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Creative Industries Conference: Brussels, 09/09/2010

The European Commission’s Enterprise and Industry Directorate-General revealed the objectives, approach and structure of the planned initiative for establishing a “European Creative Industry Alliance” during an interactive information session with 80 stakeholders.

With the proclaimed aim of mobilising 100 million Euro of additional innovation support for the further development of creative industries through this initiative, the European Commission has set the bar high from the outset for interested stakeholders to leverage the Commission’s planned contribution of 7.5 million Euro. “The aim is to have a high impact and this will not be achieved by just another network or mere policy recommendations in this strategic industry. We need committed partners, master plans and concrete actions to facilitate entrepreneurship, structural change and spill-overs with this initiative” stressed Reinhard Büscher, Head of the Unit Support for Industrial Innovation, in his opening. Several participants congratulated Mr. Büscher on the high ambitions and on pushing hard to unlock the industries economic and creative potential. Two hours of interactive feed-back and questions that followed the presentations given further showed that stakeholders were keen to find out more about the forthcoming Alliance and how to get involved.

Mette Quinn from DG Enterprise & Industry outlined in the first presentation that the proposed “European Creative Industries Alliance” will aim to bring the main actors at regional, national and European levels together to establish a policy dialogue in view of making more strategic use of current and planned initiatives in support of creative industries SMEs and to enhance transnational cooperation. She pointed out that the Alliance’s complex structure with several building blocs has been designed in order to follow a holistic approach and to involve a wider community of stakeholders. “There will be several opportunities to get involved in the Alliance – either at policy level in the cooperation platform or at a practical level in concrete pilot actions”, she explained, “and interested parties should thus focus on the area where they have most experience or commitment to offer.

 Ms Quinn explained that a cooperation platform will be established at the “blue policy core” of the initiative to bring together about 20 regional and national policy-makers with a mandate to steer the initiative and to prepare practical master plans with concrete roadmaps for policy implementations. Specific attention will be paid notably to the three key areas of innovation support services, incubation & access to finance, and cluster excellence & cooperation. For each of these areas, individual working groups of five experts will be set up to assist the cooperation forum in the preparation of the practical master plans. One or two more working groups will provide additional conceptual input into ways of how to improving framework conditions and foresight, identifying skills needs, as well as on how to foster spill-overs to other industries.

The Commission intends to support a transnational consortium of six partners for establishing and managing the Cooperation Platform and working groups as well as launching awareness raising actions and information and guidance services for enterprises in creative industries. In order to draw upon the wider stakeholder community and build upon the best expertise and knowledge across Europe, the remaining two-thirds of policy-makers for the cooperation platform and at least half of the experts in the working groups - policy-makers, academics and practitioners – will be selected through open calls for the expression of interest following the establishment of the Alliance.

In his overview of the concrete practical action proposed on better innovation support, access to finance, and cluster excellence & cooperation, Mr Carsten Schierenbeck from DG Enterprise & Industry flagged out that significant own financial and human resources will be expected from committed partners in these actions. He explained the ambitions by stating “We know from our projects that 1 million Euro of European funding can trigger up to 20 million of additional funding for SME support such as through voucher schemes. We have gathered a lot of interest with this initiative and we are convinced that with your strong commitment we will achieve a high impact.”

To download the programme that includes hyperlinks to the PowerPoint presentations of the information session click here







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