The Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) has been awarded £914,000 from Research England’s Expanding Excellence in England Fund (E3) to support its ground-breaking interdisciplinary research centre, PRiSM, the RNCM Centre for Practice & Research in Science & Music.
Launched in October 2017, PRiSM brings together researchers and practitioners in composition, performance, mathematics, artificial intelligence, music perception and big data to engage in creative research collaborations between the sciences and music. Receiving such a substantial grant from E3 will enable the RNCM to strategically develop this initiative, through additional staff, new partnerships, and the expansion of existing collaborations.
Professor Barbara Kelly, RNCM Director of Research, who led on writing the bid, commented: ‘The RNCM is renowned throughout the sector for producing innovative and exciting research, and PRiSM is a clear example of this. The Centre is unique within UK HEIs and distinct worldwide and addresses fundamental questions about what it means to be human and creative today. We are extremely proud that it has been recognised by Research England and are looking forward to seeing it develop in scale and scope to generate new research collaborations and to reach new publics on a national and international level.’
Professor Emily Howard, composer and Director of PRiSM added: ‘We are very excited to be receiving this level of support and encouragement. E3 will enable us to grow staff numbers and to further our existing collaborations, as well as to form new partnerships with HEIs, Industry and Artistic Ventures. PRiSM has the potential to take a lead in interdisciplinary and reflexive research between the creative arts and the sciences, and for this research to make a real contribution to society and to education at all levels.’
Universities and Science Minister Chris Skidmore said: ‘Pushing the boundaries of knowledge and conquering new innovations are what our universities are known for the world over. This programme led by the Royal Northern College of Music will see how our brilliant creative industries sector could use AI to further inspire music and theatre audiences. The Expanding Excellence in England Fund will support projects throughout England to master new and developing areas of research and industry. Made possible through our record R&D spend delivered by our modern Industrial Strategy, the investment will support researchers to develop solutions and opportunities for UK researchers and businesses.’