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Innovation and the creative industries : the great new hope

Innovation remains an important policy area for the EU and they have outlined a new programme of work in the document, Innovation Union. Rightly, this emphasises that “Our future standard of living depends on our ability to drive innovation in products, services, business and social processes and models” and this is why innovation drives the new economic strategy, Europe 2020. It is good to see that the role of the cultural and creative industries has been formally acknowledged.

In the strategy, the EU reprise the pledge to “establish a European Creative Industries Alliance to develop new forms of support for these industries and promote the wider use of creativity by other sectors” – as discussed in our last edition. The Belgian Presidency of the European Union has also focused on this agenda, having organised a major conference in September called, Creativity, Culture and Innovation: Looking for new links. So it seems as though the links between cultural and creative industries, and innovation in other sectors of the economy, are finally recognised.

National governments are also paying attention – see, for instance, a very good report from the Finnish government here.

So it is becoming more important that we know more about innovation and how it works. For instance, it appears that despite stereotypes of innovative thinking coming from bright-eyed youngsters, older workers are apparently more likely to come up with new ideas. See here. Perhaps this is reflected in the cultural and creative sectors, where the over 35s make up a surprisingly high two-thirds of the workforce.

Secondly, some forthcoming research by the London School of Economics (LSE) suggests that the increased innovation associated with the creative and cultural industries comes mainly from embedding these skills in businesses, for example, by designers working in manufacturing firms. If this is confirmed, policymakers will have to work harder to keep the creative industries as a separate sector, or work to understand further the way that this collaboration works. And where does this leave the cultural industries, and particularly museums, archives, and other parts of the sector that are not commonly considered as innovation leading? Is their status downgraded, or are they recognised, rightly, as an important part of the creative mix?  The research is due to be published soon.

Finally, although the cultural and creative industries have this recognition, it’s important that they do not become complacent about it. The creative and cultural sectors are not the only ones promoting their role in supporting innovation, especially when arguing for more funding – science continues to stake a strong claim. See more research here.

Source : Ecce, European centre for creative economy.

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  1. […] Innovation remains an important policy area for the EU and they have outlined a new programme of work in the document, Innovation Union. Rightly, this emphasises that “Our future standard of living…  […]

  2. […] 4.L’émergence d’une «contre-société» Stephen Sawyer | The American University of Paris. Innovation and the creative industries : the great new hope | Cultural Engineering Group Weblog. Innovation remains an important policy area for the EU and they have outlined a new programme of […]

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