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Ulster to Unveil £3.5m Creative Industries Support Programme

The University of Ulster is to unveil a £3.5 million creative industries support fund during CultureTECH 2013, an extravaganza of digital technology, media, music and arts, which takes place in Derry~Londonderry next month as part of the UK City of Culture celebrations.

Honeycomb – Creative Works, a University of Ulster led cross-regional programme aimed at maximising the economic potential of the burgeoning creative industries sector, will be unveiled during CultureTECH.

The University of Ulster is a major partner in the CultureTECH event - Northern Ireland's biggest creative industries event -which will see hundreds of students attend the festival as part of their new term inductions, and builds on the heavy involvement of University of Ulster staff and alumni who are contributing to the festival programme as speakers and artists.

The week-long CultureTECH programme (Monday September 9th – SundaySeptember 15th) will includes numerous events, including the International Loebner Prize Contest in Artificial Intelligence and the Belfast Media Festival.

The prestigious Loebner Prize contest will be held at Ulster's Magee campus, alongside dozens of smaller workshops and exhibitions, the majority of which are free to attend. An extensive music programme organised as part of CultureTECH will showcase many of Northern Ireland’s up-and-coming record labels.

Ulster is also a key partner in the CultureTECH Junior programme, a dedicated strand for young people aimed at attracting thousands of would-be scientists, developers and digital artists to what is being billed as one of the region's largest ever science and technology events.

Staff and students from all four Ulster campuses will feature strongly in the programme, with Professor Paul Mc Kevitt, Professor Greg Maguire, Professor Paul Moore, Dr Justin Magee, Padraic Lynch,Helen Jackson, Alan Hook, Conann Fitzpatrick and many others all hosting sessions during the festival.

Other CultureTECH events taking place at Ulster's Magee campus include the Digital Arts and Humanities PhD Institute, and the Stravaganza Arts Lab.

The University’s Director of Innovation, Timothy Brundle said CultureTech programme brings together so much of what is exciting in technology and the arts today.

“The inaugural CultureTech conference in 2012 helped build the anticipation for this year's City of Culture celebrations. The line-up for CultureTech 2013 is quite astonishing and we are proud to be a partner in this important event.”

Eddie Friel, Head of Business Development in the University'sOffice of Innovation who will be directing the Honeycomb – Creative Works project said: “We are proud of our involvement with CultureTECH and will be using it as a platform to launch the exciting cross borderprogramme to support the creative industries.

He continued: “The Honeycomb – Creative Works fund, which is targeted at the digital content sector, will provide skills enhancement and potential employment opportunities for individuals and businesses in the film and broadcast, animation; gaming; interactive media and music technologies through research, networking, skills development and project finance.”

The University of Ulster is the lead partner for the Honeycomb – Creative Works programme which is supported by SEUPB through INTERREG IVA and will be delivered in partnership with Creative Skillset and Dundalk Institute of Technology, along with the Nerve Centre, Derry.

CultureTECH director, Mark Nagurski, added that it was increasingly clear that the festival was becoming a showcase of regional talent.

“This year’s festival is designed to be both accessible and inclusive. At its heart is an industry programme targeting practitioners across media, technology and the arts, but the bulk of the festival is designed for everyone, whether they consider themselves ‘techie’ or not.

“Thanks to the kind support of our partners, including the University of Ulster, most of the events are free and with gaming arcades, film screenings, digital arts exhibitions and music performances across the city throughout the week, there will be plenty for everyone to enjoy.

He continued: “The University of Ulster plays a major part in developing creative talent so it's no surprise that so many of the participants in the festival programme are associated with the University.”

This year’s festival will feature a strong international component with nearly 20 confirmed international speakers representing organisations as diverse as the NY Philharmonic, the Museum of Toulouse, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NewYork and tech investors from San Francisco and New York. These international guests will join dozens more from across the UK and Ireland.

Highlights of the CultureTECH programme will include:

The Belfast Media Festival (Sep 12-13) – free industry event featuring speakers from BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and many others.

International Loebner Prize Contest in Artificial Intelligence (Sep 13-15) - the world’s longest running international artificial intelligence prize.

DANI Awards (Sep 13) - Northern Ireland’s premier black tie awards for the digital and creative industries.

City Arcade / Multiplay Games Bash (Sep 12-14) - Free-to-play games arcades throughout the city centre alongside games tournaments hosted in partnership with major publishers.

CultureTECH Junior (Sep 12-14) - a major science, technology and media exhibition for young people featuring exhibitions from CERN, W5 and over 40 technology-related organisations from across the UK.

BT Monster Dojo (Sep 14) - a full day programme of free coding workshops for young people in partnership with Coder Dojo and supported by BT.

Invest Northern Ireland PopUp Office (Sep 10-13) - a Popup office featuring a programme of business clinics across the week.

A host of other events during CultureTECH will be organised in conjunction with Nintendo, PRS for Music, BBC NI, e-commerce software giants Hybris, BT, creative VFX studio MPC and manyothers.

University of Ulster CultureTECH events include:

Day

Event

Location

Wednesday 11th Sept (10:00-16:00)

Digitally enabled User Experiences: Graduate showcase- http://culturetech.co/event/2013-09-11/digitally-enabled-user-experiences (Wednesday- organised by Dr Justin Magee)

Foyeside shopping centre

Saturday 14th Sept (1-3pm)

The Allingham Arts Festival: http://culturetech.co/event/2013-09-14/allingham-arts-festival-launch (Saturday- Organised by Padraig Lynch)


The Craft Village

Saturday 14th Sept (9pm)

90 second City: http://culturetech.co/event/2013-09-14/90-second-city (Saturday- Organised by Padraig Lynch)


The Craft Village

Thursday 12th-Saturday 14th Sept

Qubizm- IZAK9 launch: Making Maths fun. Culture Tech Junior (Thursday to Saturday). Dr J Magee, Terry Quigley, Padraig Lynch and Mark Cullen were commissioned to develop a range of products, graphics, typeface, characters, animations and films for this innovative and fun way to learn maths.

Ebrington Square

For further information on the full CultureTECH Festival programme, go to www.culturetech.co/prog