Make Cultural Creative Industries a new priority in the Research & Innovation Programme 2021-2027

The “Vienna declaration on Innovation for an Inclusive and Creative Society” supported by ECBN, today with 61 leading stakeholders from 23 nations, summarizes the conclusions of the European Creative Industries Summit (ECIS) on the 3rd-4th October 2018 in Vienna.

In the context of the negotiations in the European Parliament 2018 about the next Research and Innovation Programme of the European Union 2021-2027 the Vienna Declaration highlights the role of Cultural Creative Industries (CCIs) as vital partners to address the challenges for the future of Europe – in climate change, mobility, energy, health, migration, (youth) unemployment, growth and wellbeing and call on the European Parliament and the European member states to act accordingly and grant a priority role and correspondent budget allocations to CCIs in the new Research & Innovation Programme 2021-2027.

The next generation of innovation

Innovation activities have developed over the last decades from technological product innovation and technological process innovation (OECD Oslo Manual, 1st edition) to a broader range of equally important form of innovations, including service, business model and organisational innovation (OECD Oslo Manual, 2nd edition). This epic shift from hard to soft innovation – as defined and proven by the OECD – has become more and more visible and influential as disruptive innovation driven by the digital revolution has become the new normal.

In the unfolding 21st century we are currently witnessing the development and success of this next generation of innovation: soft innovation companies – like software, advertising, branding businesses, design companies – are today among the most valuable stock-market listed companies.

The rise of soft innovation propelled content production to a new role: it became a general driver for innovation in all sectors of society. It is no accident that creativity and creative industries were recognized as a new source of productivity in 2000 (besides land, capital and labour). The European Union created “The Innovation Union“ and the “Smart Specialisation Plattform“ in 2014, took into regard cultural and creative crossover-innovation driven by the disruptions of the Cultural and Creative industries in 2015, and focused on cultural heritage as a driver of our future in the digital society and economy in 2018.

Creating next generation solutions by cultural and creative innovations

The CCIs have proven to be a vehicle to stimulate soft and even disruptive innovations, especially at the cross-roads of sectors, the so called cross-innovations. Specially at the interface of cultural heritage and technology, as well as CCIs and digital technologies, both break-through and incremental innovations can effectively be supported. The range of possible applications is manifold, for instance in health & wellbeing, mobility, green energy, climate change and cultural heritage.

Funding cross-innovation in its social, not just technological, dimension is also paramount to an open society in Europe: cultural stakeholders in Europe have extensive practice and knowledge of social innovations, but they are too often limited to local boundaries. Mainstreaming local innovations trans-nationally and trans-culturally would support quick and concrete problem-solving in Europe, especially for the unemployed youth. It would also support an open and diverse Europe politically. One capacity of CCI – beyond all sectors – is their crucial role in helping the SME sector in digital transformation, such as agile methods of work, open innovation methods, scrum and co-creation processes.

Within this framework, the ECIS 2018 concludes that only Europe can lead the global competition in growth and wellbeing by embracing the disruptive power of soft innovation – without neglecting or underestimating the benefits of technological innovations, and that the EU must therefore unlock these innovation potentials by unleashing innovations of the cultural creative industries that remained largely untapped in FP 8.

Innovating the innovation ecology in the Cultural Creative Industries

Recognizing CCIs as one of the dominating business sectors in Europe with some 509 billion Euro in GDP value added, as well as the successful growth in turnover and jobs driven by these sectors and given the latest structural development let by ECBN to join efforts and act together as an industry and a partner for policy, ECBN calls on the European Institute for Innovation and Technology to support a next level innovation ecology in the CCIs by establishing and funding a Knowhow Innovation Community, called “KIC“.

“A KIC and its new innovation system is of key importance to ensure global competitiveness of the cultural creative industries in the future and to unleash its innovation potential which we can not forgo in solving the major challenges of our times“.

Bernd Fesel, Director ECBN, October 15th.

Also and among other measures, the ECIS 2018 recommends that the CCIs must be a new priority in the next Research and Innovation Programme of the European Union 2021-2027 by creating a cluster dedicated to research and innovation in the field of CCIs within the Horizon Europe Programme and to provide this cluster with a budget of 3 billion euros;

Political action is needed now, otherwise Horizon Europe will be as research driven as Horizon 2020 and the innovation potential will not be unleashed to stop the loss of global competitiveness in Europe.

Read the full Vienna Declaration here.