Key policy messages and conclusions

Regional and local authorities can benefit widely from the know-how generated by the INTERREG IVC CCI capitalisation process. Concrete recommendations have been drawn up and are presented below. In addition, in 2012, five INTERREG IVC projects on creative industries published common policy recommendations targeted at local, regional and national governments as well as at the European Commission (54), which CCI policymakers across Europe might wish to take account of.

1. Relevant findings and recommendations for regions in Europe

Recommendations for regions and cities not yet involved in interregional cooperation of EU regional development programmes like INTERREG IVC and which are looking to develop a local or regional policy for the creative industries might benefit from the following findings of INTERREG IVC CCI projects:

◊ Careful preparation is needed and can pave the way to success in the mid and long term

Policy-making for creative industries needs careful preparation, and essential pre-conditions must be met: Special attention needs to be paid to:

  • the stakeholder process at the local/regional level and
  • establishing sustainable local support groups.

This process needs time and broad and sustained commitment. It might be more complex in creative industries than in other policy fields due to the fragmented structure of CCIs and the larger number of potential interested parties from the field of culture, economy, urban planning etc.

◊ External expert support for moderating these groups is therefore of added value

INTERREG IVC projects and their good practice database provide valuable insight into some of the experiences gained (e.g. the stakeholder process in Lüchow-Dannenberg in the framework of the CREA.RE project or the final report of the ORGANZA project). Although the field of CCI policy is broad (because it uses multi-sectoral approaches, addressing a wide variety of different policy areas like innovation, urban development, entrepreneurship, culture, education, etc.), regional policy-making might especially benefit from the potential of the creative industries to generate innovation and spill-over effects. These CCI policy fields might also be more easily incorporated into EU regional policy mainstream programmes (ERDF-financing 2014-2020). Related good practices from INTERREG IVC include the initiative Territoires en Résidence (identified from the INTERREG IVC SEE project) or Future Factory55 – a project to support sustainable design in SMEs (INTERREG IVC ORGANZA).

◊ Direct your regional policy approach at existing good practice

For example, the good practice ‘Green Workshop Wendland’ (INTERREG IVC CREA.RE) developed a regional CCI policy within two years including follow-up projects, financed by the ERDF, related to design innovation and regional cluster building. The Green Workshop Wendland has carried out preparatory work leading to the establishment of top CCI policy priorities that include current innovation within and outside the creative industries, internationalisation of CCI SMEs and access to finance.

◊ Improve the evidence-base of CCI policies

Designing evidence-based policies for creative industries can be challenging due to their fragmented nature and multi-sectoral approaches involving a high number of micro-structures. Qualitative evaluation methods based on clear policy targets provide added value and should be repeated regularly so as to generate the most accurate results, as demonstrated from the Design Ladder initiative (presented from INTERREG IVC SEE project). Crucial for ensuring a sustainable impact is the related continuous modernisation of CCI policies and practices.

◊ Address the internationalisation and export potential of the creative industries and use the existing inter-regional platforms like in INTERREG IVC

Most CCI policymakers do not sufficiently encourage the full use of internationalisation and export opportunities of the creative industries SMEs in their territory. INTERREG IVC projects like CREATIVE METROPOLES and ORGANZA have demonstrated how the cooperation platforms set up in their projects can be applied for the benefit of export and internationalisation activities of the local CCI companies. These initiatives should also include systematic access to market intelligence.

◊ Socio-cultural hubs as recent phenomena need to be incorporated in modernised policies designed to create favourable framework conditions for creative entrepreneurs

Interaction and exchange, regarded as crucial success factors for creative entrepreneurs, are increasingly being promoted through the creation of open and co-working spaces. Bottom-up initiatives from the creative scene anchored in a local context have proven to be most favourable to the economic success and sustainable impact on related urban development. Good practices such as Lynfabrikken in Aarhus (presented by the INTERREG IVC project Creative Growth) demonstrate the complexity as well as the development potential of these micro-spaces.

◊ Encourage spill-over effects with a clear thematic focus based on a broad participatory framework

Creative industries are able to generate social and economic innovation, as they integrate design innovation in SMEs – one of the main topics of the INTERREG IVC project SEE. Pre-conditions for the success of a spill-over oriented CCI policy include the establishment of a broad participatory (governance) framework combined with a tailored thematic focus. INTERREG IVC projects (like Cross-Innovation) focus on exchanging good practice on spill-over oriented CCI activities.

◊ Use open innovation approaches to encourage cross-sectoral exchange

These thematic fields are also widely covered by INTERREG IVC projects in creative industries. New policy instruments (like policy clinics presented from INTERREG IVC Cross-Innovation) encourage open processes and boost new forms of cooperation within interregional networks of European cities and regions. In order to be successful, open innovation policies should focus on specific local challenges related to local people.

◊ Transfer of CCI good practices must include a careful process of adaptation to the local context

There is no one-fits-all local / regional creative industries strategy. A good practice identified in one region might not be easily transferable to another. The CCI practices and policies identified within INTERREG IVC should be considered as inspiration for policy-making approaches56. Crucial to the success of CCI practice transfer is:

  • a comprehensive ex-ante analysis of the existing creative industries’ microsystem as well as the creation of ownership of ones’ own territory;
  • INTERREG IVC creative industries project managers also recommend the creation of win-win situations for both the transferring and the receiving region (financial compensation and / or new learning experience).

The transfer of CCI good practice has been well-demonstrated by the ORGANZA and SEE INTERREG IVC projects. These transfer models could be applied for other inter-regional and /or inter-city exchange in creative industries. The use of EU structural funds to implement transferred practices requires expertise, experience, and a solid financial background.

2. Policy recommendations for the European level

The European institutions have shown considerable interest in the creative industries over the last few years. As a result of this interest, several pan-European initiatives have been launched – especially from the European Commission Directorates General of Education and Culture as well as Enterprise and Industry. Europe-wide research has legitimised several CCIs, and their efforts have contributed considerably to the development of a sound knowledge base on European creative industries.

The following recommendations therefore focus on the specific added value that could be generated from a more integrated approach between EU CCI initiatives, ongoing processes and the interregional INTERREG cooperation and exchange on creative industries between European regions and cities.

◊ The fruitful cooperation between the DGs Education and Culture as well as Enterprise and Industry – both very actively working on CCI policy development and the related exchange of experience – and the stakeholders of the EU regional policy presents great potential and should be developed further.

Although the two DGs have shown an increased interest in CCI and have provided various opportunities to support CCI in Europe, mutual collaboration between them and regional policy stakeholders will be more difficult to achieve. This is mainly due to the fact that regional policy uses a transversal thematic approach, thematically designed and implemented to a large extent in the European regions. This can lead to a fragmented thematic and institutional framework regarding creative industries and EU regional policy-making. Therefore, it is necessary to:

  • define common priority areas for European Creative Industries policies (e. g. by establishing formal cooperation between the EU CCI policy-making platforms like the European Creative Industries Alliance and the ongoing CCI capitalisation initiatives in INTERREG)
  • design methodologies to ensure the financing of state-of-the-art CCI practices by European regional and rural development funds.

◊ Merge databases and make them more lively and transparent

Furthermore, it should be investigated whether the numerous CCI good practice collections developed within EU CCI initiatives as well as in the transnational and interregional INTERREG IV programmes could not be merged into a common database accessible for local and regional stakeholders and CCI policymakers. When making this knowledge base available to a growing group of policy stakeholders and public audience, the front-end should be given a more aesthetically pleasing appearance and the overall usability should be improved. Accessibility should be free from any barriers, as suggested by various EU policies.

◊ Develop standardised formats and data collection methodologies

This process would require the development of a standardised format and data collection methodology for the benefit of all policymakers and CCI related research. It could also be used for evidence-based inputs if integrated into a systematic evaluation process of creative industries practices and policies. Relevant creative industries indicators should then also be better included for measuring the EU regional policy interventions.

◊ Further international good practice benchmarking is needed to modernise European CCI policy-making

International good practices are not sufficiently taken into account by European CCI policymakers, and European experiences in this area are not widely known outside the EU. European external relations should therefore further address the following three potentials:

  • How can the EU models for financing creative industries policies and practices by EU regional funds be used for development policies in other regions and / or cooperation areas in the world?
  • How can the knowledge base of the most successful CCI policies in the world be increased within the European Union in order to contribute to a globally competitive EU creative sector?
  • The interregional and transnational programmes of the EU regional policy as well as the EU Neighbourhood programmes could provide additional platforms allowing policymakers to contribute to this enlarged know-how transfer and exchange of experience in creative industries.

These exchange initiatives should also include the active participation of creative entrepreneurs from the EU in order to support their export potential.

◊ Integrated policy approaches are needed in order to meet complementary financing needs

The different funding tools available for the development of creative industries at the European level should provide an integrated system allowing policymakers to address complementary financing needs involving the different EU funding programmes (CREATIVE EUROPE, COSME, HORIZON 2020 as well as the ERDF, ESF and EARDF funding instruments). Of central concern for all support tools should be their practical usability for the creative industries policymakers and project promoters. This should take account of the specific characteristics of this policy area (financial capacity of CCI intermediaries, large percentage of micro-entrepreneurs, innovation potential of the creative sectors and related need for flexible tools allowing appropriate and successful innovation processes). The INTERREG IVC programme is one of the support instruments designed to contribute, at EU level, to the development of CCI policy and related exchange of experience. In order to optimise the usability of the programme for European regions and cities, we have developed a detailed set of recommendations which is listed in Annexe 7 of this report.

3. Policy recommendations for the national level

National public authorities are only to a very limited extent involved in the fourteen INTERREG IVC projects analysed in this report. Therefore recommendations targeted at the national level must reflect the interaction of local and regional CCI policy-making with national strategies for the creative industries. Furthermore, Member States are involved in strategic CCI policy-making through the Working Group of EU Member States Experts (OMC) on Cultural and Creative Industries.

◊ National governments and regional/local authorities should further investigate how to enhance integrated CCI policy-making

Those regions and cities involved in INTERREG IVC projects, including national CCI policymakers, could look to enlarge their know-how-transfer activities in creative industries policies. Furthermore, they could investigate how national administrations (e.g. the cultural ministries involved in the OMC working group) could better benefit from CCI good practice collections developed by INTERREG and how participative policy-making models could be devised between the local/ regional and the national levels.

◊ Develop tools for an integrated national and regional CCI policy based on different administrative structures in the Member States

These initiatives must carefully reflect the different administrative structures in the EU Members States and the related system of creative industries stakeholders with a view to creating an integrated policy-making and information transfer process. (Further detailed recommendations cannot be provided within the remit of this capitalisation report.)

◊ Address priority CCI topics especially relevant for cooperation at the national and regional levels in many EU countries

These priority topics might include comparable cultural and creative industries statistics such as mappings (based on related findings on EU level), basic research on creative industries related topics (e. g. the impact of creativity on social innovation), development of interregional creative industries strategies (e. g. in larger cooperation areas like the Baltic Sea or the Danube area), integrated CCI support and funding systems (e. g. regarding innovation support mechanisms) copyright issues, the digital agenda.

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