Next Generation 2023: Screen Ireland’s Animation Innovation and Immersive Development Fund now open for applications, in collaboration with Animation Ireland

Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland and Animation Ireland are delighted to announce, with the support of Cultural & Creative Industries Skillnet & Eirmersive, that applications are now open for the 2023 Animation Innovation and Immersive Development Fund. Since the fund was initially launched in 2021, Screen Ireland invested in 20 innovative, high-concept development projects across areas such as immersive storytelling, VR, augmented reality and app development.

This year’s €400,000 fund is designed to reach diverse and highly skilled talent from the animation and immersive storytelling sectors, supporting projects across a wide range of genres and formats that anticipate high-value national and international success. The fund continues Screen Ireland’s ambition to highlight Ireland as a centre of excellence in animation and diversifying the scale and breadth of what the industry has to offer. It is designed to allow the sector to explore new opportunities offered by emerging technologies, support the development of IP and new, innovative ways of storytelling.

Andrew Byrne, Head of Television at Screen Ireland, said:

“We are delighted to launch the third round of the Animation Innovation and Immersive Development fund. The fund has showcased incredible creative work across a variety of formats and continues to enhance the potential for new avenues of storytelling. Screen Ireland is delighted to continue to support animation development and to encourage further innovation across the sector, encouraging fresh perspectives and a diversity of new voices.”

Animation Innovation and Immersive Development can include the preparation of new hybrid formats, introduction of new storytelling workflows, extending genre ambitions outside the current workflow and targeting new areas of artistic and creative endeavour (such as gaming and immersive technologies). The projects and new workflows selected for last year’s Animation Innovation Fund included AR games, interactive storytelling, language learning apps, new workflows for 3D stop-motion animation and content creation for immersive tourism.

Producers and industry creatives can apply for a project investment of up to a maximum of €50,000 in total. Each proposal will be assessed on criteria measuring the quality and level of innovation involved in the project, and its appeal to the market. With a strong emphasis on creative business development, the fund is designed to support the Irish animation sector as it responds to challenges in the form of increased international competition and diversifying content streams, as well as to explore new opportunities offered by emerging technologies.

The Irish animation sector has been in rapid growth for the past decade – almost quadrupling in size by 2019, where production figures show that Irish animation accounted for almost 50% of all production spending in the country. With major global players like Brown Bag Films, Boulder Media, Giant Animation and Cartoon Saloon, the commercial and critical success of Irish animation is due to a mixture of business acumen, state support via the state tax incentive Section 481, a skilled and talented workforce, and a strong reputation for storytelling and visual artistry.

The deadline for applications to the Animation Innovation and Immersive Development Fund is 1pm, 25th August 2023

Applications will be received via Animation Ireland and full guidelines for the fund are available here.