Reflections on REACT's first year

As 2012 draws to a close, REACT's Knowledge Exchange Fellow Simon reflects on some of the things we've achieved this year - and what we can look forw

It’s the end of a busy and exciting first year for REACT.

We’ve seen our six Heritage Sandbox projects grow from big ideas to prototypes: we’ve tuned into Georgian England with a bespoke listening device that hid a location-based choose your own audio adventure. We’ve taken part in multimedia and performance events at Arnos Vale Cemetery that challenged us to consider death and dying. We’ve even tweeted the dead in Yorkshire Museum to find out more about the life of a mysterious woman living in Roman Britain over 1,000 years ago... and that's just half the cohort! We also saw other collaborations grow and develop with the help of funds from our partner Universities.

This first set of 16 REACT-brokered collaborations promoted Knowledge Exchange in the Arts and Humanities by engaging 17 academics from 4 Universities and 7 disciplines including History, English, Modern Languages, Archaeology, Sociology, Film Studies and Theatre and 16 creative economy companies. We met over a 300 creatives and academics at our Ideas Labs and countless more on our work networking across Wales and the South West. Our REACT showcase: Heritage to share this work that attracted over 150 attendees who came to hear more about all the projects and to listen to Charles Leadbeater’s keynote on the New Rules of Innovation.

In the New Year, we’ll be working together to make even more great things happen – we’ll announce our 8 new Books&Print Sandbox recipients, launch the Future Documentary Sandbox call, carry on with our research into cultural value, explore new ways for HEIs and the creative economy to work together, and head to Austin, Texas to talk about Platforms for Haunting at SXSW Interactive.

Thanks to everyone who has helped REACT grow this past year: now we're looking ahead to 2013 - and we can’t wait!

Click here to read about all the Heritage Sandbox projects, watch videos about their work and read their development blogs.