A report produced by researchers at the University of Sussex for NESTA confirms that innovation, productivity and growth is more likely in firms with a ‘fused’ science and arts workforce. The Fusion Effect: the economic returns to combining arts and science skills which analysed government innovation data between 2010 and 2012 extends previous research that highlighted the positive benefit of arts and stem skills to creative industries by confirming that these benefits also flow to ‘non-creative’ sectors that include arts. In the UK, as in Australia, STEM skills are identified as priorities for improved competitiveness and innovation, yet as the report states: ‘Arts skills are rarely acknowledged as contributors to economic outcomes such as growth, productivity or innovation’ and ignore the significant role that art skills play in ’unlocking firm growth’.
The report adds to growing global focus on the STEAM agenda, highlighting need for the arts to be accorded greater government attention in innovation policy. The full report is available here.