The Dutch Topsector Creative Industries stimulates innovation in six networks


Concerning knowledge and innovation, six networks have been stimulated by the national topsector Creative Industries over the past years. Next Fashion was one of these national networks, with support of the city of Arnhem as well as the province of Gelderland in the Eastern part of the Netherlands.Creative Industries policies have stimulated regional creative hot spots, next to specific creative sectors such as fashion (design). At a national level, Creative Industries has been appointed one of the nine Dutch topsectors. Each topsector in the Netherlands focusses on human capital development, internationalization, and knowledge and innovation.

Creative City Arnhem

Arnhem has transformed into a creative city for several years already, with a growing number of creative start-ups and an applied university for the arts, ‘ArtEZ’. The applied university ArtEZ hosts one of the three centers of expertise in the Netherlands on creative industries called ‘Futuremakers’[1]. Researchers work together with public and private in research projects. The aim is “to develop more sustainable value chains for products and services in the field of fashion, textiles, product and interior design”.

Both education, production and presentation are represented in the creative chain of Arnhem. In this way, the city can further develop her cultural and creative sector consisting of arts, music, dance, design and fashion. Creative Industries play an important role in innovation and new jobs. Arnhem is one of the top three cities in the Netherlands related to creative industries employment[2].

Arnhem has also joined forces with the city Nijmegen in cultural policies and activities. In this way a stronger national position can be realized. Further, the current collaboration in the applied university Arnhem-Nijmegen (HAN) can be further extended between the two cities.

Fashion and Design Festival

Every year in June, Arnhem organizes the Fashion + Design festival, with exhibitions, fashion shows, performances and events throughout the city. The ‘State of Fashion 2018: searching for the new luxury’ exhibition is part of this festival. The 2018 edition is about sustainable solutions in the use of materials, in production, as well as in the consumption of fashion[3].

“State of Fashion 2018 – searching for the new luxury explores a new sense of conscious consumerism, by embracing state-of-the-art technologies, innovative production methods and ingenious business models, and by exploring the exiting area in which science and fashion design meet” (Jose Teunissen, curator)[4]


Concluding, the cultural and creative sector in Arnhem already have a strong foothold as well as good perspectives. In the coming years, further collaboration, both at a regional and national level, is important in order to further build upon the current position. The city of Arnhem has a responsibility to maintain their support in enabling growth in this promising sector.




[4] Brochure ‘State of Fashion 2018’, introduction