York UNESCO City of Media Arts launches Digital Creativity Labs

York, the UK’s first UNESCO City of Media Arts, has launched its Digital Creativity Labs (DC Labs) – a major £18 million initiative for innovative research in the convergent area of digital and creative technologies.

Based at the University of York’s Ron Cooke Hub, the DC Labs will be a world centre of excellence for research, harnessing the huge potential of digital games and interactive media for economic, social and cultural impact.

Stuart Goulden, who coordinates York UNESCO City of Media Arts, said:

The DC Labs promise to ensure the city’s innovations in digital creativity are able to deliver lasting impact in business and society. York has been a meeting place of the world’s ideas for the last 2000 years, and through ambitious new initiatives like the DC Labs York can continue to lead the way in the future“.

Involving three UK research councils, four universities and over 80 collaborative partner organisations, the DC Labs will foster connections between researchers, industry, government, the third sector and the general public.

In collaboration with Creative England and other partners, the DC Labs will help organisations access the world-class research to ensure that the UK capitalises on the business, cultural and lifestyle benefits of digital creativity. Early projects include:

  • Scientists, social scientists, government and third sector employees working together to explore how games and interactive media can be used for social good
  • Museums, galleries and games publishers exploring how to improve engagement with digital archives and assets, maximising positive digital opportunities for creative culture
  • Broadcast companies and producers developing new ways of interacting with TV programmes and theatre performances
  • Local authorities exploring games and media to help them better reach citizens to improve understanding of policy changes
  • Games companies working to embed novel artificial intelligence and decision-making techniques in new games