A campaign to inspire ideas to improve the world and address some of the toughest challenges facing humanity has been launched by the University of Edinburgh.

‘Future Proof’ will highlight the expertise, process of co-creation and track record of research and innovation at the University of Edinburgh’s College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (CAHSS) to increase external collaborations and enable more solutions to global issues.

Edinburgh Innovations, the university’s commercialisation service, is behind the new mission.

Its approach builds on an already highly successful year where innovation at the college has “rocketed”, with CAHSS tripling its income from external partners over the last 12 months.

In addition, the college has secured significant new projects through the ‘industrial strategy challenge fund’ focusing on healthy working lives and reducing barriers to employment for older people.

The Creative Informatics programme has been a particular success, with each £1 invested in Creative Informatics cluster companies generating around £1.74 in additional investment, grants and in-kind value.

Creative Informatics is a research and development programme at Edinburgh University which aims to bring the city’s creative industries and tech sector together to explore how data can be used to drive ground-breaking new products, businesses and experiences.

And over the last year alone CAHSS students have created 65 startups, another dramatic increase.

The Future Proof campaign will provide regular updates on the college’s work discovering and co-creating solutions that work to “make our world a better place”, particularly with regards to the creative industries.

As the creative sector has been significantly impacted by Covid restrictions, there will be a focus on work within data skills and knowledge, data infrastructure, protocols and innovation as the key areas of interest and change.

Professor Louise Jackson, associate dean of knowledge exchange and impact at CAHSS, said: “Our research is absolutely world-class and our researchers are motivated by making a positive contribution to the communities around them, locally and globally.

“We are openly inviting public and private organisations to discover the extraordinary research we have been undertaking and how we can use that research to co-create data-driven solutions and have real world impact.”

Aileen Appleyard, head of business development for CAHSS at Edinburgh Innovations, said: “The College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences is a hotbed of meaningful innovation where our particular combination of expertise, co-creation and creativity has enabled significant impact. All sectors have experienced profound societal and economic change over the last year however the creative industries are perhaps experiencing the deepest and most unpredictable shifts.

“Our campaign, Future Proof, will show how our data-driven expertise is at the forefront of understanding these reverberations and can help organisations understand, adapt and thrive in the new normal.”

Edinburgh Innovations leads the university’s activities in industry engagement and business development, enterprise support for students and staff, and the identification, management and commercialisation of university intellectual property.