Beyond is the research and development (R&D) conference for the creative industries. Featuring leading thinkers and practitioners, Beyond will explore the dynamic relationship between research, academia and business innovation, bringing together business leaders, creatives, researchers, policy makers, journalists, funders and anyone with an interest in the future.


The Beyond Conference programme will feature speaker sessions, panel discussions and thought-provoking presentations.  There will also be video presentations to showcase the the recently launched Creative Industries Cluster Programme and the National Centre for Immersive Storytelling.

You can find out about the conference programme below and we’ll be sharing more information on conference speakers and the full agenda, including timings very soon.


Beyond the State of the Art: Insights from Future WorldsStrategic R&D needs a vision of a future world or a way of anticipating future challenges, opportunities and possibilities. By imagining this future world and telling stories about it can we understand the challenges we face? How do leading creatives go about imagining alternative realities and what can their thinking bring to research and development?

Beyond Disciplines: The Transformation of FashionLike other areas of the creative industries the entire fashion ecosystem is in flux with multiple points of destabilisation. Rather than fear or deny this disruption the UK Fashion industry seems poised to embrace it. But to do so it needs to answer a range of challenges which spread across multiple research disciplines. We explore the nature of these challenges and how they are being met in a fast-moving global sub-sector of the creative industries.

Beyond Digital: Creative Production in an Age of AI and Big DataWhen fast growing segments of streaming audio services are serving up computer generated tracks, rather than human artists, what does it mean for notions of creativity and creative production?  How can the creative industries harness the technologies of  AI, machine learning and data insight rather than be eroded by them ?  We explore the potential for data driven creative research and seek to learn a little more about the power and limits of AI in the process.

Beyond Skills: Building a Truly Creative WorkforceWhat does it mean to prepare for the work of the future?  What skills will be needed and is it true either that creativity is a core requirement or, indeed, that creative industries disciplines are more resistant to automation and artificial intelligence than many other sectors.  What approaches to education are required for diversity and creative excellence to thrive and why does it matter?


R&D Provocation: Artist-led InnovationIdea: The prime source of R&D for the creative sector is in the arts. Though championing diversity in ideas and talent this sector, working with humanities departments of universities, is the prime source of new ideas, methods and creative practices that drive forward the whole of the creative industries.

R&D Provocation: Science Underpins EverythingIdea: The creative industries are nothing without science. Advances in the creative industries are driven (and to a degree determined) by progress in the behavioural, engineering and science disciplines. Creative processes that interact with and understand the underpinning science are those that will make an impact.

R&D Provocation: Design is the MethodIdea: Design as the overarching method for R&D in the creative industries. Design brings a user-centred approach, solutions focussed but open architecture, a vision that can encompass both products and, increasingly services and experiences.

R&D Provocation: Research Needs InsightIdea: We just don’t know enough. The most important requirement for successful creative R&D is insight from users and audiences, drawing on the behavioural and social sciences – perhaps the most useful of which is ethnography.


Beyond has been developed and produced by the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC)

Digital Catapult and Arts Council England, supported by EpicGames and StoryFutures Academy, present CreativeXR cohort 3 teams to an audience of key decision makers during CreativeXR Showcase and Market, the three-day final event of the acceleration programme for the arts and culture sector. Apply to attend by 15 November.