National centre to fulfil sectors’ knowledge exchange potential

Overhead view on young people sitting on floor

A new national centre announced today, 9 November 2020, will support and facilitate knowledge exchange (KE) between higher education and UK’s arts and culture sector.

Research England will provide £1.1 million of funding for The Culture Capital Exchange (TCCE) to deliver the National Centre for Academic and Cultural Exchange (NCACE).

Diverse impacts

The virtual centre will have a particular focus on evidencing and showcasing the social, cultural, environmental and economic impacts of KE within this sector. It is currently believed that this could be an area of significant but as yet unfulfilled potential, and have effects that reach other sectors including:

  • health
  • place-making
  • climate change
  • technology.

There is significant emerging evidence, as outlined by a previous pilot project by TCCE, albeit often anecdotal, to suggest that such impacts do indeed exist. One of the purposes of NCACE will be to understand, articulate and better showcase such work.

It will comprise a suite of cross-cutting and closely aligned work packages, strategically designed to support this mission. These will be delivered in partnership, with a number of higher education providers across the country acting as regional hub partners, who will, in turn, work with other universities. Their work includes a strong focus on those based outside of London.

Bringing a step change

Research England Executive Chair, David Sweeney, said:

I am excited to be investing in this new centre that hopes to bring a step change in the ability of universities to support KE with the arts and cultural sector at this difficult time.

This is an important opportunity to better understand, demonstrate, and further support and nurture the exceptional collaborative work that is being done across the country, and for Research England and universities to support the wider resilience of the sector into the future.

Building on a track-record of innovation and thought leadership

TCCE Co-Directors Evelyn Wilson and Suzie Leighton, who will lead NCACE, said:

NCACE is a key and very timely opportunity to advance KE with the arts and cultural sectors, building on TCCE’s track record of innovation and thought leadership in this exciting and quickly evolving field. The exchange and creation of new knowledge to help meet key challenges of our time has never been more important.

We look forward to working with our partners to showcase existing excellence, support future skills development in KE, increase capacity for collaborative research, and provide robust and relevant evidence to help underpin the future development of the sector.

This investment builds upon a pilot project by TCCE in 2016 funded by HEFCE and Arts Council England, which tested the capacity to support creative collaborations between research and arts, cultural and creative industries sectors on a national scale.

Further information

For media enquiries, contact Rachel Lasebikan, NCACE Communications Manager,

For enquiries about NCACE, please email the KE policy team,

This is the website for UKRI: our seven research councils, Research England and Innovate UK. Let us know if you have feedback or would like to help improve our online products and services.