Select Committee on Science and Technology Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum submitted by British Antarctic Survey and Braunarts

  I am writing to you on behalf of British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and the creative multi-media company Braunarts. We have been working with NESTA education awards personnel since 2000.

  British Antarctic Survey is responsible for the majority of the Government's scientific research activities in Antarctica. It has a continuing commitment to communicating its science and operation to society and is involved in a number of educational initiatives.

  Braunarts work as creative producers of new digital media exploring the arts and culture as well as creative consultants to a select set of clients in arts, museums and galleries in the UK and overseas.

  BAS and Braunarts (with assistance from the Philharmonia Orchestra) have created an innovative multi-media music making toolkit for GCSE and A-Level music students that uses real science, stunning images and extraordinary sounds from the Antarctic to provide new ideas for musical composition. The project, Antarctic Waves, is funded (around 100,000) by NESTA.

  Working with NESTA's education team has been a very positive experience for our production team. During the two years since we first approached NESTA for funding of Antarctic Waves we have received an unprecedented level of support and encouragement as well as practical guidance by Martin Freeth initially, and then Clare Lovett and Gareth Binns. When our production team required particular business knowledge NESTA funded a Project Supervisor and introduced us to high-calibre business people to help us develop plans for future versions of Antarctic Waves.

  NESTA's framework for awardees with its regular communications, progress meetings, encouragement, attention to budget management, together with a willingness to provide additional specialist expertise has genuinely nurtured the project.

  It is our opinion that NESTA is an extraordinary organization that not only identifies talent and supports innovative projects, but also makes great use of its highly motivated talented staff. Antarctic Waves is such a unique and innovative creation that it could be difficult to categorise for a less visionary funding body.

  We believe that, so far, NESTA is succeeding in its mission to "support and promote talent, innovation and creativity in the fields of science, technology and the arts".

Linda Capper

Head of Press, Public Relations & Education

June 2002


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