Published on November 6th, 2013 | by Jonnie Turpie


United to Create

Over Summer 2013, a group of five Engineering students from Brazil helped establish a foundation web presence for the Creative Industries SIG. Called United to Create, this online community space for creative industries was developed as a platform to facilitate a new creative industries ‘hub’ within a digital environment.

The students were given just six weeks to design, develop and implement the platform for knowledge and resource sharing and potential commercial opportunities for those working within the creative economy. This platform will develop into the online presence for the new Creative Economy Special Interest Group.

The five students were studying in the UK as part of the Science Without Borders scholarship programme . The initiative was established by the Brazilian government in order to develop stronger links between the UK and Brazil. It aims to send 10,000 Brazilian students to study in the UK over the next four years.

scholarship group shot

The five student interns were: Isabelle Dutra Letouzé, Mauricio Cavalieri Carreiro, Moysés da Silva Pinto Ferreira, Guilherme Raposo Thompson (all students from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro) and Mateus Andrade Fernandes (from University of Fortaleza).
At WMG the students worked alongside Dr Jay Bal, Dr Xiao Ma, Dr Steve Maggs and Jonnie Turpie.

The student team worked alongside academics and researchers at WMG’s International Institute for Product and Service Innovation (IIPSI) to develop the technical and industrial knowledge needed for the project, which moved them into new territory away from their studies in engineering.

The objective behind the project was to develop a platform which could facilitate a new creative industries ‘hub’ within a digital environment. Digital and social media have opened up new opportunities for global business clusters to connect online. Using the United to Create site, the WMG students developed a space where creative enterprises could develop a collaborative network for professions including architects, artists, designers and musicians. Using examples from UK and Brazilian businesses, the students also gave a final presentation to demonstrate how international clusters between the two countries could be established and developed.



The students who worked on the project said they really enjoyed working on the project with the IIPSI team. They had chosen the project because it stretched them beyond their engineering backgrounds. By starting from scratch, they had to learn about the creative industries and new business models, as well as the technical skills required for developing the website itself. They found that by working as a team, they were able to create something that they could be proud of, and they hope it has provided a foundation for future collaborative opportunities between the UK and Brazil.
For me, working with the Brazilian engineering team has been a joy. They have brought an objective eye to the establishment of the Creative Industries site by providing clear analysis of the current data, policy and business models in the Creative and Digital Economy. They took this and made the most of their different skills to create an insightful knowledge resource, an interactive market place for producers and consumers, a research function for collaborations and funding resources all on an open source platform accessible locally and globally.
We look forward to working with creative collaborators in Brazil.


Jonnie Turpie is a Principal Fellow at WMG with a focus on digital innovation and the Creative Industries. Over the past 20 years. Jonnie has been a Director of Maverick Television, which he founded and has grown into one of the UK's leading regional and national independent production companies.

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