This edition of our monthly member spotlight showcases ADDICT, whose Executive Producer, Cristina Farinha, has answered our short set of questions this time.
Can you tell us a bit about ADDICT – Creative Industries Portugal and what you do?
Cristina Farinha: Created in 2008, currently around 100 members spanning the culture and creative sector disciplines as well as different institutional profiles, including universities, R&D centres, city councils, creative businesses and non-profit cultural organisations. ADDICT is recognised by the Ministry for Economy as the coordinator of the creative industries cluster in Portugal. Its mission is to foster a favourable environment for the creative economy to thrive, promoting capacity building and internationalization of the sector´s stakeholders, advocating for adequate public policy and acting as a networking & knowledge promotion platform.
How do you support the Creative Industries?
Cristina Farinha: ADDICT´s develops different initiatives, in most of the cases alongside other partners, in a logic of joining efforts and resources, targeting the sector´s professionals and organisations as well as policy decision makers and institutions. Firstly, we support individually our members in identifying partners and the right sources of funding for their projects, and we organise events to debate their main interests and concerns but also to make new contacts and network, as the case for the Club ADDICT sessions, the European Creative Hubs Forum. We also promote the sector´s capacity building, notably entrepreneurship and the development and testing of new ideas, by promoting and participating in the conception and jury of several competitions – like the National Award for the Creative Industries and the Creative Business Cup-, mentoring and accelerating programmes for start ups; contacts with business angels and investors. Finally, we promote and commission studies and mappings to increase and disseminate knowledge about the sector – like the Asia-Europe Creative Hubs Mapping – and we represent it at political level in many public events and discussions.
ADDICT’s vision is to position the North of Portugal among the most creative parts of Europe. What opportunities and barriers are there currently in Portugal for the creative industries?
Cristina Farinha: ADDICT has started with a regional vision an strategy as it was created by a group of institutions and professionals from the north of Portugal yet gradually its action and mission became national and in addition we´re increasing our European and international connections and work. In what comes to existing opportunities and barriers, here follow some:
– Competitive and qualified young human resources in the technology, culture and creative field;
– Existence of a network of relevant infra-structures for the sector professionals to learn, research, experiment and test new ideas, interact and present their work;
– Huge crossovers potential with tourism making the best out of its very diversified landscape and local produce, as well as architectonical but also immaterial heritage;
– Cultural links and close contacts with Africa, Latin America and Asia, enlarging our potential market, notably via the Portuguese language;
· – Lack of a political national wide vision for the sector development with consequent lack of specific support tools and programmes;
· – Political and economic instability preventing a long-term investment strategy;
· – Still insufficient international mobility and participation in networks.
Finally: Does ADDICT have any exciting plans for the future you’d like to share with us?
Cristina Farinha: In the period 2024-2020 we´re investing in a stronger connection with the ICT sector, via the establishing of the Portuguese mirror platform NEM –New European Media, alongside partners from the ICT cluster, that is inscribed in the European NEM Initiative (Networked and Electronic Media Initiative) that was established as one of the European Technology Platforms. We intend to develop further the connection between media and content to push innovation and creativity and open up new and larger opportunities for our members from the media and audiovisual sector.
We´re also preparing some projects jointly with Latin-American partners that will hopefully link and facilitate the internationalization of our professionals into this territory.
Thank you very much for these worthwhile insights and all the best!