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Published on: 02.05.2023

Media Cymru invests £180,000 of seed funding into innovation projects

Welsh freelancers and SMEs are to benefit from seed funding to carry out early-stage research, development and innovation (RD&I).  

We have awarded funding to 18 projects exploring a range of new ideas, including in the fields of virtual production (VP), immersive technologies and interactive experiences.  

The Media Cymru Seed Fund facilitates RD&I for the creation of new products, services and experiences in the media sector. The funded cohort will have three to five months to complete their project, supported by partners PDR and the Alacrity Foundation. 

Senior R&D Producer and Funding Manager at Media Cymru, Lee Walters said: 

“The first Media Cymru Seed cohort contains an exciting variety of projects that will not only enrich and diversify the sector as we move towards net zero and a more inclusive media landscape, they will improve people’s understanding of virtual production, explore immersive technologies and experiences, enhance the experience of remote learners, create new opportunities in esports and bridge the gap between digital and physical prop assets. 

“I look forward to seeing what ideas these Welsh freelancers and SMEs uncover during their early-stage R&D projects.” 

Successful seed funded projects in VP include: research into how traditional lighting approaches and new technologies can merge to create a sustainable future product; exploration into how quickly movie-quality content can be produced using VP; and development of a commercially sustainable and socially profitable immersive room solution that lowers the barriers of access to both the creation and consumption of shared immersive experiences. 

Other funded projects explore bilingual esports production in Wales, a remote multi-camera broadcast training platform, using artificial intelligence (AI) to support the catalogue music space and immersive audio experiences in queer spaces and communities.  

Successful seed fund applicant Mo Jannah’s project will examine the application of virtual reality (VR) in restorative justice and rehabilitation within the context of criminal justice, developing social learning tools in interactive educational settings.  

Mo said: “I am super excited at the opportunity to be a part of this exciting programme. My idea is centred around creating a social learning tool that can be used as a customisable educational resource, that can meet the unique needs of the target industry.” 

Another successful seed fund applicant, Angela McMillan, will use immersive multimedia technologies in anxiety reduction therapy programmes for young people and their families.  

Angela said: “I’m thrilled to be part of the Media Cymru Seed Fund project to have the opportunity to explore how immersive technology might be used in therapy programmes to help young people make sense of their experiences to reduce anxiety.” 

Collectively, successful seed fund projects will contribute to building a fairer, greener, more internationally recognised and economically sustainable media industry in Wales. 

The Seed Fund is the first fund open to the sector as part of the Innovation Pipeline – a series of funding calls happening throughout the year. This investment will allow Welsh creatives the chance to take very early-stage ideas through to fully validated projects which benefit the media sector in Cardiff, Wales and beyond.  

Following completion of successful seed funded projects, applicants may apply for development funding of up to £50,000, launching in July 2023. The development funding will target RD&I projects that demonstrate clear potential for a tangible product or service. If you are a Welsh freelancer or SME interested in the development fund, check out the Innovation Pipeline.

Funded projects 

  • Virtual Production and lighting integration (Mark Holowina, Firebug Lighting) 
  • Developing Esports Production in Wales (John Jackson, EsportsWales CIC) 
  • Virtual Production – Quick Turnaround (Phillip Moss, Small and Clever Productions) 
  • Me Mine & Your Reality (M.M.Y Reality) (Mo Jannah, Black Gold Productions) 
  • Using immersive multimedia technologies in anxiety reduction therapy programmes for young people and their families (Angela McMillan, Elemental Health Ltd) 
  • The Multi Camp – Remote, multi camera broadcast training platform (Rhys Edwards, Rhys Edwards Ltd) 
  • New content / formats to support the catalogue music space (Joe Howden, Dark Arts Digital Ltd) 
  • Immersive Queer Placemaking (Shane Nickels) 
  • Use of AI in trauma informed scenario based interactive digital training (Suzanne Phillips, Empathi Ltd) 
  • Digital Innovation in Performing Arts Rehearsals (Jack Furness) 
  • The virtual prop house: bridging the gap between 3D digital assets and their physical counterparts (Morgan Williams, Rusty Design Limited (RDL)) 
  • Urban Alchemy (Duncan Hallis) 
  • Amdani: a carbon-neutral and co-operatively owned film and television production company (Amy Daniel, Amdani Co.) 
  • P I (Portable Immersion) (Matt Wright, 4Pi Productions) 
  • Solidarity in Media Pathways (Mohamad Miah, Urban Circle Newport) 
  • ProductionOS: the Commercial Filmmaking Platform (Gruff Vaughan, Storm And Shelter Ltd) 
  • VP For Factual Programming (Cerys Hodgson, EastSleep Media) 
  • Accessible Virtual Production (Rhys Miles Thomas, Glass Shot)