The creative industries are fundamental to the UK’s cultural identity and their contribution to the UK is significant: the industry is the fastest growing sector of the economy.

Built on a foundation of expert storytellers across a range of mediums, the UK produces some of the most unique, original and authentic content which resonates with audiences worldwide.

Storytelling is not unique to the creative industries; it has integral value for every sector. However, as audiences are changing, the way they engage with content changes too and advanced digital technologies provide a new means of engagement, for audiences and industry alike. Embedding these technologies into the UK’s vibrant creative industries will help future proof the sector, enabling it to do what it does best, better.

Digital Catapult is the only innovation organisation that has a specific remit for the creative industries on behalf of government. Our internationally recognised programmes and facilities exist to boost productivity and competitiveness, as well as drive innovation and application of advanced digital technologies into the sector.

To make sure the UK continues to punch above its weight in these industries as habits for consuming stories and creative content continue to evolve at pace, Digital Catapult works with a range of partners including Arts Council England, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), the Creative Industries Federation and Creative Industries Council, to help ensure UK creative businesses make the most of these opportunities.

It’s not just immersive tech that’s making a difference in creative industries. The applications for IoT, 5G, AI and machine learning, and blockchain are just as prevalent for the creative industries as they are in manufacturing, helping to drive the emergence of tech in the sector and open up new markets and business opportunities for savvy entrepreneurs.

Arts & culture contributes more than

£ 10.8 bn

GVA to the UK economy

+ 20 %

employment in the UK creative industries has increased by more than 20 per cent in the past five years


growing sector of the UK economy


trends in Digital Catapult’s Immersive Content Formats for Future Audiences report

Augmentor brought focus to our company and helped us get ready for and secure our recent investment round.

Oluwaseyi Sosanya

Founder, Gravity Sketch

immersive vr dimension demonstration


In collaboration with Arts Council England, CreativeXR is a globally recognised accelerator programme supporting the development of new forms of creative content enabled by immersive tech. It gives cohort teams a platform to focus on R&D that allows them to create riskier, content-driven projects, opening up novel ways of engaging audiences and telling new stories. As well as providing funding, CreativeXR helps teams to develop skills and contacts to finance their projects and create commercially viable content, with workshops on pitching skills, developing business plans, and distribution and partnership strategies.


Harnessing 5G to transform immersive content

Mativision delivers 360° content and immersive applications for a range of high-profile clients. Starting in the music industry over 10 years ago, Mativision wanted to ensure it was ready to capitalise on 5G and turned to Digital Catapult.

One of the original cohort on Digital Catapult’s 5G Testbed Accelerator Programme, Mativision got access to 5G technical expertise and business support, receiving £60,000 in funding as a result and invitations to join three other projects including the Bristol-based 5G Smart Tourism project. Mativision worked with 18 other organisations to explore how immersive cultural experiences will benefit from 5G.

Mativision pioneered the integration of 5G with VR to produce a 4K 360o VR experience of Bristol Pride Day and Harbour Festival events which could be played simultaneously through multiple devices. This allowed multiple users to experience shared content in sync and demonstrated how 5G will overcome current barriers to this, such as delay through latency.

The project was a resounding success, demonstrating the huge potential of immersive content powered by 5G, and the broader role that 5G will play in the creative industries.

[Digital Catapult] served as a continuous source of information and market knowledge for us, and an invaluable provider of technical support and business expertise which allowed us to aim for growth and expansion to new market sectors.

Anthony Karydis

Founder and CEO, Mativision

CreativeXR cohort companies