Introduction & Methodology

The following report presents the results of the INTERREG IVC capitalisation process designed to analyse creative industries projects. The report details this analysis, its findings and makes recommendations for further policy-making with regard to INTERREG IVC creative industries projects.

1. Introduction: The INTERREG IVC creative industries microsystem

Creative Industries cover in particular architecture, archives and libraries, artistic crafts, audio-visual (including film, television, video games and multimedia), cultural heritage, design (including fashion design), festivals, music, performing and visual arts, publishing and radio.” (European Commission: “Promoting cultural and creative sectors for growth and jobs in the EU”, Brussels 2012)

Lead partners in close partnership with several project partners from various European regions are responsible for coordinating INTERREG IVC projects. Lead and project partners are public authorities or bodies governed by public law. Given the specific nature of the creative industries, the institutional background of INTERREG IVC creative industries partners can vary considerably and might include public authorities from the field of culture, economic development and / or urban development. Sometimes, departments in charge of EU projects may coordinate the INTERREG IVC projects but do not necessarily have a logical link to the different creative industries sectors and branches and are not directly in charge of CCI policy-making.

The range of bodies governed by public law involved in INTERREG IVC creative industries projects include universities, chambers of commerce, regional development agencies, museums and other cultural institutions. The partnerships involved in the CCI projects are principally represented by these publicly governed bodies, most of which operate at a local level. This sometimes reduces the level of direct access to the decision makers and to the political level in charge of 'mainstream' EU regional policy programmes in the participating regions and cities.

 Source: INTERREG IVC Factsheet: Creative Industries

In the context of the INTERREG IVC Regional Initiative Projects (RIP), of which all creative industries projects are part, the Lead Partners submit – together with their progress reports – good practices identified in their territories. Some of the INTERREG IVC projects dedicated to Creative Industries have also integrated wider good practice collections into their work programme. The selection criteria for good practices vary widely within the CCI INTERREG IVC projects and no common reference system is applied. Only a certain number of the good practice examples have been subject to peer review, as would be the case for academic selection (e. g. in the ORGANZA INTERREG IVC project).

The fourteen INTERREG IVC projects in the field of the Creative Industries allow for a macro-analysis at the programme level, taking carefully into account the related microsystem. They provide specific input for the six CCI projects which are still being carried out (2012-2014). The thematic programme capitalisation focuses on collecting, analysing and disseminating the thematic knowledge gained from the projects working on the same topic. The analysis will look at the projects’ outputs and results, for example the good practices identified and transferred and the policies addressed and improved upon and will seek to demonstrate their added value compared with the EU state-of-the-art.

2. Capitalisation Methodology

For the present analysis, we have developed a multi-level empirical approach (see below). Given that creative industries projects within INTERREG IVC have no common template for data collection, or at least not one that has been applied so far, a thematic structure had to be established at the outset of this study, in order to group and analyse the projects as well as their collections of good practices.
After screening, the available good practice cases were benchmarked with regard to EU creative industries initiatives as well as to other European and international CCI good practices. We aimed to showcase the most innovative INTERREG IVC creative industries practices for the benefit of all European regions and cities. Based on the analysis, a set of recommendations has been developed for policymakers at the European, regional, and national level.

The five steps approach of INTERREG IVC CCI capitalisation

1. The collecting of INTERREG IVC data related to creative industries started with the creation of a list of fourteen core creative industries projects based on three groups of indicators. These indicators are:

  • self-categorisation of the project as a creative industries project;
  • thematic focus of selected good practices on CCIs; and
  • involvement of partnerships directly related to creative industries.

Based on this list a database of more than 270 CCI good practice examples for further analysis and thematic grouping was drawn up. Additional field reports identified especially interesting and individual practices of INTERREG IVC creative industries projects that offer possible future solutions and innovative ideas. An online questionnaire allowed us to gain more in-depth insight into innovative creative industries practices. Additional expert interviews provided further valuable input especially as to the most successful policy-making approaches and first-hand observations based on their practices and experiences.

2. The analysis of the collected information was based on thematic indicators in relation to the different steps involved in creative industries policy-making (creating preconditions, strengthening CCIs, spill-overs) and took account of INTERREG IVC’s specific questions (transferring and mainstreaming creative industries good practices). An additional set of 60 practices was selected for in-depth analysis based on indicators for the most innovative creative industries policy-making approaches (including market driven strategic focus, socio-cultural hubs, culture and identity policies as well as spill-overs). A number of the most innovative INTERREG IVC creative industries practices were selected for presentation in this capitalisation report with the purpose of illustrating their contribution to state-of-the-art CCI policy-making in Europe.

3. The quantitative and qualitative results of the INTERREG IVC capitalisation analysis on creative industries were benchmarked and validated with lead and project partners at a thematic workshop, aimed at establishing an expert-based internal validation. This workshop also served as a cross-check with the experts responsible for innovative creative industries policies and practices in Europe and beyond. Experts were selected based on the previous analysis of EU CCI initiatives, the recommendations made by the creative industries stakeholders who took part in the online questionnaire as well as on the capitalisation experts’ know-how. EU CCI initiatives were systematically screened at the beginning and the end of the capitalisation process.

4. Special attention has been shown to the six ongoing INTERREG IVC projects in creative industries. Their first achievements have been integrated in the analysis. In addition, targeted recommendations have been drawn based on the capitalisation results and individual exchanges with the project promoters with the aim of encouraging the state-of-the-art implementation of creative industries policies and to allow for benefits to be gained at project as well as programme level from the joint activities and/or events.

5. Based on the experiences and good practices identified within the INTERREG IVC CCI, community and related innovative approaches from EU creative industries initiatives (and beyond) have been incorporated into a set of policy recommendations aimed at addressing the most pressing challenges for the creative industries in Europe and to provide policymakers at the local, regional, national, and European level with some guidelines.

3. Definitions / thematic glossary

CCI – Cultural and creative industries (see Cultural and creative industries)

Co-working Spaces: Co-working is a style of working that involves a shared working environment, often an office, and independent activity. Co-working offers a solution to the problem of isolation that many freelancers in CCI experience while working at home, while at the same time letting them escape the distractions at home.

Cultural and creative industries cover professional fields such as architecture, archives and libraries, artistic crafts, audio-visual (including film, television, video games and multimedia), cultural heritage, design (including fashion design), festivals, music, performing and visual arts, publishing and radio.

Creative cluster management: this cluster partnership (initiated by the ECIA) aims at testing and experimenting new creative cluster management styles, instruments and infrastructure in a lab-like environment.

Cross-innovation: is the transfer of know-how and innovative solutions from branch to branch.

ECIA – Acronym for European Creative Industries Alliances: is an integrated policy initiative that combines policy learning with eight specific actions with regard to innovation vouchers, better access to finance and cluster excellence & cooperation. It is an open platform that brings together policymakers and business support practitioners from 28 partner organisations and 12 countries. Its overall aim is to shape a community in Europe that actively supports creative industries as a driver for competitiveness, job creation and structural change by developing and testing better policies and tools for creative industries.

Good practice(s) in INTERREG IVC: In the context of the INTERREG IVC programme, a good practice is defined as an initiative (e.g. methodologies, projects, processes and techniques) undertaken in one of the programme’s thematic priorities which has already proved successful and which has the potential to be transferred to a different geographic area. Proved successful is where the good practice has already provided tangible and measurable results in achieving a specific objective.

Open innovation: The term open innovation can be understood as a systematic approach to converting innovation systems, processes and related thinking into a new structure.

OMC (Open Method of Coordination): In many policy areas, EU Member States set their own national policies instead of having an EU-wide policy laid down in law. However, under the 'open method of coordination' (OMC) governments learn from each other by sharing information and comparing initiatives. This enables them to adopt best practice and coordinate their national policies.

Platforms: are a (temporary) physical meeting place for communication, exchange, and project work among (creative) people.

Socio-cultural hubs: is a metaphorically used term to describe a social as well as a physical place where creative agents can work, communicate, exchange and trigger new ideas. Very often, these are co-working areas. (Originally, a hub is a device for connecting multiple devices together and making them act as a single network segment.)

(Innovation) Vouchers: These are incentives for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to receive approx. €5 000 each for the implementation of innovation projects with partners from creative industries or in other branches. 

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