Veni, Vidi, VINCI! National success for the VINCI voucher scheme

12 MARCH 2013

From 20 to 600 vouchers within 1 year... A report on how the European creative vouchers system developed in the VINCI project led to a 30 times bigger national support scheme for the creative industries.

VINCI logoThe goals of the VINCI project (Vouchers IN Creative Industries) were twofold. On the one hand it aimed to develop, implement and test the conditions for a voucher scheme that aims to encourage the wider use of innovative services of the creative industries by companies and organisations from diverse sectors. On the other hand VINCI serves as a model for the development and implementation of a national creative voucher system to support this type of cooperation.

Both objectives were successfully achieved in almost one year, under the dedicated coordination of the Austria Wirtschaftsservice GmbH (aws – the Austrian national funding agency). The region of Salzburg served as a pilot region, where the carefully prepared communication activities and supervised interaction between the creative service providers and SMEs from diverse sectors enabled the creation of a fruitful test-bed. Following the financing guidelines developed especially for this scheme, over 70 project applicants competed for receiving one of the 20 European creative vouchers.

VINCI Scheme inspires Austrian government
Having been closely involved at all stages of development of the VINCI project, the Austrian Federal Ministry of Economy, Family and Youth took over the structures developed by VINCI. It then built upon the experiences and interim results of the project in a parallel implementation of an Austrian nationwide creative voucher programme, in order to have the highest possible impact and create synergies in the cost and activities structures.

Due to immense interest after its launch on 11 February 2013, it was soon clear that the initial plan for 300 Austrian creative vouchers worth €5.000,- each was insufficient. After only 9 days, Mr. Reinhold Mitterlehner (Minister of Economy, Family and Youth) announced the doubling of the budget to 3 million euros for 600 creative vouchers alltogether. Mr Mitterlehner stated: “The high demand shows that we hit the right nerve”.

On 5th of March aws had to stop the application procedure since they have already received more than 900 applications. The applications are currently under the evaluation process.

Voucher scheme goes Europeanwide
At European level, aws cooperates with Bayern Design, with the Government of South Tyrol and the Slovenian authorities for further spill-overs and benefited from the knowledge-sharing of NESTA, one of the pioneers of the creative credits in UK. Based on this cooperation, the Austrian national creative voucher is also open to the creative service providers from Europe, in the true spirit of European cooperation.

As a European project that has triggered follow-up investments of 300%, the VINCI Voucher Scheme now proudly says: “veni, vidi, VINCI”.

More information
For more information on the VINCI Voucher scheme, please click here.
You can also contact Georg Gasteiger (g.gasteiger[at]awsg.at) or visit www.impulse-awsg.at/vinci.

(For the Austrian press release, please click here.)