This paper proposes that publicly funded arts and cultural organisations should aspire to, and be funded to, engage in Research and Experimental Development (R&D), particularly that which aims at innovation, that is, new social application.
Not confined to novel products or processes, arts and cultural innovation will yield altogether new ways in which arts and culture are embedded in the knowledge society and economy. So, for example, experimental development will trial new ways of engaging audiences, or explore new forms of collaboration between producers, and between them and consumers, through digital technologies. It will investigate how arts and cultural organisations can re-imagine their relationship with private sector businesses, social enterprise and public service delivery. In short, arts and cultural R&D will expand the sources of cultural, commercial and public value.