The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) has launched a UK-wide network of creative technology labs to provide researchers and companies with innovative facilities to develop screen and performance technology.
Established with £75.6m of AHRC funding, the CoSTAR national network comprises a National Lab, three Network Labs and a Foresight Lab.
The National Lab is led by Royal Holloway University of London with partners including Pinewood Studios and the National Film and Television School. It will contain a dedicated stage and studio space, with a motion capture rig and a creative artificial intelligence computer facility accessible across the UK.
Led by Goldsmiths, University of London with partners including BFI and the Creative Policy and Evidence Centre, the Foresight Lab will collect and analyse data to better understand the impacts of emerging technologies.
The three Network labs are: Screen Lab, led by Ulster University, with BBC Northern Ireland; Realtime Lab, focusing on video games development and led by Abertay University; and Live Lab, led by the University of York with Opera North, which will develop technologies for live performance.
“The way we experience live performances will be completely transformed over the next decade”, said Professor Helena Daffern, Live Lab Co-Director and Professor of Music Science at the University of York.
“Imagine a live concert of your favourite artists where every member of the audience can shape their own unique audio-visual experience. You’ll have the ability to engage with every aspect of a production wherever you are, be it in the arena or the comfort of your own living room.”
“The Live Lab is poised to be at the forefront of innovation for live events,” added Professor Gavin Kearney, Lab Director and Professor of Audio Engineering at the University of York.
“We’re combining York’s research expertise with industry, public and third-sector partners who are all dedicated to innovation in live performance.”