The Oxford English Dictionary defines ‘Fusion’ as ‘The union or blending together of different things (whether material or immaterial) as if by melting, so as to form one whole’. For Creative Fuse, a clear and relatively simple demonstration of this has, of course, been the bringing together of the five university partners, a collaboration that has been received very positively by businesses and practitioners working across the breadth of the creative and digital economy.
One of the original key lines of enquiry set for Creative Fuse focused on testing the observations from the Brighton Fuse report: that businesses which adopt ‘fusion’ – the combination of ideas and skills from creative, design and technology disciplines – typically enjoy business performance three times greater than those that specialise. These businesses saw this unique combination of skills as a key differentiator and research demonstrates that this ‘Superfusion’ is responsible for driving significantly higher growth and sustainability in the longer term.
In our first phase of Creative Fuse and via the research we undertook at the time there was strong awareness of this in the North East, with many businesses and organisations self-identifying as having fused characteristics and levels of fusion slightly exceed the findings of Brighton Fuse. You can find further information about this in the report we published at the time.
Yet Creative Fuse also goes beyond this core definition of fusion. The range of activities and collaboration opportunities we deliver through the project also seeks to fuse complementary organisational cultures and, therefore, to open up, whether via soft curation or direct facilitation, the scope to ‘fuse’ processes that could lead to new ideas and ventures being developed or explored.
For this reason, Creative Fuse provides for different levels of engagement and support – a range of ‘entry points’ to engage large and small organisations, freelancers and practitioners alike, in fusion. We aim to provide a broad canvas of support and topics that we hope is beneficial and of interest to a range of audiences – and the research, knowledge and insight that we hope to generate through our second phase will further build upon the importance of creativity and innovation to the region.