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Academics and SMEs from across the south east bring historic work into the digital age

21st June 2017

The Spark recently played host to the 2017 Museums Hack Day – an event developed by Solent University, the South East Museum Development Programme (supported with public funding by Arts Council England), Digital South, and Creative Network South, with support from Venturefest South.

The fully booked event brought together academics, digital SMEs and selected museums from across the south east for a day of competitive collaboration, including: 

Each of the museums were teamed with digital designers, developers, technologists and academics. The teams were then asked to generate an idea for a fundraising campaign through use of digital technologies. The digital aspect of the event was incorporated to help transition museums into the digital age, with solutions helping bring their collections to life through increased visibility and by helping them access previously untapped audiences.

After a day of brain storming, the ideas were then presented to and judged by an expert panel. Of the final five pitches, the Lightbox Museum took home the day’s prizes – including business planning support from the University and £2,000 seed funding to bring their idea to life. Lightbox plans to use the funding to develop an interactive digital project bringing their museum collections into the public realm and to help appeal to the younger generation. 

Judge's deliberation L-R: Catherine Lee: Director of Research and Innovation, Southampton Solent University; Nicolaus Manaitis: Founder, Museotechniki; Anra Kennedy: Content & Partnerships Director, Culture 24; Ed Gould: Creative Director, Carswell Gould; Stephen Brown: Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship & Strategy, Southampton Solent University.

Lucy Marder, Cultural Partnerships Officer at the South East Museums Development Programme, and Dr Alex Reynolds, Solent Postdoctoral Research Fellow co-hosted on the day. Alex commented on the event's success; "Our participants found the competition to be genuinely fun and engaging and thought it offered a great opportunity to meet with other experts in their sector who they would not usually have the chance to speak with. We had a fantastic range of talented people in the room, and the mix of disciplines present really lifted the idea-generation and helped teams develop new and innovative project ideas.”

For more insight from the day, view the event’s hashtag “#DigiMus” on Twitter.

‘Museum Hack’ is registered as a trademark in the US by Museum Hack, LLC, a company based in NYC that leads renegade museum tours. Museum Hack, LLC has asked us to make clear that this event is not affiliated with Museum Hack, LLC and that they do not endorse this event.