brief sets out the vital facts and statistics you need to know on innovation and R&D in the creative industries.

The creative industries are one of the fastest growing sectors of the UK economy. One in eight UK businesses are part of the creative industries, and together they contributed almost £115.9 billion in GVA in 2019, growing four times faster than the rate of the UK economy as a whole.

But this growth and value needs to be supported. We know that creative firms struggle to win investment for their research and development. This type of funding is crucial for businesses that are competing and growing in fast moving, technologically driven, markets. This isn’t helped by the lack of a clear definition for what we mean by ‘innovation’ in the creative industries, which makes it challenging to design new financial levers, such as R&D tax relief policies .

Despite these challenges, there is lots to be positive about. At the start of February, DCMS announced a further £50 million funding for creative businesses as part of their Creative Industries Sector Vision. And at the start of the year the government announced a significant increase in public R&D spend across the entire economy.  Indeed, the Government has identified the Creative industries as one of four key sectors in the Plan for Growth to encourage recovery following the pandemic.  To make sure this recovery and growth happens, it is vital that the creative industries receive a  fair share of all future innovation investment.

This week the PEC is publishing research that looks at the barriers to achieving R&D funding, case studies of specific creative sub-sectors,  such as museums and galleries, and some of the policy and financial levers that we need to start pulling if we want the creative industries to remain competitive and valuable as we emerge from Covid-19. 

Download this policy brief to get a quick primer on everything you need to know about R&D in the creative industries, and have a look at the rest of the research and blogs we are publishing between 14th - 18th February.

Image credit: Royal Shakespeare Company and Stuart Martin