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The ECA Main Building pictured at sunset on an autumn evening. Edinburgh Castle is in the background. Image: Federica Mentasti

The CoSTAR programme, funded by AHRC, will see new state-of-the-art research and development facilities set up to drive the next generation of screen technology and on-set virtual production. 

The University of Edinburgh and Abertay University will jointly lead a regional R&D CoSTAR hub which builds on existing Creative Industries Clusters programmes (InGAME & Creative Informatics) to establish a technology and data-driven Network Lab, comprising new virtual production and performance studios in Edinburgh and Dundee that will deliver innovation and enterprise. The universities will be working in collaboration with Codebase, the UK’s largest technology incubator. 

The Network Lab will be based in the Water’s Edge studio complex in Dundee, and the Edinburgh College of Art in Edinburgh. The lab will bring together video games development expertise in Dundee with world-leading applied R&D at Abertay University. It will also combine film, television and animation production expertise in Edinburgh with the University of Edinburgh’s expertise in machine learning and artificial intelligence. 

The Insight and Foresight Unit for CoSTAR, led by Goldsmiths, in partnership with BFI (British Film Institute), University of Edinburgh and Loughborough University, is a new specialist R&D programme will support the CoSTAR national infrastructure. The Insight and Foresight Unit will focus on identifying and reporting on impacts of CoSTAR and directions of travel for the screen and performance sectors. It will do so by considering improved ecological sustainability, a more diverse workforce, new workflows and ways of working, and audience engagement with creative productions realised through the CoSTAR infrastructure.