5 HEIF-supported Case Studies within the arts-specialist cluster

5 HEIF-supported Case Studies within the arts-specialist cluster
Check out these arts-specialist case studies to inspire your next collaboration! Img source: Microsoft 365/Unsplash

The Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF) was introduced as a way to support knowledge exchange activity between higher education providers and the wider world, resulting in benefits to society and the economy. This includes interactions with businesses, public and third-sector organisations, community bodies, and the wider public.

Here are five HEIF-supported case studies within the 'arts-specialist cluster' that demonstrate the many impactful and creatively varied ways in which UK higher education providers have used the funding to support KE activities.

Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance: Singing for lung health

Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance and Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust established "Singing for Lung Health", a free weekly singing group aimed at improving the mental and physical well-being of individuals living with long-term lung conditions such as COPD, Bronchiectasis, or Asthma. The group was created due to the increasing awareness of singing's positive benefits for those with chronic lung conditions, including managing breathlessness and improving mood.

Impact: The pilot program was initially funded by NHS Lewisham and Greenwich Trust and was extended due to its success, with an impressive 70 percent of patients reporting improvements in symptoms after 8 weeks of sessions. The remaining sessions were cancelled due to Covid-19 in March 2020, but Trinity Laban used HEIF funding to pay for online sessions which were very well received.

The program provides regular engagement and social benefits for vulnerable people, building community and providing an opportunity for people to connect via a fun and sociable activity. HEIF funding enables the development and sustainability of this community-focused program.

University of the Arts London: Creativity powered by 5G

University of the Arts London (UAL) and Three collaborated for a two-year partnership from 2019-2021 that aimed to create use cases for 5G broadband and technology education. The partnership involved a significant investment into workshop spaces and equipment at UAL's Central Saint Martins and the integration of 5G technology through two MA Fashion showcases. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the partnership delivered R&D projects and technology workshops, short courses and talks as part of the "Digital Innovation Season." The partnership created economic benefits for Three through its positioning of 5G technology use cases in the fashion industry and won several awards and media coverage.

Impact: Over 25 artists, tech and games companies, and educators interacted with UAL staff and students through the Digital Innovation Season, engaging nearly 500 UAL students. In a survey of 117 participating students, 90 percent felt the sessions were relevant to their development, and 74 percent felt they learned something they wouldn't have otherwise. 141 students participated in R&D projects related to the future of fashion and technology, attracting a significant amount of interest on social media.

Guildhall School of Music & Drama: Guildhall Live Events

The award-winning Guildhall Live Events (GLE) team is known for its nationwide presence in festivals, exhibitions and historic properties. They specialise in interactive and immersive digital experiences, combining art, technology, and the training provided by the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.

The GLE team provides on-the-job learning for students during their training and employability opportunities for graduates, collaborating with different sectors and settings to advance experimental and emerging technologies, and creating innovative and interactive projects that engage new audiences.

Impact: A partnership with BILD Studios during the COVID pandemic allowed three productions to be transformed into a virtual stage (one of the first of its kind), providing professional development opportunities for staff and students. This work has travelled beyond the pandemic, helping the theatre industry develop new working practices and support the recovery of the sector. The HEIF funding was used in the development of the unit, including salary contributions and initial set-up costs.

LAMDA: LAMDA examinations

LAMDA Exams provides communication and performance qualifications globally to schools and performing arts schools, promoting life skills such as oracy, communication, confidence, and self-esteem. Although LAMDA is prevalent in the independent school sector and performing arts businesses, it has a limited presence in state schools, which they aim to change with the support of the HEIF. The HEIF allocation funds the development of syllabus and products, marketing, business development, and delivery of workshops, enabling learners of all abilities and backgrounds to realise their full potential.

Impact: Studies looking into the effects of the Coronavirus lockdown on young people show that it has had detrimental impacts on low self-esteem, poor communication, and language skills. LAMDA Exams can help schools recover from the impact of lockdown by rebuilding these skills in young people. An example showing just this is from the Broadway Academy in Birmingham, a large state school with a high proportion of Pupil Premium and ESL. The school has been entering its students into LAMDA Exams for the past four years and is reaping the rewards through student progression.

Royal College of Art: Concrete Canvas

Concrete Canvas Ltd is a spin-off from InnovationRCA that commercialises a unique concrete canvas material that revolutionises civil engineering projects globally. The technology was originally developed by Royal College of Art alumni Will Crawford and Peter Brewin for quickly deployable disaster relief shelters. But with the material reducing installation works up to 10 times faster than conventional concrete solutions, as well as its lowered environmental impacts, today its applications span much wider.

Concrete Canvas Img Source: RCA

Impact: Launched in 2004 as a student project, Concrete Canvas was supported by InnovationRCA, the RCA's centre for entrepreneurship and IP commercialisation - which was funded by the HEIF.

InnovationRCA supports students, alumni and staff to commercialise their ideas and build successful businesses. Since forming, Innovation RCA has achieved incredible impact including the support of 71 start-ups that raised £82 million in investor funds and created over 750 jobs in the UK.

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