Call for Big Data
- What do we mean by Big Data?
- Why are we making this Call?
- How to apply
- Project duration
- Frequently Asked Questions
We have supported projects for most of the 6 priority themes of the Digital R&D Fund. However, we have had few applications focused on the theme of ‘data’.
To address this we are making a separate Call within the R&D Fund for consortium projects, in the area of data sharing and Big Data specifically in the context of business model innovation.
Big data refers to high-volume, high-velocity and high-variety information that demands cost-effective, innovative forms of information processing to enable enhanced insight and decision making.
The significance and potential of Big Data for the arts and cultural sector is discussed in the Nesta and Arts Council commissioned report Counting What Counts: what big data can do for the cultural sector
For an insight of the wider applications of Big Data, see also the BBC Horizon television programme, The Age of Big Data shown on BBC 2 in April 2013
Senior cultural decision-makers [need] to understand the importance and urgency of the need to think differently about the potential of big data and ... set in train changes to the environment, the metrics and the skills to make the most of big data and to harness its potential.
Quote from the Nesta report Counting What Counts http://www.nesta.org.uk/about_us/assets/features/counting_what_counts
Big Data is increasingly used by commercial organisations to better understand their customers and to target their services responsively. This is an exciting area of innovation that we believe the arts sector needs to engage with.
In order to take and explore the business benefits that data might bring to the arts it is felt a consortium approach is most appropriate. To encourage consortia to apply, we are prepared to make a small number of awards that exceed the £125,000 limit that normally applies to the Fund.
We are looking for applications from a partnership that involves a consortium of arts organisations, a technology partner and a research partner.
The consortium should consist of a minimum of 3 arts organisations, one of which must lead the project.
The arts organisations must all be based in England.
The lead research partner can be from either:
a Higher Education Institution
an Independent Research Organisation accredited by AHRC (see list here: http://www.ahrc.ac.uk/What-We-Do/Fund-world-class-research/Pages/Independent-research-organisations.aspx)
a Commercial Research Organisation.
The research partner must be UK based.
Research and outcomes from the funded projects must be made available to the wider arts sector.
Please note the application process is now closed for the Big Data call. If you have any further questions regarding the Fund please email email@example.com
There is a two stage process: an Expression of Interest (EoI) if successful will be followed by a full application. The full process is as follows.
A Big Data Expression of Interest (EoI) form is submitted. Applications are accepted on a continuous basis but the deadline for submissions is midday on Friday 13th September 2013.
All EoIs are assessed
Applicants will be informed whether or not their EoI is successful within 7 weeks of submitting, though we will aim to inform applicants sooner than this.
Feedback is provided to unsuccessful consortia.
Successful consortia will be required to attend a sandpit event (an intensive discussion forum where free-thinking is encouraged to delve deep into the problems on the agenda in order to further develop innovative solutions). The date for this event is Friday 4th October. If you are applying you should ensure that you and your collaborators are available to attend for the whole day at the Nesta office in London. Details will be forthcoming once the selection process has been completed.
A final application should be submitted by successful consortia (those who attend the sandpit event) by the deadline of noon on Friday 1st November.
Full applications will be assessed and a shortlist will be selected to attend an interview at the Nesta office in London during the week commencing 9th December 2013.
Decisions will be announced at the end of January 2014.
As we are asking for applications from a consortium of arts organisations plus technology and a research partner we recognise that the current budget cap of £125,000 might not be sufficient to cover the costs of all the partners involved. We are not expecting applications for more than £300,000.
If you are invited to submit a final application, we will require a full budget breakdown and justification of costs, Note that we may, if we think it appropriate, ask that you adjust the budget if your application is successful.
All activities and related research reports should be completed within 12 months from the start of the project.
Allowing for the contractual process we anticipate that projects will be able to start in March 2014, at the earliest. All projects must be complete by the end of May 2015.
What is Big Data?
Big data is high-volume, high-velocity and high-variety information assets that demand cost-effective, innovative forms of information processing for enhanced insight and decision making.
Why is there a separate Call for Big Data?
We have supported projects for most of the six priority themes of the Digital R&D Fund. However, we have had few applications focused on the theme of ‘data’.
To address this we are issuing a separate Call within the R&D Fund for consortium projects, in the area of data sharing and Big Data specifically in the context of business model innovation.
As we are asking for consortium bids we understand that the amount of money required to run a project of this size might exceed the current maximum amount for the Main Fund. To this end we have issued a separate Call for Big Data proposals.
I am an arts organisation already in receipt of a grant from the Digital R&D Fund; can I apply to this Call for projects focusing on Big Data?
Yes, you can apply as part of a consortium but you cannot be the lead arts partner.
I am a technology partner currently working on a project funded by the Digital R&D Fund; can I be a technology partner on an application for the Call for Big Data project?
Yes, you can, though you should demonstrate your capacity to deal with the extra workload, as well as your suitability as a technology partner working with Big Data.
I am a research partner currently working on a project funded by the Digital R&D Fund; can I be a research partner on an application for the Call for Big Data project?
Yes, you can, though you should demonstrate your capacity to deal with the extra workload, as well as your suitability as a research partner working with Big Data.
Is there a different process for the Call for projects focusing on Big Data?
Yes, the process is different. There are different application forms and the application deadlines are different to the Main Fund.
Do NOT submit an application form for the Main Fund to this call as it will be assessed on different criteria and may be deemed ineligible.
The application form for the Call for Big Data can be accessed here.
I have already submitted an Expression of Interest (EoI) for a Big Data project to the Main Fund and have been invited to submit a final application. Can I submit an application for the new Call instead?
Please check with the programme manager. However, the following information might help you with your decision.
a. If your proposal involves a consortium of arts organisations (minimum 3) AND the project is investigating how Big Data can help develop business models for the arts, then you can submit an application to the new Call for Big Data instead of submitting to the Main Fund.
You will have to get approval from the programme manager, as you will not have access to the correct application form.
Please do NOT submit an application using the form for the Main Fund to this Call, as it will be assessed on different criteria and may be deemed ineligible.
b. If you do NOT have a consortium of arts organisations (minimum of 3 organisations) or the project is not investigating how Big Data might help develop business models for the arts, your proposal does not meet the criteria for this Call.
If you still want to apply to this Call rather than the Main Fund, you will have to submit an EoI for the Call for Big Data and your application will go through the review process.
You will have to withdraw your application from the Main Fund if you decide to apply for this Call.
You should note that there are NO guarantees that your EoI for this Call will be approved even if your previous EoI for the Main Fund has been approved. Every application is judged on its own merits and against the criteria of the Call.
Please let the programme manager know if you wish to withdraw from the Main Fund.
Will this Call for Big Data continue beyond the September 13th deadline?
If we get enough high quality applications we will close the Call, but if we feel that there are still opportunities that haven’t been taken advantage of we may choose to extend it. We may also choose to issues Calls for consortium applications in other priority areas that are not well represented in the projects the fund is supporting. If we decide to extend the Call, we will inform all applicants who have not been successful at EoI stage and we will update the web page. We will make this decision once we have assessed the quality and breadth of applications to the 13th September deadline.
What happens if I submit an EoI for the Call before the deadline of 13th September?
If you submit a successful EoI ahead of the deadline you will have the advantage of feedback and a longer lead time to prepare your final application. You will also have the chance to refine your proposal and further establish your partnerships ahead of the Sandpit event.
What happens if I submit an EoI before the deadline and my project is rejected?
We will provide feedback on your application and you can then choose to address any issues raised by the peer review and resubmit before the deadline (Friday 13th September), if you feel that it is appropriate.
You may wish to consider submitting an application as soon as possible as, if you are unsuccessfully initially, you might still have time to re-apply at EoI stage before the deadline of Friday 13th September.