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EACEA National Policies Platform


8. Creativity and Culture

8.7 Fostering the creative use of new technologies

Last update: 22 January 2021

LAST MODIFIED ON: 07/12/2020 - 18:46

On this page
  1. New technologies in support of creativity and innovation
  2. Facilitating access to culture through new technologies

New technologies in support of creativity and innovation

A number of publicly funded programmes foster access to and use of new technologies, including:


  • the Fab Farm project, which involves college students designing, building and running their own Aquaponic farm to provide high quality produce for artisan markets and local restaurants; the farm is built using 3D printing and digital fabrication to create the optimum environment for the Aquaponic production of fruit and vegetables.

  • Creativity Month, which is funded by the Department for Communities and is now in its seventh year, showcases the work of a diverse range of organisations across Government, business, education and the community and voluntary sectors, each developing creative and innovative solutions to societal changes.

  • Browsealoud, funded by Department of Finance in partnership with LibrariesNI, is assisted software on public computers in nine libraries. Browsealoud software helps with website browsing for those with dyslexia, low literacy, English as a second language and those with mild visual impairments, by adding speech, reading and translation to websites.

See also the article on 'Developing entrepreneurial skills through cultural activities' for information about the Digital Youth Programme, which enables students to develop their digital skills.


Facilitating access to culture through new technologies


Many local and national organisations are increasingly screening content online and digitising their public collections, giving individuals who cannot physically visit performances or collections the chance to experience them. Although these initiatives are not specifically or solely aimed at attracting young people's interest in culture, they help to counter the economic and geographical barriers to participation in the arts and culture mentioned under the subheading 'Main trends in young people's creativity and cultural participation' in 'General Context'.

Noteworthy examples of digitisation and the innovative use of technology by public organisations include:

  • Creative Learning Centres, which offer skills development programmes for young people and teachers in the fields of digital literacy and the deployment of creative technologies and new approaches to learning in the classroom. The centres aim to work specifically with the most disadvantaged young people and those who experience social exclusion, as well as schools in rural areas. They are funded by the Department for Communities through Northern Ireland Screen.

  • The Northern Ireland Screen Digital Film Archive, is made accessible by a number of community focused organisations, including Youth Action Northern Ireland, and is funded by the Department for Communities. The DFA provides access to a large collection of moving image clips and films for audiences across Northern Ireland. Themed presentations aimed at schools and other interested community based groups are also delivered for free by Northern Ireland Screen.

Born out of the Culture White Paper, the Digital Culture Project and #CultureIsDigital online consultation were launched in 2017. Within this publication it recognises that although cultural policy itself is devolved to Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, this report covers the whole of the UK and seeks to highlight digital cultural activities across borders. Their aim has been organised into three policy commitments 1) to explore how culture and technology can work together to drive audience engagement, 2) boost the capability of cultural organisations and 3) unleash the creative potential of technology. The Digital Culture Project highlighted three policy priorities for future strategy - digital infrastructure for culture, innovation and creative risk-taking, and collaboration and partnerships between the UK’s cultural organisations.  With regards to facilitating access to culture through new technologies, the first policy commitment of driving audience engagement outlines some key actions to achieve this:

In order to further broaden cultural engagement and empower communities to share their voices, views and creative content digitally, Arts Council England will ensure that its Creative People and Places programme makes use of digital communications and platforms and that the analysis and learning from the projects are widely shared.