Skip to content

R&D and Innovation

R&D and Innovation


The innovation process involves the research, development, and introduction of new products, services, experiences, production processes and ways of working. The creative industries are among the most dynamic in the UK economy and are collectively highly innovative. However, they haven’t always received the same amount of attention from funders and policy makers as other sectors of the economy.

Creative PEC research on this topic looks at how the government and funders should be investing in research and development (R&D), which is crucial for developing new technologies and encouraging innovation in the creative industries.

Publications and Posts

Research Reports
crowd in dark with mobile phone torches lit
The networked shift: A creative industries foresight study

The near future of the creative industries will be a networked shift Digital tools and processes are…

people in room in art gallery lit with blue light
Understanding createch R&D

This report makes for a timely contribution for UK policymakers as they revisit growth priorities fo…

artist pasting collage on wall
The art of R&D

The government has committed to increasing the amount of public money spent on research and developm…

VR Headset
Createch activity in the UK

Createch is an emerging field that combines technology and creativity in novel ways. This report is …

building with advertising board in Belfast Northern Ireland
Cultural brokerage and creative clusters

Future Screens NI and levelling-up in a pandemic environment Future Screens NI is one of nine creati…

religious artwork
AI and the Creative Industries: The art in the artificial

AI and the creative industries Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the goal of developing machines with …

Policy Briefings
person in grey body suit moving past stage set of forest
Policy Briefing: R&D in the Creative Industries

The creative industries are one of the fastest growing sectors of the UK economy. One in eight UK bu…

person wearing VR Headset while standing in front of TV screen
Mapping the R&D landscape for creative technologies

Creative technologies (“CreaTech”) will play an increasingly big role driving innovation and g…

three people writing while sat at glass table in industrial room with white brick walls
Business R&D in the arts, humanities and social sciences

What R&D in the arts, humanities & social sciences looks like in a business setting, and why…

older person taking off VR Headset
Beyond the early adopter: widening the appeal for virtual reality

How the cultural industries can increase the adoption of immersive technologies for mainstream audie…

Press Releases
people in art gallery wearing VR headsets
Press Release: R&D should be at the heart of government thinking on the Creative Industries

New Policy Briefing, Research and Industry Insight from the PEC The government has rightly placed bo…

person in grey body suit moving past stage scene of forest
Spotlight on Creative R&D: a week of research and policy

A week of research, briefs and blogs into how we can make R&D work for the Creative Industries T…

abstract art
Calling for a UK Centre for AI and the Creative Industries

A letter of support from the tech and creative sectors ahead of the Comprehensive Spending Review An…

abstract art
Estimating the Contribution of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (AHSS) R&D to Creative Industries R&D

The UK’s creative industries are hugely innovative; PEC research has suggested that over two-th…

Inside view of Victorian Shopping Arcade
Creative spillovers: Do the creative industries benefit firms in the wider economy?

The creative industries are a force for innovation in the UK. Firms in the creative industries (CIs)…

artist studio
Key Facts About R&D in the Creative Industries

R&D plays a key role in the innovation processes of many businesses, and is also a driver of eco…

music concert scene with crowd in silhouette
Agile innovation funding is the solution for the UK Creative Industries

In 2020, during the height of the first Covid wave, Innovate UK ran a multi-million pound funding co…

A new age for the creative industries…and the UK

Back in October last year, Peter Bazalgette, Chair of ITV, made an inspiring speech where he argued …

The Big Fix Up Ⓒ Aardman Animation
How lessons from UKRI’s Creative Industries Challenge Programmes should transform the way we invest in R&D

After 20 years of evidence gathering, the economic importance of the Creative Industries is widely r…

image of person in grey body suit and mask moving past stage scene of forrest
Creative R&D: where are we now?

It’s five years since Nesta first identified “Creative R&D” as a distinct and distinct…

River Thames London with Westminster Bridge and Houses of Parliament in view
PEC’s comment on the 2021 Spending Review and Autumn Budget

The UK’s creative industries – from film to fashion, and from video games to the performing ar…

large concert hall with orchestra on stage
Investment into R&D will be vital for the recovery of creative and cultural organisations

The summer and autumn of 2021 has been busy for those researching the impacts of the pandemic on the…

red coloured roof tiles
A new R&D centre for the Creative Industries in Chile

Creativity and tech in South America This month sees the launch of a new technology centre&nbsp…

image of glass roof inside building
The implications of AI for the creative industries and how we should respond

The use and influence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the creative industries is growing. AI tech…

people sat in art gallery wearing VR Headsets
What are the ethical implications of immersive experiences in arts and heritage sites?

In our recent PEC Discussion Paper, Immersive experiences in museums, galleries and heritage si…

In Numbers

For the whole economy (Creative Industries and other sectors), total investment in R&D from business, public sector and other sources was

of GDP in 2019 in the UK compared to
in the OECD average (ONS 2021).

Specifically, business investment in R&D, which is spurred by public investment, was 

of UK GDP in all economic sectors, lower than the OECD average of 1.5% in 2019 (ONS 2021The Royal Society 2021).

Creative Industries R&D represented 

 of all business R&D in 2018, up from under  
in 2009 (PEC 2022ONS 2021). Even once IT, Software and Computer services (which make up a disproportionately large amount of the total creative R&D expenditure) are excluded from the totals, creative R&D still accounts for 4.3% of the whole economy’s Business Expenditure on Research and Development (BERD). (PEC 2022ONS 2021).


Sign up to our newsletter