The National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) is an independent body with a mission to make the UK more innovative. NESTA invests in early-stage companies, informs policy, and delivers practical programmes that help organisations solve some of the big challenges facing us in the future. NESTA’s success depends on the strength of the partnerships it forms with innovators, policymakers, community organisations, educators and other investors.
One of the projects NESTA has undertaken is to look at the role of creative industries in the UK. The importance of the UK’s creative industries becomes clear when you consider that the sector grew by an average of 5 per cent each year between 1997 and 2007. This compares to an average of 3 per cent for the whole of the economy over this period.
NESTA wanted to explore evidence that the UK’s creative industries support innovation and growth in other sectors of the economy. So it set up a two-year study with Birmingham and Cardiff Universities.