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Createch activity in the UK

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Createch is an emerging field that combines technology and creativity in novel ways. This report is a foundational piece of research that examines where createch businesses are in the UK, the skills and qualifications they are looking for, and how much public investment they are receiving.

This report is part of a series looking at createch businesses. Previous work looked at the UK’s createch sector compared with the rest of the world, how much public support there is for investment into createch, the sorts of skills that createch businesses are looking for, and how much investment is being channelled into the createch sector. 

It has found that:

  • 57 per cent of createch companies are based in London
  • Arts, Humanities and Design disciplines have a very high presence in createch businesses
  • Createch businesses tend to be more reliant on early-stage sources of finance than non-createch companies.

Createch is when a piece of technology, either existing or novel, is used to innovate in a creative setting. For example, this could be when a movie studio decides to upgrade their existing cameras to shoot in 3D in order to create a new type of film. 

This kind of activity is exciting and important. Businesses and researchers working in the createch field are coming up with new products, services and systems by creatively experimenting with technology. Therefore, it is vital that we have a better understanding of where createch businesses are, and how we can support them to grow and innovate. 

To do so, PEC researcher Juan Mateos-Garcia carried out an analysis of CrunchBase, a global technology company database, and found that 8 percent, or 2,800 UK companies in the dataset, can be identified as ‘createch’. 

This research is based on a complex machine learning pipeline. This technique is necessary for understanding a section of the UK economy that does not fall within traditional statistical categories.

This paper and the research was co-funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre (PEC).

Please reference this paper as:

Mateos-Garcia, J. (2021) Createch Activity in the UK. London: Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre and Nesta. Available from:

Hero image by James Yarema on Unsplash and Thumbnail image by Patrick Schneider on Unsplash 

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