CWL News

Creativeworks London’s AHRC-funded period as a Knowledge Exchange Hub for the Creative Economy ended in July 2016. However, we have been busy to further develop and implement the work that CWL has laid the foundations on in the previous 4 years. This page updates on current activity by the Hub and Queen Mary University of London, including updates by previously funded collaborators. If we have missed anything, please email us at

April 2017

The Industrial Strategy and the Creative Economy

The department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is currently running a consultation on the UK’s new Industrial Strategy. Morag and Tarek were invited to two separate meetings at BEIS to share what Creativeworks London had learned about the creative economy in London. Morag and Andy Pratt also contributed to a NESTA workshop on the Industrial Strategy back in March.


Book Launch: Cultural Policy, Innovation and the Creative Economy

Creativeworks London celebrated the launch of its publication Cultural Policy, Innovation and the Creative Economy on a beautiful evening on 3 April 2017. Surrounded by partners and collaborators, some of the contributors came together and spoke briefly about their chapter before celebrating the book over drinks, nibbles and live music.


Emily Druiff, Peckham Platform


From left: Dr Tarek Virani, Prof Morag Shiach, Dr Noam Shemtov (all QMUL), Dr Emma Sandon (Birkbeck)


Dr Tarek Virani and John McKiernan


From left: Dr Benjamin Poore, Jana Riedel, Claire Bensusan, Alastair Owens















‘Let’s Dance’ – BeatWoven partners with Warner Music UK and The David Bowie Estate

CWL-funded SME BeatWoven has partnered with Warner Music UK and The David Bowie Estate to commemorate the late British pop icon David Bowie by weaving his song ‘Let’s Dance’. BeatWoven’s latest launch was presented as part of ‘Art Partners’, a brands initiative run by Harrods, London.

Founder and artist of BeatWoven, Nadia-Anne Ricketts says: “We have partnered with Firetech, Warner Music UK’s innovation lab and the Bowie Estate, to create a piece of woven art translated from Bowie’s song ‘Let’s Dance’. It is an absolute honour for us to have this opportunity to transform a Bowie masterpiece into a tangible piece of woven art for the first time in the world, and bringing to life the thought provoked by Bowie back in the 70’s of ‘Sound and Vision’.”

The art piece can now be admired in the Brompton Road window of Harrods London until 9th May 2017, and will then be sold exclusively with Harrods by appointment only and price is on request. For more details about the Art Partners, Harrods event please visit here and read the Harrods Press Release.




60% Woven silk, 20% steel metallic yarns, and 20% linen. Available exclusively to Harrods, by appointment and price on request.

March 2017

KE Hubs pic


Creative Exchanges – The AHRC Knowledge Exchange Hubs for the Creative Economy Report

AHRC’s report on the four Knowledge Exchange Hubs for the Creative Economy can be read and downloaded HERE.

Latin(o) American Digital Art Project: This Too Shall Pass

In 2015 CWL shared the Latin(o) American Digital Art Project from the University of Liverpool that was part of the V&A Digital Design Weekend. Professor Claire Taylor has sent us an update as she has drawn up a guide document arising from the project, which looks at digital art, and its exhibition in digital and physical spaces. Broadly speaking, the document considers issues such as: using physical spaces to exhibit digital works; productive ways to engage the public through digital interactions; the potentials of Twitter curation to expand the gallery as creative space. The guides can be viewed in English: Latino American Art Policy and Spanish: Documento guía.

February 2017

We are delighted to announce that Creativeworks London has won the award for Academic Non-Commercial Enterprise at the Engagement and Enterprise Awards 2017 at Queen Mary University of London.

This award acknowledged CWL’s work and non-commercial impact activities in the field of collaborative research and Knowledge Exchange between higher education and the creative industries. Over a span of 4 years, CWL generated research assets and a range of diverse innovative outputs, including new products and services, apps, performances and exhibitions, new business models, evaluations reports, films, software, training in creative skills, policy reports, ‘spin outs’, and more than fifty publications.

A video clip of all nominees can be watched here and a blog post by the School of English & Drama here.

Enterprise Awards 2017 - JanaMoragBill


January 2017

Engaging with informal creative and cultural hubs in São Paulo’s periphery

The start of the New Year marked also the start of a new project for Creativeworks London. Professor Morag Shiach and Dr Tarek Virani were awarded Queen Mary’s HSS Collaboration Fund that enables CWL to continue vital partnership building work with creative economy practitioners in Brazil.

Building on the existing project (see next news item below), this project seeks to develop links and relationships with a favela called Morro Doce in the north of the city of São Paulo. This area is full of informal creative and cultural activity that requires particular and concerted efforts to engage due to geographical location (and lack of access). Much of this activity actually exists within informal cultural hubs that are simply not counted as viable economic activity by the government.

The outcomes of the project will be a series of targeted round tables, workshops and networking events that will focus around developing links and relationships with cultural and creative entrepreneurs in Morro Doce in the north of the city of São Paulo; the exploration and development of key partnerships in São Paulo in order to lay foundations for a large scale AHRC/FAPESP funding application in 2017; and a report and / or another type of publication based on this work.



October 2016 – April 2017

Creative Hubs, Urban Development and the Creative Economy (UK/Brazil)

In the autumn of 2016, Creativeworks London started a new project around ‘creative hubs’ with partners at the University of São Paulo (USP), the State Government of São Paulo, Impact Hub SP, Vanzolini Foundation, and People’s Palace Projects.

Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council‘s (AHRC) Follow-on funding for Impact and Engagement (Highlight Development Call), the project draws on CWL’s research insights into creative hubs in London to support the State of São Paulo’s social and economic development objective of investing in new creative hubs.

The aims are to map the activities and social and economic impacts of Impact Hub, São Paulo, an existing privately funded creative hub; to facilitate co-created research involving creative economy companies and entrepreneurs, and academic researchers from USP Design and Engineering and Communications School; and to establish a network to support future collaborative work involving government agencies in Brazil, the University of São Paulo, People’s Palace Projects, creative economy institutions, SMEs and a range of creative hubs.

As part of this project a pilot voucher scheme has been launched in São Paulo, themed: Co-Creating New Business Models for São Paulo’s Creative and Cultural Industries. Six businesses have been paired up with researchers from USP and been awarded a voucher to work collaboratively within the theme.

Creativeworks London-SP Around Oni












December 2016

Updates from CWL’s Collaborators

CWL-funded collaborators Robert Knifton and Caroline Coates from the Helen Storey Foundation, have secured follow on funding from the AHRC Creative Economy highlight notice. They will be further developing their project ‘Life on the Outskirts: Making Sense and Use of a Creative Life’, and will be running a series of workshops, mentoring sessions and developing a network symposium around creative SME archives and their multiple uses – in London, Leeds and Manchester.

Research reflections on the first instalment of the project can be read here.


CWL’s Creative Entrepreneur in Residence Deborah Werner from Ogenblik Ltd received £50K from the Nominet Trust, from its programme called Social Tech Seed. This is an open grant funding programme that offers entrepreneurial organisations early-stage investment to develop innovative projects that harness digital technologies to deliver social change.

Creative Voucher awardee Michela Magas from Stromatolite has been named finalist for the prestigious EU Women Innovators Prize 2017. More information, including a one-minute video of Michela describing what she does, can be watched here.



Nadia-Anne Ricketts from BeatWoven who received a Creative Voucher from CWL has been commissioned by QMUL to create a new silk woven artwork based on Beethoven’s Ode to Joy (the European Anthem), which will hang in the new Graduate Centre, Mile End campus.


Creative Hubs: Understanding the New Economy

by Jon Dovey and Andy C. Pratt, with Simon Moreton, Tarek E. Virani, Janet Merkel and Jo Lansdowne. City University of London (in association with University of West of England, REACT, Creativeworks London, and The Watershed) Published by the British Council, December 2016.

This REPORT was commissioned by the British Council to promote understanding of the dynamic ecosystem of creative spaces and communities that has developed over the last 10 years across the UK. These spaces and communities are guiding and supporting thousands of creative ventures, but are still largely misunderstood and often undervalued. The word ‘hub’ has become a universal but slippery term to label centres of creative enterprise, representing many different shapes, sizes and agendas. This report explores their diverse values, processes and motivations and in doing so, also analyses how best to support and stimulate the wider creative economy they are rooted in, particularly in times of political and financial uncertainty.

Queen Mary - University of London
Arts & Humanities Research Council
European Union
London Fusion

Creativeworks London is one of four Knowledge Exchange Hubs for the Creative Economy funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to develop strategic partnerships with creative businesses and cultural organisations, to strengthen and diversify their collaborative research activities and increase the number of arts and humanities researchers actively engaged in research-based knowledge exchange.