Cultural and innovation intermediation in the cultural-creative industries

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The aim of this article is to examine the multiple intermediary processes undertaken by actors in a creative R&D project. Intermediaries of different kinds have long been crucial enablers of economic activity and have been theorised in ways that help us recognise the importance of intermediation in the cultural economy, but at the same time, the flexibility of applications of the concept has been critiqued for its messiness. In other parts of the economy, focus has been paid to other intermediary processes, be they undertaken by regulatory, financial or innovation intermediaries. Drawing on both these fields of work we follow the role of participants at a university in the UK which acted as an intermediary between SMEs, a global media company and a research funder. We examine intermediation processes from the selection of R&D partners, through the design of a funding call and the R&D activity itself. In so doing, we illustrate the plural and hybrid nature of cultural and innovation intermediation, highlight where internal value is generated, identify the importance of affective intermediation, and the value of using approaches which draw on cultural intermediaries literature and that from innovation studies.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages27
JournalCreative Industries Journal
Early online date5 Jun 2023
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

© 2023 The Author(s)


  • cultural intermediaries
  • innovation intermediaries
  • R&D
  • creative industries

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