Towards a creative Europe: what role for creative industries?

19 November 2009

Jean-Noel Durvy, Director, Directorate-General Enterprise and Industry, European Commission, said creative industries are an important element of Europe’s new innovation strategy and a driver for European competitiveness and growth, boosting Europe’s economy by billions of euros.

Clusters and networks of creative businesses and cities are needed and the future Innovation Act will establish a European platform to bring creative industries together, but at the same time there must be strategic alliances between Member States and regions to offer creative industries support and access to funding.

Miguel Silvestre, Coordinator of the Óbidos Creative Cluster in Portugal, and Deputy Mayor, said Óbidos is part of the Creative Clusters Network in Low Density Areas that helps small- and medium-sized enterprises develop creative industries by bringing them together. The city has organised events and built a broad cultural agenda to raise awareness, and provided the infrastructure to support a cluster of creative businesses in the centre of the old city.

Ruta Prusevičienė, Director, Vilnius Festival, Lithuania, said the Festival has introduced a new artistic and marketing vision, bringing together businesses, politicians and artists to celebrate the city’s creative industries. Vilnius has been badly hit by the global economic crisis, but cultural people are hoping its cultural industries will help revive the economy and are lobbying to prevent any further cuts in the city’s cultural agenda.

Hasan Bakhshi, Director for the Creative Industries, National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA), UK said creative industries boost economic growth and contribute 6.4% of national gross value-added to the UK economy. They also have a creative ‘spill-over’ as over 50% of Britain’s 1.2 million creative specialists are employed outside the creative industries, as employers value their ability to bring creative thinking to problem-solving.

Anne Marie Boutin, Founder and President, Agence pour la promotion de la création industrielle, France, said all industries have to be creative, and design is the means to link creativity and innovation to all aspects of life.

Design is a business competence so a designer’s role is to propose new ways of living and working, and she would like to develop laboratories to bring designers and creative people together to work in clusters.