• Collaborative Arts Triple Helix

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Mission Statement

The CATH project promotes and facilitates collaborative co-creation of innovative digital prototypes by teams drawn from across three sectors.

The CATH project began in the Spring of 2013 and is funded by the AHRC’s ‘Creative Economy Knowledge Exchange’ programme. Run in partnership by the Digital Humanities Hub (University of Birmingham) and the School of Museum Studies (University of Leicester), CATH has used a series of workshops (perhaps better described as ‘playshops’!) to bring together academics, SMEs, and Small Cultural Organisations (SCOs) to work in Triple Helix collaborations.

During and between the workshops, the CATH broker, Lara Ratnaraja, established 19 ‘triplets’ (i.e. teams with each of the three sectors represented) that were awarded £4000 to fund the development of a co-created digital prototype. Throughout the project the CATH Research Associate, Johanna Latchem, conducted focus groups and interviews with ‘triplets’ and their individual members, exploring the barriers to, and opportunities offered by, cross-sector collaboration.

Towards the end of the CATH project in the summer of 2014, the project team will produce a report based on Johanna’s research. But, it is safe to say now that the degree of interest and engagement in the CATH project across all three sectors has been astonishing from the outset, suggesting that £4000 can go an awfully long way in promoting amazingly innovative ideas that benefit all three partners. Indeed, by January 2014 six of the 19 triplets had used their CATH prototypes as the basis for ACE/NESTA/AHRC applications seven made it through the first round of that competition, and 4 were shortlisted.


The CATH team commissioned Caroline Beavon to create an infographic that would help viewers to grasp at a glance the project’s complexity, but enable them to explore the composition of each of project’s 19 ‘triplets’. We love the way that the branch-like left hand side of the infographic mutates into a kind of wiring diagram on the right; collaborations emerging organically and leading to digital outputs.

Collaborative Arts Triple Helix