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Creative Economy Champion leads from Royal Holloway

Posted on 14/12/2016
Professor Andrew Chitty

Professor Andrew Chitty

The Arts and Humanities Research Council’s (AHRC) first ever Creative Economy Champion, Professor Andrew Chitty, will start in this new role from January 2017, working to foster new and exciting partnerships between academics and the rapidly growing creative industry, which is worth £84 billion to the UK economy. From gaming, art and design and film, he will play a key role in developing the creative industries in the UK and beyond.

Professor Chitty, who will be taking up a new professorial role in Creative and Digital Economy at Royal Holloway, University of London, will help to shape the AHRC’s involvement in supporting and developing the UK’s Creative Economy.

From research to real-world

The main focus will be on enhancing and extending the AHRC’s reach in the creative economy, emphasising the importance of arts and humanities research in generating impact across the sector, ranging from micro-businesses to large corporations During his three-year post at the AHRC, Professor Chitty will focus on helping to develop thinking around research in the creative economy, building innovative new partnerships and championing the importance of collaboration in this important sector of the UK economy.

Professor Andrew Chitty said: “There’s never been a time where awareness of the social and economic impact of the Creative Economy and its potential for economic growth has been higher. It’s not just about what we think of as the core creative Industries but the value that creative, design, and content skills add to other sectors like health, manufacturing, and education.

“I see this role as about bringing people together, sharpening the argument, and making the case for creative research and innovation across government, industry and academia.”

Learning from the best

With three decades of experience in the creative industries, Professor Chitty’s career began in television, where he focussed on the cultural impact of science and technology before founding his first company, a multiple BAFTA-winning digital agency that created transformational digital services for clients across the creative economy from the National Theatre to the devolved administrations, museums and galleries, to the NHS. He is a former Vice Chair of the producers’ trade body PACT, a board member of Creative Skillset, and a founding director of Creative England. Andrew has also worked across policy and regulation as a ministerial advisor and non-executive at OFCOM, and more recently worked with InnovateUK, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, and the National Council for Universities and Business to explore the area of Digital Health where creative, digital and clinical skills meet.

Professor Chitty, added, “I’m not a traditional academic, but whether working in practice, in business or in policy, I’ve always been an avid consumer of research. With all this practical experience, I want to build on the AHRC’s previous Creative Economy investments to achieve a step change in the interaction between the UK’s world class research community and its world leading creative economy talent, institutions, and businesses."

Professor Andrew Thompson, Chief Executive of the Arts and Humanities Research Council, said: “I am thrilled to have Andrew Chitty join us as our first ever Creative Economy Champion. The research funded by the AHRC is a key factor to the success of the UK’s creative economy, and I look forward to Chitty’s leadership of this priority area.”

The creative economy has been identified as a key priority area by the AHRC, and embraces the creative industries and the cultural sector ranging from art, design, and heritage, to gaming, music, and the film industry.

Explore your opportunities for a creative career 

To learn more about the opportunities to develop your career in the creative industries at Royal Holloway visit the Department of Media Arts.


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