The CDT in Media and Arts Technology will train PhD students to become skilled researchers and practitioners at the intersection of science, technology, digital media and the arts. The proposed CDT builds on the outstanding success of Queen Mary's current Media and Arts Technology (MAT) programme, introducing new training elements in Design, Innovation and Materials and expanded industrial and international partnerships. It addresses all 3 of EPSRCS's Digital Economy themes, particularly Digitally Connected Citizens and many ICT themes, especially Next Generation Interaction Technologies, Data to Knowledge and ICT for Manufacturing; Digital Healthcare.
MAT is firmly grounded in Britain's Digital Economy (DE), which contributes the biggest share of GDP in any g20 nation and is projected to increase by a third by 2016. The Creative Digital sector in East London, on Queen Mary's doorstep and known as Tech City, is the fastest growing DE cluster in the UK, outstripping Greater London and the UK for jobs growth since 2001. It now accounts for 48,500 jobs in over 3200 companies, ranging from micro-business and SMEs to global players like Ustwo and Last.fm, and is attracting inward investment from international players such as IBM, Facebook, and Google.
The Creative Digital sector demands workers with a high degree of technical skill coupled with creative skills, able to work in multi-disciplinary teams: exactly the type of graduate MAT will produce.
The MAT CDT has an established network of over 40 external partners including: large companies (BBC, IBM, Orange, Sony and Procter & Gamble) health organisations (Royal Hospital of Neurodisability) and Tech City SMEs (Cinimod, Lean Mean Fighting Machine, Ustwo, Playgen, United Visual Artists, Hide&Seek, Troika), cultural institutions (Barbican, Science Museum and V&A), and governmental bodies (UKTI, TCIO, DSTL and London & Partners). Many partners host students' Advanced Placement Project, provide data sets and technical resources, supervision and mentoring, and exposure to a wide range of markets and audiences. The CDT acts as a focus bringing together otherwise disparate external bodies who discover shared interests and values.
Because DE is a key strategic area for QML, the university invests heavily in the area. The existing MAT CDT catalysed the formation of qMedia, a cross-Faculty Research Centre based in the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science, and continues to be at its core. qMedia includes the world leading Centre for Digital Music, the newly formed Cognitive Science Group, the Multimedia and Vision Group, and members of the Networks, Vision and Antennas Groups. In EECS alone, qMedia has >40 academics, 41 RAs, 102 PhD students and a portfolio of grants with a current value of over £21 million.
The CDT led to a major expansion in Digital Media research and teaching at Queen Mary. It inspired the creation of both a MSc in Media and Arts Technology and a BSc(Eng) in Multimedia and Arts Technology. The University invested around £3M in 200m2 of facilities for the MAT CDT, including Media and Arts Technology Studios, CDT hub (work/meeting space), 'maker' workshops, and a multimedia IT suite for audio/video editing.
In conclusion, the existing CDT and its proposed renewal brings value nationally, locally and to the university. It is also a major international beacon of excellence that has led to several international partnerships, particularly in USA and China.