In our last article, we summarized the problems within the cultural and creative sectors leading to the innovation gap, as it is stated in the “European Manifesto on Supporting Innovation for Cultural and Creative Sectors” by the Arts+ Innovation Summit 2018. Now that we know what is happening, what can we do against it? Below are six possible measures on European, national and regional levels that could be employed to reduce the Innovation Gap.
1. Where culture, business, technology and politics overlap, the cultural and creative sectors develop “hybrid” structures, which need to be acknowledged
The Innovation Summit 2018 see the need for new policies that enhance innovation potential of the cultural and creative sectors and that encourage further internal and cross-sectoral collaboration. Moreover, these policies should be targeted at commercial and non-commercial players equally.
It is essential that these policies function “at EU and national levels to encourage a cross-sectorial ecosystem for the cultural and creative sectors.” (6)
To efficiently support innovations in the cultural and creative sectors, the specific innovation needs need to be analyzed “through collaborative European research, through ecosystem building and through cooperation with creators, companies, creative entrepreneurs and industry stakeholders” (6). In this way, the innovation knowledge within the sector can be put to use in the most efficient way. According to the need for more collaboration, coherent policies, and such European research, they demand the establishment of European-wide research bodies.
2. Raise public investment:
While there are current funding programs aimed at enhancing the digital transformation, only one is targeted towards the cultural and creative sectors. For this reason, the sectors should be acknowledged as “a key component of innovation in the industry funding policies.” The funding must be significantly raised to enable innovation and should not only be project-driven but should also be designed to support long-term plans.
3. Encourage easier and more attractive investment
Since innovative ways of new content often rely on a ‘pay-per-content’ method, alternative forms of investment (e.g. crowdfunding, donations etc.) need to be expanded. Moreover, the cultural and creative sectors need to be more integrated into initiatives of the general industry. The sector should be relieved further by tax breaks and enhancing already existing forms of initiatives.
Would the transition towards more individual funding mean that the cultural and creative sectors’ focus inevitably shifts towards more commercial questions – especially on how to earn money? Does this not create a strong dependency on the interests of money givers?
4. Strengthen the cross-sectoral dialogue with respect to innovation in the cultural and creative sectors.
Further the interaction between people and players of the cultural and creative sectors, as well as other sectors, through physical events and forums and involving “intermediaries (associations, networks, cluster organizations, hubs, festivals etc)”(8). Additionally, a partnership between the cultural and creative sectors and the public sector needs to be established to improve policy making and public procurement.
5. Redefining “innovation”
The idea of innovation needs to be redefined to include ‘soft’ forms of innovation. While research, development and innovation need to be supported, established technologies and market-uptake need to be adapted to the adapted to the cultural and creative sectors.
The cooperation with research institutions and interdisciplinary partnerships need to be strengthened, so that “innovative, digital and creative hubs” (8) are created. It is necessary to develop frameworks that can be used to measure the specific values of the created content. Moreover, it needs to be acknowledged that training (both in educational and professional contexts) is essential for innovation.
What measures can be undertaken in order for “soft” innovations to be valued and recognized equally?
6. Extended international character
The Arts+ Innovation Summit demands to acknowledge the importance of internationalization and “cross-sectional” (8) interactivity. In this way, European-wide policies and innovation support measures need to be established and the importance of the cultural and creative sectors for the European digital single market needs to be realized.
Source: „European Manifesto on Supporting Innovation for Cultural and Creative Sectors“ – The Arts+ Innovation Summit 2018, Frankfurter Buchmesse.