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THE ARTS+ Innovation Summit was launched in 2017 to bring together people who are passionate about international innovation support for the creative sectors. In 2018, this international network has grown. When it gathers again on Wednesday, 10 October 2018, in THE ARTS+ Salon at the Frankfurter Buchmesse, it will aim to voice core demands for innovation support for the cultural and creative sectors (CCS) on levels such as funding and financing mechanisms, internationalisation, skills and competences, cross-sectoral exchanges and more.

The creative sectors are very good at communicating other people’s messages and stories. Yet when it comes to articulating their own interests, their voice is surprisingly weak. This has a lot to do with fragmentation, as the majority of creative players are micro-entities. On top of that, the creative sectors are not (yet) united, “they still often work in sectoral silos.” (p. 305).

European players have done a great job in the past decade by arguing the social, economic and cultural relevance of the creative sectors in numerous studies. In 2016, the European Parliament demanded – finally! – a coherent policy for the creative sectors as a key European industry: “What we need is a comprehensive industrial strategy at the European level that will take all specific characteristics of cultural and creative industries into account, and will turn challenges like digitalisation (…) into new growth and job opportunities.” But to create a coherent policy, what is needed first and foremost is a strong and united voice for the creative sectors. This is currently still lacking.

THE ARTS+ Innovation Summit supports the creative sectors to find this strong voice and to build adequate innovation support frameworks. We are convinced that the creative sectors have many innovation needs in common. New technologies trigger innovation on all levels, be it products, services, processes, organisational cultures, business models, value networks, or skills and competences. When we say “creative sectors” we don’t think along the lines of “commercial” or “publicly funded”, we think of creative people and the value they generate. We know there is a lack of knowledge – and awareness – of these very special innovation processes. And for that reason there’s also a lack of coherent innovation support frameworks.

We agree with Mariana Mazzucato, author of The Entrepreneurial State, when she highlights the need to “develop a new industrial policy (…) in which the state (plays) a leading entrepreneurial role in achieving innovation-led growth.” (p. 15) Yet growth is not the only potential benefit. Values, skills and competences are equally important. To boost the creative sectors to the “digital level”, we need a strong innovation support framework, built collectively. Join us at THE ARTS+ Innovation Summit 2018!


Join THE ARTS+ Innovation Summit partners:

Strategic partners: Fitzcarraldo Foundation/ ArtLab (Italy); New European Media (NEM)/Madrid Network ICT Audiovisual Cluster (Spain); I3; European Creative Business Network (ECBN)/ European Centre for Creative Economy (ecce); European Commission, Directorate General for Culture and Education (DG EAC)/ Creative Europe; ALDUS – European Bookfairs’ Network

Partners: Federation of European Publishers (FEP), German Publishers and Booksellers Assocation, EBN (Belgium), UNESCO Germany