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Grand Challenges and Hot Topics

At TCCE, we work intensively with researchers, artists, creatives and other stakeholders to respond to challenges that are brought to our attention in different ways. Sometimes this work is reflective of challenges associated with change and uncertainty going on in different sectors. Sometimes it is in response to emergent funding opportunities or developments in wider policy areas.

We also regularly engage in group conversations with researchers and others to identify and explore emerging ‘hot topics’; i.e. those which are likely to be of importance and relevance to individuals from a wider range of disciplines and backgrounds and where, by coming together, we may be able to make a real difference. We mainly bring people together via our TCCE Fora and Ideas Labs as well as our Hackademia events. 

We also ran an important one-off series entitled Impossible Partnerships during 2016/17.

Research Fora

Recently, in collaboration with our academic members, TCCE has developed a number of research fora focussed around themes of mutual interest and strategic priority.  

These fora fulfill a number of functions including: networking TCCE researchers with complementary interests to discuss and showcase work, networking researchers and creative practitioners and horizon scanning for funding bids and other opportunities. TCCE are currently supporting four fora:

Arts and Health

Arts and Digital Creativity

Creative Entrepreneurship

Blockchain for Arts and the Creative Industries

Join our mailing list to keep updated on upcoming meetings.


Hackademia is an annual event aimed at Early Career Researchers, piloted and developed through TCCE’s recent HEFCE and Arts Council England supported project The Exchange.  

Hackademia brings together ECRs from across a wide range of institutions and research disciplines putting them in touch with representatives from research councils and professionals from areas such as publishing, film, and arts and creative sectors more widely. Through Hackademia TCCE aims to help ECRs: to develop skills necessary to establish and manage meaningful research collaborations, to learn about opportunities for exchange and collaboration and to develop their networks in interesting and productive ways.

More info about the latest Hackademia event here.

Ideas Labs

Ideas Labs are designed to bring together researchers and practitioners from a diverse backgrounds who have mutual interests in particular topics and who are interested in meeting other colleagues with a view to exploring future research bids and/or encouraging conversations with interested parties beyond the academy.

As part of Inter/sections 2017, TCCE has hosted a workshop that set out to unpick some timely and also challenging and complex questions around how the arts are using digital technologies now and the wider political, social, ethical and indeed economic contexts in which such uses and relationships are unfolding. The workshop Technology, Ethics and the Arts Now, was run by TCCE’s Co-Director Evelyn Wilson with provocations from Prof. John Sloboda (Guildhall School of Music and Drama) and Ruth Catlow (Co-Director, Furtherfield).

Our first Ideas Lab took place in February 2016 on the topic of Ageing and the Arts and Culture Sector in collaboration with the Drama Department at Queen Mary and Split Britches Theatre Company. The second was Museum of Futures, in April 2016, in collaboration with The Community Brain, a discussion about how the engagement with Museums, Galleries and Archives will be re-shaped in the near future.

The Crafts Council and The Culture Capital Exchange ran a RobotTechCraft Ideas Lab in July 2016. The event aimed to build a network of academics, makers, artists and entrepreneurs interested in applied robotics, and provided a platform to come together and explore the future considerations, applications and sector crossovers.

In February 2016 we ran an Ideas Lab in partnership with the TCCE. It included academics from across disciplines and art sector professionals discussing issues around aging and the arts, and began to identify strategies to counteract the current lack of elders either working as either practicing artists or art sector workers. The Ideas Lab was a fantastic way of bringing different people together to think about a pressing issues.

Gini Simpson,
Development Director,
In Company


Cyborg Futures is happening tomorrow! We look forward to hear from our speakers @RosannaMcNamara, @GBoddington, @behindthebeats and @MarkGrayatMdx

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