Igniting the digital economy's fuse

Gillian Youngs is Professor of Digital Economy at the University of Brighton.

FuseBox24 demonstrated how arts, humanities and design drive accelerated innovation and business creation in the creative and digital economy.

Based on the creation of a radical and experimental 24-week business support programme at Wired Sussex in Brighton and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the project resulted in a toolbox of start-up business and arts and design techniques piloted successfully and available for adoption towards innovation in the wider creative and digital economy. It was led by Dr Gillian Youngs, Professor of Digital Economy, University of Brighton, working with Research Fellow James Byford, who has a background in digital business and entrepreneurship and led the programme with artist in practice CiCi Blumstein.

The project team, including Phil Jones, Managing Director of Wired Sussex, fused the four areas of business, technology, creative arts and research. The project started with a group of participants with ideas and supported their development as innovators, resulting in ten businesses emerging.

Simon Riley said: FuseBox24 has had nothing less than a monumental impact on our business. Upon entering the programme, we were offered business advice and challenged on our business model in a number of ways, and we continue to think in terms of lean canvas and iterative development. One of our core tenets at MakerClub is that electronics and programming should be taught in conjunction with creativity and craft, a belief taken directly from the Fuse ethos. Without help from those directly involved in FuseBox24 as well as the network we have met as a result, I am sure we would not have been successful winning over £100k worth of grants during the last year.