• Status: Closed

  • Key features: Investment of up to £2.5m in projects that will explore ways of deriving value from consumers' interaction with digital content.

  • Programme: Collaborative research and development

  • Award: Up to £2.5m

  • Opens: 28 Apr 2014, 00:00

  • Registration closes: 11 Jun 2014, 12:00

  • Closes: 18 Jun 2014, 12:00

  • Support phone number: 0300 321 4357

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Enhancing the value of interactions with digital content

Competition results

The results of this competition are now available; see the PDF of the winning project proposals.
 

Summary

The Technology Strategy Board is to invest up to £2.5m in projects that will explore ways of deriving value from consumers' interaction with digital content.
 
The aim of this competition is to help businesses enhance the value of interactions with and consumption of digital assets, particularly in the creative industries.
 
Over the last decade, many sectors of the UK economy have become based on digital services and products. With this digital revolution has come the realisation that the data created by consumers' interaction with these products and services is itself a potentially valuable asset.
 
We are hoping to interest businesses with expertise in data analytics, security, online payments; those who create value from data and digital assets; and also those that engage with customers through internet and mobile service channels.
 
Proposals must be collaborative and business-led, although project partners can include research and non-profit organisations as well as other businesses. We expect to fund projects focused on industrial research in which two or more partners will attract up to 50% public funding for their eligible project costs (60% for SMEs).
 
We expect collaborative R&D projects to range in size from £400k to £1m, although we may consider larger projects. Projects should last between 12 and 24 months.
 
The competition opens for applicants on 28 April 2014. The deadline for registration is at noon on 11 June 2014 and the deadline for applications is at noon on 18 June 2014.
 
A briefing event for potential applicants will be held in London on 6 May 2014. You can register for this event and other regional events by visiting https://connect.innovateuk.org/web/creativektn/creative-industries-funding-programme-2013-14
 

Background

The way in which the creative industries have so rapidly embraced digital media has caused fundamental disruption to the value systems within that industry.

Digital creative content and the resulting multimedia assets can now be replicated with full fidelity at near-zero cost. This means there are no inherent technical restrictions on how, where and when they can be used and enjoyed.

However, businesses aiming to generate revenue by selling access to content must restrict access, either through technical means, including ‘paywalls', or by legal enforcement, such as copyright protection.

Companies have developed different ways of deriving revenue from these digital assets but there remains a divide between traditional business models (based on physical media), and new models that use digital assets as a means of engaging customers' attention and then extracting monetary value in other ways.

Previous competitions focused on ‘frictionless' commerce and metadata, exploring some of these opportunities along with business models. We are now broadening the scope of creative content and digital assets to areas such as personal data, online identity and virtual artefacts.

We want businesses to establish new and better ways to create and retain value from users' interaction with content, rather than just from the content itself.

There have been bewildering valuations of digital businesses with no immediately profitable business model, the acquisition of WhatsApp by Facebook for $19bn being a recent notable example.

These valuations are usually based not on the core product or service (such as trading images, instant messaging, webmail or a phone operating system) but on the value inherent in aggregated and personal data and interactions. Examples are:

  • financial consumption patterns (virtual and real world)
  • status or reputation in an online community
  • link trails
  • health and lifestyle data
  • a community or network
  • any other data trail that results from interacting with content or using digital devices that log activity.

Although such personal data may not seem to be an ‘asset'at all in the traditional digital media sense, data about consumers and their behaviour has arguably become the most highly valued commodity in the digital economy.

Vast business empires, such as Google, Amazon and Facebook, have been built on the mining and trading of such information, deploying ever more sophisticated filtering algorithms to release value from personal data sets. 
 

Scope

The aim of this competition is to help businesses enhance the value of interactions with and consumption of digital assets, particularly in the creative industries.

We are inviting interest from businesses with expertise in data analytics, security, online payments and others who create value from data and digital assets, also those that engage with customers through internet and mobile service channels.

The scope is in the context of the following themes, focusing on inherent value.

Personal data

The aggregate identity that all users create as a by-product of their activity in the virtual world is what we are terming the ‘accumulated online self'. Currently that identity is scattered across innumerable services, from search engines to e-commerce sites and user-generated content to social media platforms.

Areas of online activity

The kinds of activity that contribute to this online self can include, but are not restricted to:

  • financial consumption patterns, on- and off-line
  • status or reputation in an online community
  • link trails and usage pattern on the web
  • health and lifestyle data (‘quantified self')
  • community or social network graph
  • user-generated content.

Personal data as personal asset

Users have little if any ownership of the data created as a collateral from their online activity; rather it is held in the databases of generally large, frequently unaccountable private organisations.

Open data and public domain

How can the value of an ‘accumulated online self' be enhanced by combining it with other open and publicly available data?

We are therefore seeking projects developing products and services that create business value by one or more of the following:

  • bringing together data on the ‘accumulated online self' in ways that return value to the user and also create the opportunity for both commercial and social leverage by third parties
  • giving users control over their personal data – how it is published and how it is traded
  • allowing users to see their personal data as an asset to be traded financially or socially
  • mashing up' or blending personal data with open data and creative content in the public domain
  • devising more sophisticated ways to build recommendations on social, lifestyle, financial and health choices
  • creating meaningful and exploitable links between users' real lives and their virtual world activity.

Successful projects will also need to be trusted services and must follow best practice for privacy regarding user data.

Looking for partners to work on your project?

Go to connect to find collaborators and networks.

There is a connect group for this competition at https://connect.innovateuk.org/web/creativektn/creative-industries-funding-programme-2013-14

Funding allocation and project details

We have allocated up to £2.5m to fund collaborative R&D projects that address the technical challenges outlined in the scope.

Successful applicants can attract grant funding towards their eligible project costs. The percentage of costs that we pay varies, depending on the type of research being carried out and the type of organisation involved.

For this competition, projects must be business-led and collaborative and they should last 12 to 24 months. We are primarily seeking to fund industrial research with a business partner attracting 50% public funding for their project costs (60% for SMEs).

We expect projects to range in size from £400k to £1m. We may consider larger projects but applicants should discuss this with us before making their application.

Project partners can include any mix of businesses, of various sizes, as well as research and non-profit organisations. Total combined participation from academic, research organisations and any non-commercial partner will be capped at 30% of the overall project costs.

See if your business fits the EU definition of an SME.

Each partner in a collaborative R&D project can receive funding towards their project costs – the funding is a percentage of the total eligible project costs and varies, depending on the type of organisation and the type of research. See general guidance on how projects are funded.
 

Application process

This competition opens for applicants on 28 April 2014. The deadline for registration is noon on 11 June 2014, and the deadline for applications is noon on 18 June 2014.

Applications are assessed on individual merit by an independent panel of experts. We may apply a portfolio approach across the themes/areas.

A briefing event for potential applicants will be held in London on 6 May 2014 to highlight the main features of the competition and explain the application process. Applicants are strongly recommended to attend. The event will be filmed and we are offering a webinar facility. 

You can register for this and other regional events by visiting https://connect.innovateuk.org/web/creativektn/creative-industries-funding-programme-2013-14.

Note: All deadlines are at noon. 
 

Key dates

  • Competition opens: 28 April 2014
  • Competition briefing and webinar: 6 May 2014
  • Registration deadline: 11 June 2014, noon
  • Deadline for applications: 18 June 2014, noon
     

More information

To apply you must first register with us through the competition page on the website. Registration opens when the competition opens and closes a week before the deadline for applications.

Publicity

As part of the application process all applicants are asked to submit a public description of the project. This should adequately describe the project but not disclose any information that may impact on intellectual property, is confidential or commercially sensitive.

The titles of successful projects, names of organisations, amounts awarded and the public description will be published once the decision to offer an award has been communicated to applicants by email. Information about unsuccessful project applications will remain confidential and will not be made public.

E-mail pressoffice@tsb.gov.uk with any queries.