Clwstwr Final Reports Showcase PDR’s Expertise in Fostering Creative Innovation
PDR has unveiled four new reports highlighting the impact of our involvement in Clwstwr on fostering a flourishing creative ecosystem in the Cardiff area.
PDR’s role in Clwstwr centred on providing support and training in human-centred research and innovation methods to micro-to-medium creative enterprises. Based on a combination of participant workshops, expert interviews, internal reviews and document analysis, the reports offer an evaluation of our contribution plus recommendations for the future. This is especially relevant as many of the priorities of the five-year Clwstwr programme are being taken up and expanded by Media Cymru, a collaboration in which PDR will continue to play a leading role.
“One of PDR’s strengths is our commitment to growing as reflective practitioners,” said PDR’s Director of Research, Professor Andy Walters. “Not only do we carry out cutting edge work in product design, ecodesign and responsible design, user experience and policy design, we dig deep to see what insights and expertise we can take away from each project. We use this to become better at what we do and to share our knowledge with our partners and the wider profession.”
The first report, “Fostering innovation in Cardiff’s creative industries through human-centred R&D”, identifies the specific challenges of providing R&D development support to the creative industries. Government and industry funding bodies tend to operate with understandings of R&D that are biased towards science and technology. Many creative industries practitioners, especially those at the more humanities-based end of the spectrum, find such definitions alienating and unhelpful. PDR’s strength was to present R&D in a human-centred way that resonates in the creative industries context. This gave practitioners the skills and confidence to test and refine their ideas and develop genuinely innovative products, services and experiences.
Not only do we carry out cutting edge work in product design, ecodesign and responsible design, user experience and policy design, we dig deep to see what insights and expertise we can take away from each project. We use this to become better at what we do and to share our knowledge with our partners and the wider professionANDY WALTERS | DIRECTOR OF RESEARCH | PDR
Our second report considers “How R&D funding can support the sustainable development of the creative industries in Wales”. It explores how successfully Clwstwr has achieved its aims of promoting equality, diversity and inclusion (ED&I) and environmental sustainability. With an average hour of television production having a carbon footprint of 9.2 tonnes, there is substantial scope to reduce the creative industries’ impact. The report highlights Clwstwr’s effectiveness in accessing a breadth of expertise in sustainable policy and practice to enhance the efforts of local creative practitioners. It also found that Clwstwr “punched above its weight” when it comes to ED&I, thanks to a dedicated ED&I team. The report concludes with 30 opportunities for optimisation, including recommendations to reducing invisible barriers in the application and reporting processes for marginalised groups such as ethnic minority communities or the neurodiverse.
A third report combines PDR’s experience working with Clwstwr and other cultural organisations including Amgueddfa Cymru / Museum Wales. “The arts, culture and heritage sector and the creative industries: towards a shared practice” analyses the challenges and opportunities encountered by exhibitions and other public-facing cultural institutions as they continue to rebuild after Covid. It also introduces a framework specifically developed by PDR to assist creative practitioners seeking to collaborate with the AC&H sector. The framework attempts to overcome a frequent challenge facing such partnerships: divergent approaches to innovation and creative risk which can undermine the success of their collaboration.
Our fourth report recognises that creative innovation flourishes best with support from the top. “Forging innovative policy to match action with ambition” distills policy insights for growing R&D in the creative industries from a range of sources, including interviews with key personnel in policy roles across Wales and the UK as well as a review of international best practice examining creative industry support mechanisms from across Europe. The findings include good news as Clwstwr transitions into Media Cymru: local and micro clusters are regarded as an effective means of fostering innovation in the creative industries and there is growing support on offer seeking to develop creative clusters into regional strength.
Learn more about PDR’s work, or to discuss an idea, contact us.