Over the course of the last three years Bath Spa University has made ingenious use of small pots of money from the South West Creative Technology Network (SWCTN) to support local businesses, creatives and academics to undertake projects connected to the SWCTN key themes. In 2019 we gave out nine grants worth £1000 each, linked to the theme of immersion. These funded a wide range of projects from Kilter Theatre using binaural sound to build a sonic cocoon within a reimagining of their show The Cubical, to Bath Spa academic, Dr Alexandra De Sousa, undertaking an experiment to test the ‘rubber hand illusion’ in VR, and theatre artist, Naomi Smyth, working with students to plan a satirical immersive theatre game for Boomtown Festival 2019.
In 2020, as part of the SWCTN Automation theme, five more projects were given grants of £1000, with match funding from The Studio at Palace Yard Mews, Bath Spa University’s newly opened innovation and enterprise hub. This included helping Alex Witty, a young product designer, to develop a prototype for a trainer insole that generates its own electricity, funding Annie Lywood, founder of start-up Bonnie Binary, to commission some R&D into printed inks to develop textile sensor technology, and supporting MSc Creative Computing graduate, Dave Webb, to develop workshops that help demystify AI and automation through art and hands-on activities.
Currently we are working with two local charities, Creativity Works and Wiltshire Centre for Independent Living (Wilts CIL) to bring creative technology to wider sections of the population. With Creativity Works we are facilitating a local creative technologist to work with their socially engaged artists to find ways of incorporating creative technology into the workshops they run for Creativity Works’ Co-Create strand. Our funding has also enabled Wilts CIL to team up with Bristol-based computer games developer, Auroch Digital, to deliver workshops on computer game streaming for their members.