The renewed Lisbon strategy for growth and jobs in the EU is based on the notion that Europe’s potential for future economic development is directly linked to its ability to create and promote high-value, innovative and research-based economic sectors.
The Creative Sector (CS) contributed to 2.6% of EU GDP in 2003, whereas in the same year food, beverage and tobacco manufacturing sector accounted for 1.9% to EU GDP. The Creative Sector has therefore a proven high potential to support the Lisbon objectives of the EU. This potential is not sufficiently taken into consideration in the EU Structural Funds programmes (2007-2013) in many European regions. Especially rural regions and regional urban centres are concerned.
For this reason, CREA.RE was originated to combine (1) a better part of regions having faced such problems when starting to integrate CS into the EU Regional programmes with (2) several very advanced partners who agree to share their experience – but each partner
providing specific added value for CREA.RE.
Within CREA.RE (a) the know-how, (b) good practice and (c) policy experience in the field of creative economy will be exchanged aiming at enhancing the effectiveness of each partner’s – current & future - EU Regional programmes. All results shall be accessible – by interregional dissemination activities – also outside the partnership.
(a) Most important therefore are activity plans: In not yet having a final strategy, the EU Regional programmes (2007-2013) of all partners shall be examined to prove concrete Creative Sector projects being yet feasible. While working on those aims, all partners will be accompanied by interregional workshops. There will be additional know-how transfer by state-of-the-art-research as well as from other 4C projects and further Creative Sector initiatives.
(b) Furthermore, as a good practice example, a CCI (cultural and creative industries)-project from Central Finland will be transferred
and mainstreamed into the Upper Austrian Objective 2 programme. The results of this mainstreaming activity will be integrated into the final outcomes of the project.
(c) An important objective of CREA.RE will be specific targeted recommendations to the EU Regional policy. For that purpose, CREA.RE will organise interregional fora (EU-wide platform for the exchange of related political options) as well as regional/local policy debates at the places of all partners for promoting the implementation of the CS-concerns into the EU Structural Funds programmes.
Therewith (a, b, c) the durability of the project results will be extensively enhanced.
Summarizing the specific experiences made by all partners, the CREA.RE toolkit “How to integrate Creative Sector potential into EU regional development in a sustainable and feasible way?” will be published and presented during the EU-wide final conference of the project.
The partnership consists of 12 local/regional authorities and other public bodies. The Cultural Department of the Office of the State Government of Upper Austria guides the group towards reaching its objectives. The project runs from 01.01.2010 until 31.03.2013.
CREA.RE underwent a strong communication development with the support of the new communication officer, with a new design and structure of the website (based on the corporate identity) and a modern presentation (pecha-kucha). This was presented to a large European audience during the “WhatIF…” Final Conference of the Innovation Festival and the launch of the European Creative Industries Alliance (ECIA). CREA.RE was assigned by DG ENTR, the Support for Industrial Innovation Unit to coordinate the participation of other 5 INTERREG IVC projects. The internal communication takes place on the www.clustercollaboration.eu. The CREA.RE Factbook, a summary of good practices and interviews with the project partners was produced.
A newsletter system was recently developed and a newsletter was sent to local/ regional/ national/ European stakeholders related to CCI. We remain loyal to our own claim for creativity: we pack the main messages not in a bottle, but in 26 posters. The CREA.RE poster exhibitions visualising main issues regarding a sound integration of CCI in the European cohesion programmes were considerably enlarged and –was presented newly in Maribor, during the PODIM conference, after Linz, Lüchow-Dannenberg, Cordoba and Poznan and totalizing 26 posters. CREA.RE underwent cooperation for synergies with Culture Action Europe that included some project input in its “we are more” campaign guide for negotiations on the Structural Funds 2014-2020”. The briefings on political developments and activities at European level were continued.
The exchange of experience between the partners and learning from their good practices for the benefit of the whole partnership lies at the core philosophy of the project.
9 meetings were organized to support the structured learning at policy level and include 5 political debates as a powerful instrument to involve the decision makers directly (organized in Cordoba, Poznan, Lüchow-Dannenberg, Linz, Gothenburg). The last one took place in the presence of 60 participants including representatives of regional authorities and specialized public, was transmitted via internet and approached an important topic at European level: “culture statistics - How to provide facts for evidence based policy making: the difficult task of measuring and evaluating culture and creative industries – can we synchronize for better comparisons?”, integrating input from DG EAC and the ESSNET culture group.
The knowledge acquired by the partners is being „translated“ into potential regional measures and activities with the help of a Local Working Group (LWG) set up by each partner and consisting of various stakeholders. A total of 14 LWG meetings were organized.
The good practice developed during the project on how to set up and work with a local working group was presented by the region Lüchow-Dannenberg during the JTS communication seminar in Sofia. With the external expertise of KEA European Affairs a benchmarking raster to provide local and regional policy makers a set of indicators to assess the measures/policies for regional economic development with the support of the CCI was set up and tested.
10 partners updated/finalized their activity plans,4 partners prepared (drafts of) regional development plans. A new draft of a questionnaire for a CREA.REtoolkit was made and completed by all partners. CREA.RE initiated the preparation of joint policy recommendations in collaboration with 4 other InterregIVC projects,based on the methodology developed by the SEE project. A study on a mainstreaming model and a feasibility study for the future cooperation in the partnership showing a potential legal structure in the sense of a EGTC were completed.