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National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts
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National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA)

Address:
1 Plough Place, London EC4A 1DE United Kingdom
Phone: +44 (0) 20 7438 2500
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7438 2501
webmaster@nesta.org.uk
information@nesta.org.uk

http://www.nesta.org.uk/
Arts Organization of the Month Arts Organization of the Month
2008.8.29
National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) 
    The United Kingdom’s National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) was established in 1998 as a grant organization dedicated to supporting advanced, innovative projects by individuals and organizations and human resource development in the three areas of science, technology and the arts. With operating income from its endowment of approximately 300 million (approx. $600 million / 64.5 billion) and private sector donations, NESTA administers about 18 million in grants and operating expenses annually (2006 figure). The key word in grant decisions is “Innovation.” Choosing the term “investments” instead of “grants,” NESTA “invests” in projects in the areas of pioneering businesses, unique inventions, national health and projects that promote understanding of scientific technology, all with the aim of nurturing innovative talent that will lead to clear returns for British society in the future.

    With the reorganization of government ministries and departments implemented with the start of the new government under Prime Minister Brown in June 2007, NESTA has come under the jurisdiction of the Department of Innovation, Universities and Science and has been involved in the strengthening of the Policy and Research Unit that promotes innovation policy. Since this change, NESTA has assumed a position differing from other government agencies as one dedicated to nurturing innovation in British society by providing not only financial support but also consultation and collaborative efforts by its affiliated experts in each field aimed at more pragmatic and unique programs.

    NESTA’s programs in the fields of science, IT, industry, economics, finance, medicine, social systems and education are divided into the four categories. For details about the 2008 programs, please refer to the “Programmes portfolio” page of the NESTA website at http://www.nesta.org.uk/programmes-portfolio/.

    In the areas of arts and culture, the programs provide arts organizations or the individuals running them with not only financial support but also unique and practical efforts directed at nurturing organizations and audiences. The following are some examples of these programs.

Clore Fellowships
    The Clore Fellowships support organizations that make major contributions in the nurturing of innovation and creativity in the arts, culture and cultural heritage by bringing together NPOs and commercial enterprises. Among these, the Arts and Creative Economy Fellowship focuses on the links between arts and culture, and innovation and creativity in the broader economy, while the Entrepreneurial Cultural Organizations Fellowship focuses on maximizing the role that entrepreneurialism can play in cultural organizations.

Innovation in the arts
    The “Innovation in the arts” program supports a major project for organizational change at the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), due to its role as a leader in the British theater world. This action research project aims to provide a new operation and management model to transform the RSC’s practices for managing creativity into more general practices that are applicable across the whole organization. The findings of the project and will eventually be published as a research document.

Swarmtribes
    The Swarmtribes program is a new type of community-engagement platform that seeks to support young musicians based on a unique methodology. For many local musicians it is easy to win the first 10 or 20 dedicated fans but then it becomes necessary to multiplying this number. This program aims to strengthen communication between core fans and then establish a group management system. In practical terms it makes use of SNS and other models to promote fan communication.

    As an organization that seeks in these ways to nurture innovation in the arts and culture as well as in the economic and technological fields through multi-sector investments aimed at broad-ranging returns for society at large, NESTA is involved in a wide range of unique and innovative programs.
 
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