A programme bringing together academics and creative businesses could act as a pilot for a national research and development (R+D) network.
UKRI Challenge Director Andrew Chitty floated the idea at a recent forum on the £54m Creative Industries Clusters Programme, which has made almost 30,000 connections between researchers and the creative industries since 2018.
Chitty said the scheme has been "enormously valuable", increasing the creative sector's capacity and capabilities. Against initial expectations it would generate £40m in co-investment, businesses in the scheme have attracted £140m in match funding.
"The one thing we want to do over the year is explore better alignment between our innovation clusters and R+D, and access to finance and investment.
"Now that we can see that these clusters accelerate development of new intellectual property and new products and services, we need to rope that into the finance offer.
"If we want to have a world class sector to drive recovery from the pandemic then we could do a lot worse than expanding this R+D focus."