NESTA Raise Its Game To Support Edinburgh Interactive Festival 2008

Thursday 24th July/... The Edinburgh Interactive Festival today announced another new partnership for this year’s highly anticipated event– this time with the National Endowment for Science Technology&the Arts (NESTA).

NESTA, who has launched Raise the Game– a new£450,000 national initiative to drive growth, collaboration and innovation in the UK games industry, confirmed its support for the three-day public event and conference as a Friend of the Festival, which takes place at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre between Sunday 10th and Tuesday 12th August 2008.

Working in partnership with TIGA, Dare to be Digital (The University of Abertay) and Crossover Innovation Labs, Raise the Game, has been set up to help the industry build on the world-class creative talent base already in the UK.

Raise the Game involves four strands:

Mentoring programme– which teams experienced business people up with games SMEs in order to grow their business.

Ease skill shortages - help SMEs to find talented recruits, staff share schemes and to facilitate job swaps between complementary industries.

Nurture new innovative talent - provide intern placements in SME development studios, drawing from graduates of the international games competition Dare to be Digital.

Crossover - a series of 'innovation labs' fostering new collaborations and ideas for cross platform content– designed to bring games SME’s to commissioners from beyond the traditional games sector.

NESTA believes innovation across these areas is vital for helping the billion-pound games sector perform successfully against global competition. The initiative builds on an already world-class creative talent base in the UK to help games SMEs achieve the commercial success their talent deserves.

Director of Creative Economy Programme with NESTA, Jon Kingsbury, said: "We are delighted to have been invited to this year’s event to unveil Raise the Game, which is seeking to provide a means by which the industry can work together and draw from the enormous amount of creative talent currently available. This new programme will be instrumental in fostering creativity and building relationships throughout the games industry and beyond to ensure the innovation and growth capacities of UK companies are harnessed."

Now celebrating its sixth year, the Edinburgh Interactive Festival is powered up to showcase the continued popularity, growth and influence of video games. And this year, the Interactive Festival is more synchronised with the world famous Edinburgh Festival than ever, appealing to the press, public and professionals from film, television and interactive media backgrounds alike, offering a bigger event for delegates, more consumer focusing– an overall spectacle for all.

New to Interactive Festival 2008 will be Features, Exhibition and Recruitment areas specifically tailored to cater for the public - allowing them access to the latest games and job opportunities in games.

As ever, the three-day Interactive Festival wouldn’t be complete without the cornerstones of conferences, keynotes, panel sessions, debates, games screenings and even more people than ever jostling to get through the doors.

Notes to Editors

Edinburgh Interactive Festival 2008

Edinburgh International Conference Centre

150 Morrison Street, Edinburgh EH3 8EE

UK

Sunday 10th August

Game Screenings

Dare ProtoPlay

Public games area and retail site

Monday 11th August

EIF Conference

Game Screenings

Dare ProtoPlay

Public games area and retail site

Conference Networking event

Tuesday 12th August

EIF Conference

Game Screenings

Dare ProtoPlay

Public games area and retail site

Digital Interactive Symposium

Edinburgh Interactive Festival will also play host to the Digital Interactive Symposium, the games event aimed at academics and games industry professionals. It takes place on the afternoon of Tuesday 12th August.

Registration is open now at www.edinburghinteractivefestival.com

There is also a Facebook Group in 2008 at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=12251081247

Edinburgh Interactive Festival 2008 registration details:

Register before Tuesday 1st July 2008 -£120 (ex VAT)

Register on or after Tuesday 1st July 2008 -£149 (ex VAT)

Scottish based developers and companies -£99 (ex VAT)

Students -£75 (ex VAT)

Delegates can also register for the Digital Interactive Symposium.

You can see more of Edinburgh Interactive Festival 2007 at http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=YktZnm_eRlQ

Edinburgh Interactive Festival has also forged a number of key relationships with partners and sponsors that will be announced shortly.

If you are interested in getting involved with Edinburgh Interactive Festival 2008– through partnerships, sponsorship, the Friends of the Festival programme or simply to find out more about the commercial opportunities at EIF 2008, please contact Sales and Sponsorship manager, Jodie Holdway: Tel +44 (0) 1462 456780 ; jodie.holdway@bhpr.co.uk. For press information please contact PR Manager, Sarah Hartland: Tel +44 (0) 1462 456780; sarah.hartland@bhpr.co.uk.

EIF08

The Edinburgh Interactive Festival is managed by a committee drawn from all areas of the games industry, including publishers, developers and the two industry trade bodies: The Independent Game Developers Association (TIGA) www.tiga.org and the Entertainment&Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA) www.elspa.com.

NESTA

NESTA is the National Endowment for Science, Technology&the Arts. Our mission is to transform the UK’s capacity for innovation. We do this in three main ways: by working to build a more pervasive culture of innovation in this country; by providing innovators with access to early stage capital; and by driving forward research into innovation, with a view to influencing policy. www.nesta.org.uk

TIGA

TIGA is the national trade association that represents games developers in the UK and in Europe. We have 155 members, the majority of whom are games developers, but we also have outsourcing companies and technology businesses as members who provide services to games developers. TIGA’s vision is to make the UK the best place in the world to do games business.

Abertay University / Dare to be Digital

Abertay University was first to offer taught courses in software engineering for computer games development in the 1990s and is now the only UK university with two Skillset accredited programmes in Computer Games Technology and Computer Arts. Abertay’s research and knowledge transfer activities in this area are characterised by their proximity to market and their use of innovation technology which will be at the heart of preparing Dare to be Digital participants for the Dare internships launched today. Abertay University also founded Dare to be Digital, the competition for prototype game development that has become the exclusive pathway to a BAFTA Ones to Watch Award and now runs in five UK and Irish universities with international participation from India and China, in association with Channel 4.www.abertay.ac.uk / www.daretobedigital.com


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