Commercial Innovation Director of The Audience Agency & CEO of TAA Tech Ventures

Areas of expertise:

  • Industrial and social innovation
  • Commercial and business strategy
  • Organisational change and leadership development
  • Content production and distribution
  • Intellectual property and data protection
  • Creative industries and digital policy
  • Service and experience design

In 2005 Patrick founded Golant Innovation (formerly known as Golant Media Ventures), whose mission is to share innovations across the creative, digital, third and public sectors. In 2018 it merged with The Audience Agency to become its enterprise arm.

He has 25 years’ experience as an executive, board/policy advisor and programme director.

Media work has spanned post-production, VR, e-learning, online publishing, animation and advertising. He has raised venture and innovation finance from UK and EU public funds as well as private funds and R&D tax credits. He had leadership roles in two national government information services.

Patrick is a financial and business advisor for Arts Council England, digital advisor for the National Lottery Heritage Fund and former resilience advisor for Arts Council Wales. In the cultural sector, he has worked with national organisations, smaller producers and venues and local authorities. He has coached and mentored the leaders of a variety of creative, digital and cultural enterprises.

He co-led the development of the digital maturity framework underpinning the DCMS/Arts Council England/National Lottery Heritage Fund Digital Culture Compass. An experienced facilitator and trainer, he is co-leading the Leading the Sector digital leadership development programme for the UK’s heritage sector.

He has led the development of the Local Government Association’s forthcoming guidance to English local authorities on supporting their local creative economy, post-COVID. Co-author:What is Resilience Anyway: A Review(Arts Council England), Cinegi Arts&Film action research (Arts Council England/British Film Institute) The Adoption of Digital Technology in the Arts (Nesta),Markets in IP and enabling information ecosystems (Intellectual Property Office), mapping of future opportunities for UK’s creative industries (UKRI Innovate UK).

Formerly Information Society Working Group chair for the UK’s National Commission for UNESCO and Marketing Chair for International Standards committee for e-learning, he is global policy research fellow of the Institute of Technology and Society, the thinktank for the global south. He speaks internationally and writes on innovation, design, enterprise and resilience.

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Audience Finder Global

A Tech4Good enterprise for the global cultural sector, providing audience insights and market intelligence for data-driven decisions, financial sustainability, and inclusive social impact.

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Resilience, Innovation & Enterprise

Thriving not just surviving in arts, culture, heritage & the creative industries requires resilience. We help you make the most of your assets & capabilities.

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Feature | Creativity + Innovation = Change

Patrick Towell unpicks the crucial differences between creativity and innovation in the context of rapid change in the cultural sector.