Professor Hua Dong

The Association of British Chinese Professors (ABCP) is pleased to announce that Professor Hua Dong (董华教授), Co-Chair of the ABCP AIG (Academic Interest Group) on Creative Industries and Head of Brunel Design School at the Brunel University London, has successfully secured fellowship funding for an ambitious project, the SEED Fellowship. The funding to the value of £169,571, awarded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), represents a major milestone in advancing research and innovation in the UK-China creative industries. ABCP is a supporting partner of the Fellowship project.

The 12-month SEED Fellowship, aptly named after its key components — Scoping sectors, Engaging stakeholders, Empowering participants, and Developing future-focused visions and strategies, aims to establish a pioneering UK-China Creative Industries Research and Innovation Hub. Led by Professor Hua Dong, the fellowship embarks on a comprehensive journey to shape the future landscape of creative industries collaboration between the two nations.

The primary objectives of the fellowship encompass several key areas. Firstly, the team aims to develop a strategic vision and an evidence-informed delivery plan for the future UK-China Creative Industries Research and Innovation Hub. This plan will be informed by existing work and strategies, taking into account the invaluable expertise of a number of working groups and more than 20 partners in the UK and China, including the ABCP.

In addition, the SEED Fellowship seeks to strengthen existing partnerships and to cultivate new research and innovation collaborations between the UK and China. Through a series of engaging activities such as workshops and working groups, the project aims to build a vibrant community consisting of businesses, academics, and industry members. This community will serve as the cornerstone of a centre of excellence, fostering creative discourse, knowledge sharing, training, partnership facilitation, and access to expertise. These activities will play a pivotal role in shaping the initiatives of the future hub.

A distinguishing feature of the SEED Fellowship is the Empower program, which provides seed funding for UK-China projects generating creative outputs and facilitating productive connections. By developing resources and a comprehensive toolkit, the fellowship aims to support cross-cultural collaboration. The outcomes of these collaborative efforts will be showcased through various platforms, including social media and a dedicated website. The project will leverage the collective expertise of academia, business, policy, and skills training sectors in both the UK and China.

Moreover, effective communication of the fellowship’s outcomes is a critical objective. Proposals for the strategic vision, operational model options, business case, long-term roadmaps, and evaluation frameworks will be shared with partners and stakeholders for feedback and refinement. Through close collaboration with the AHRC and the UKRI cross-council hub team, alignment with long-term strategies of the AHRC and the UKRI will be ensured. The fellowship’s activities and seed projects will be showcased through a dedicated website, journal special issues, audio/visual reporting, and an online conference. These platforms will engage stakeholders, researchers, practitioners, and the wider creative industries community, generating interest, publicity, and facilitating the sharing of findings and resources.

Through rigorous research, deep sector knowledge, and close collaboration with the research and innovation community, Professor Hua Dong and the team are committed to developing a robust UK-based hub that complements its China-based counterpart. The future hub will serve as a docking station for accessing knowledge and expertise, a centre of excellence for training creative entrepreneurs with cultural sensitivity, a club for intelligence gathering, creative debate, and showcasing to the hub’s community and the general public, an accelerator for business research, innovation, and growth, as well as business-to-business engagement. Additionally, it will act as a facilitator of collaborative and interdisciplinary research partnerships and a platform to create the conditions for sustained and productive partnerships between the creative industries in the UK and China.

Professor Hua Dong, together with Professor Jiehong Jiang (姜节泓教授) of the Birmingham City University, the other Co-Chair of the ABCP AIG on Creative Industries, also co-chaired the Creative Industries, Art and Design Track of the ABCP’s 2023 Annual Conference on 8th July 2023, as an online event. The detailed programme of this track can be found at

More about the SEED Fellowship can be found on its website:

(Published on 23rd July, 2023)