About GAIN

Games and Innovation Nexus (GAIN) aims to connect capability between the two largest gaming clusters outside of London: Surrey (Guildford Games Cluster) and Warwickshire (Silicon Spa). The University of Surrey, in partnership with the University of Warwick and University of Creative Arts (UCA), will leverage GAIN to strengthen connection between the universities and games & CreaTech industry, foster collaboration and drive creativity and growth in the sector.

GAIN Objectives

GAIN will foster innovation to support the thriving games clusters in Guildford and Leamington Spa to drive creativity and growth through catalysing connections:

· GAIN connects academics and researchers with regional games studios, delivering projects that benefit from a collaborative, partnership approach.

· GAIN connects our games and wider CreaTech ecosystems with funding that overcomes industry challenges, unlocking opportunity and growth.

· GAIN connects the UK’s largest games clusters outside of London, nurturing innovation in games communities whilst investing in infrastructure and activities to promote growth and innovation.

· GAIN will act as catalyst for regional cohesion, develop the innovation ecosystem and respond to industry challenges for the benefit of games and CreaTech companies regionally and nationally.

Key GAIN Outputs

· Investment in key spaces for collaboration, incubation, R&D and play through Surrey’s Games Innovation Zone, supported by Surrey County Council.

· Increased capacity of UCA’s established Games Incubation Studio.

· A vibrant new home for Warwick’s Esports Centre.

· A series of programmes including an Industry Challenge funding scheme and demonstrator Products from academic projects.

· Programme of events that connect academics with games industry, stimulating collaboration and innovation.

· Development of a new diversified innovation model that bridges across academic research and an IP sensitive industry.

Now open: Industry Challenge Funding Call

Do you work in the games and/or createch industry?

Are you connected to the Guildford Gaming Cluster or Surrey Innovation District?

Have you’ve encountered a challenge that’s stopping you from progressing to the next level?

If yes, then the Games And Innovation Nexus (GAIN) team want to hear from you!

You may be eligible to become an industry partner and receive free access to University of Surrey experts and world-class facilities to help you tackle your challenge.

Our academics specialise in a wide range of disciplines relevant to shaping the future of gaming. These include AI, neuroscience, psychology, story and game narrative development, blockchain, and metaverse.  

This is an exciting opportunity tackle an industry challenge and position your company’s brand as a leader – helping to shape the future of gaming in the UK, fortifying Guildford’s gaming legacy and securing Surrey’s future as the UK Hollywood of Video Games!

Key Points:

Funding available: From £5k up to £65k per project.  

Project duration: 3 -12 months with all projects completed by 30 Sept 2025

Deadline: 14th June 2024

How to apply:

If you would like to get involved or receive full details and T&Cs, please email: Dr Ping Deng.

The GAIN team will then partner you with an academic who has relevant expertise to your specific challenge.

The academic will then manage the application process and grant allocation.

Gaming computer and chair

Now Open: Proof-of-Concept (PoC) funding call

Are you an academic at the University of Surrey with research or knowledge relevant to the future of the games sector?

Are you looking to translate your work into new products, devices, therapies or policies that innovate the gaming sector and make a positive impact?

If yes, then you may be eligible to participate in the Proof-of-Concept Funding Call, available via GAIN.

Key Points:

Funding available: Between £10k to £50k for a single project

Project duration: 3 – 12 months with all projects completed by 30 September 2025.

Deadline: 14th June 2024

If you would like to get involved or receive full details and T&Cs, please email: Dr Ping Deng.

Man using VR headset

Get involved in GAIN

You can shape the GAIN project by sharing your industry challenges, opportunities and ideas for research collaboration.

Games and Innovation Nexus (GAIN) is proudly funded by Connecting Capability Fund – Research England Development (CCF-RED), and Surrey County Council