The article presents findings from an exploratory study investigating the nature of collaborative research and development in creative industries. Participants in the study are two creative SMEs with extensive experience of participating in collaborative projects. A collective case study approach is adopted with data collected on the factors impinging on the effectiveness of such collaborations. Findings are presented at the macro and micro levels of such collaborations. The paper concludes with a summary of some of the challenges faced by small creative SMEs when collaborating with other organizations during the research and development process.