milan expoTo Milan, to produce and chair an event on the UK Pavilion at Milan Expo focusing on the point where creativity meets technology – and the impacts and trends resulting.

Within UKTI we’ve recently been trying to describe the confluence of factors which creates a positive landscape for dynamic innovation and market opportunity derived from the digital/creative evolution. My stab below, thoughts welcome:


My panelists at the event exemplified the continuous development of this space, and the strategic impact that a seismic digital shift has had on the shape of their business.

Imaginarium’s recent R&D has been focused on the potential of extending their extraordinary performance capture into new platforms, rendering at high speed through a games engine. For Digital Bros, a pre-eminent Italian based games company, they have extended their value chain into distribution and detailed data analysis in order to accurately target audiences and iterate production to match demand in a highly agile fashion.

For both, the skills and talents they now need to employ have expanded well beyond the traditional production focused creatives into highly technical digital disciplines – e.g. software engineers and data analysts. Tangible examples of the fact that the digital evolution of the creative industries generates not just new business models, but also significant infrastructure needs and new skills which must be addressed to allow the sector to flourish into the future.

It was my first visit to an Expo, impressive in its scale and attendance, and I found the country pavilions to be a strange mix of national self expression and global aspiration – a kind of soft cultural face-off with varying degrees of success.

The UK Pavilion at Milan Expo is a rather poetic combination of creative and technology. The mesh architecture hums quietly and lights up dependent on the activity within a beehive in Nottingham – its subtle changes a highly effective reminder of the organic and the interconnectedness and interdependencies of the natural world.

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