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    Unlocking the potential of cultural and creative industries

    It is evident that the cultural and creative industries have extensive influence on social, democratic and cultural wealth. As such, CCIs are increasingly being recognised as industrial and economic assets. The most frequently used annotation of cultural and creative industries (CCI) in European policy making include the following fields and sectors: architecture, books and publishing, design, advertisement, film, business, music business, radio & TV, software and games and performing arts. According to the former Europrean Creative Industries Alliance, the CCIs illustrated in 2014 (latest figures displayed) approximately 3% of EU GDP and 6.7 million jobs with above average growth rates. Therefore, discovering the capability of CCIs have become an aspect of competitiveness for the European economy as distinctively illustrated in the eponymous EC Green Paper from 2010.

    Even though many regions have deemed CCIs as one of their S3 priorities, Austria went over and above to include CCIs in the national policy framework thought the Creative Industries Strategy. This has helped to improve the regional CCI policies for an increasing competitive economy. It is the consequence of a co-creative and participatory process spearheaded by the Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy, which dominantly was a manifold stakeholders’ workshop comprising of 100 representatives of the creative industries from all federal provinces of Austria.

    As a consequence, the Creative Industries Strategy for Austria became an entire part of the Austrian strategic policy framework targeted at intensifying Austria’s innovation system, thus consummating the Federal Government’s strategy regarding research, technology and innovation (the RTI strategy), the Open Innovation Strategy, the Gründerland (“founder’s land”) strategy, the Open Access Recommendations, the IP Strategy and the Digital Road map. The Creative Industries Strategy for Austria contains a series of 22 significant factors encompassing three pillars for a strategic approach to the development of CCIs:

    1. Advancing the competitiveness of the Austrian CCIs as an economic sector by creating entrepreneurial skills, enhancing location-related conditions, nurturing young talents and supporting the internationalisation of creative enterprises.
    2. Reinforcing the innovation capacities of the Austrian CCIs, by enhancing their innovation know-how, e.g. about methods supporting innovation processes, and boosting their access to funding and venture capital.
    3. Leveraging on the positive contributions of CCIs to change and enhance the competitiveness of other sectors, including public administration, by promoting cross-sector collaboration with CCIs and establishing awareness on their impact, including quantitative data.

    The Austrian deliberation to the execution of this strategy is evident through the setup or extension of committed support programmes such as the impulse grant scheme for innovative projects within the CCIs or the Kreativwirtschaftsscheck – KWS (Creative Voucher) scheme which put forward up to 5.000 EUR for any Austria-based SME for cooperation with a creative service provider from across the globe. The KWS voucher has since been tapped onto by more than 2.000 Austrian SMEs with 2.000 SMEs applying for this scheme annually.

    This reference consists of a detailed strategy framework, which is being utilised as a reference point by other partner regions from RCIA and beyond.

    Source: Interreg Europe