Culture is Digital report highlights tech potential in cultural organisations

The Government’s new Culture is Digital report has set out an ambitious framework for how culture and technology can work together to increase participation and boost the capability of cultural organisations.

It is the first time that the Government has looked at how the two sectors can work together to unleash the creative potential of technology and help bring every cultural organisation – both big and small – into the digital age.

The report makes a number of commitments, including:

  • Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund will invest more than £2m to build the digital capacity of their sectors
  • The National Gallery will create an Innovation Lab to examine how museums and cultural organisations can use immersive media, such as virtual and augmented reality, to enhance visitors’ experiences
  • The Royal Opera House will create an Audience Lab, which will work with diverse talent to create content using emerging technologies and develop cross-sector collaborations

Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, said: “Our cultural output has always been our unique calling card to the rest of the world and when combined with the latest digital developments there is no limit to our creativity.

“We want the UK to be the best place in the world to trial pioneering technology, while also maintaining our world leading status as a centre of artistic and cultural excellence.

“Our Culture Is Digital report sets out how culture and technology can collaborate, learn from one another and keep innovating. By embracing new technologies and attracting more diverse audiences, we will continue to cement our status as a creative powerhouse in the digital age.”

The Culture is Digital report showcases innovative projects in the creative sector, highlighting the extraordinary collaborations between our world-leading cultural and digital pioneers.

It was launched at the National Gallery showcasing some of the finest recent examples of digital culture, including cutting-edge immersive installations using the latest technology.

The #CultureisDigital project was informed by an online open conversation last year and was borne out of the Government’s Culture White Paper commitment to review the digitisation of our public collections and enhance the online cultural experience.

It also builds upon the Government’s UK Digital Strategy commitment to increase digital skills, digital participation and unlock the power of data.

Arts Council England will also create and pilot the use of a Digital Maturity Index for the cultural sector, to help organisations improve their digital capability.

ACE will also work with the Heritage Lottery Fund to form a Digital Culture Code – a set of guidelines and principles which cultural organisations will be encouraged to sign up to help increase their digital skills.

Related reading