A £3 million research and development programme gets underway this week, to progress open, original and optimistic ideas that could go on to become one of ten major creative projects that will be featured at Festival UK 2022.

Thirty “Creative Teams” have been selected to take part in the Festival UK 2022 R&D Project, each receiving up to £100,000 of investment to enable them to develop their ideas for the festival. They include: Walk the Plank, New Substance, Festival.org, London Marathon Events, Back to Ours, Manchester International Festival, Leeds 2023, Edinburgh International Festival, Wild Rumpus and Creative Dundee.

The teams will bring together more than 500 organisations and individuals from right across the UK, including freelancers and emerging talent.

The 30 Creative Teams selected for the Festival UK 2022 R&D Project were chosen following an open call. A rigorous selection process considered 299 submissions, involving almost 3,000 organisations, freelancers and other creatives representing the five Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths (STEAM) sectors.

Over the next few months each team is being supported to develop its big idea, through a specially designed programme that includes presentations, workshops with the BBC Research and Development team, breakout spaces and opportunities to hear from high profile speakers representing STEAM.

As well as working within their teams, attendees are being encouraged to work across teams, to maximise the potential of the combined, cross-sector talent and to stimulate new creative networks.

The 30 teams will pitch their proposals before a panel in February 2021, with ten set to be taken forward as part of the UK-wide festival, which will take place throughout 2022.

Oliver Dowden, Culture Secretary, said: “These 30 teams show our world-class British creativity at its very best – risk-taking, groundbreaking and diverse. They’ve gone through fierce competition to get here and highlight exactly what’s possible when organisations from every part of the UK work together. I cannot wait to see their daring ideas come to life.

“With Festival UK* 2022, the Platinum Jubilee and the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, 2022 is shaping up to be a truly extraordinary year of celebration for the whole United Kingdom.”

Green commented: “Festival UK* 2022 is a massive experiment in creativity with the core values of being open, original and optimistic, and encouraging teams to think big. It’s wonderful that so many brilliant people, offering extraordinary creativity across STEAM, want to collaborate beyond their usual disciplines and with people they might not have worked with before. It hasn’t been an easy selection process, so we’re really pleased to hear that some new creative relationships will continue amongst those who were not chosen, as well as being excited to see what the 30 Creative Teams come up with over the next couple of months.”

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