The two European Creative Districts were launched in the spring of 2013: Wallonia Creative District and CREATE in Tuscany. Both initiatives aim to demonstrate how traditional industrial regions can, via policies and support measures for entrepreneurship and innovation, help to create a supportive ecosystem in which entrepreneurs can develop, innovate, grow and internationalize.
What are the Creative Districts?
In 2013 the two European Creative have raised high expectations with regard to their regional approaches aiming at modernising their ‘traditional industries’ through creativity and non-technological innovation. The project ‘Creative District’ is an initiative by the European Parliament and has been implemented through two grant agreements by DG Enterprise and Industry in these two regions.
The idea is to demonstrate how ‘old’ industrial regions can help to create a supportive, creative and innovative for entrepreneurs to develop their ideas and projects. Both Wallonia and Tuscany have made great efforts to put such ‘systemic’ innovation and creativity strategies in place. The idea is to further test such approaches and demonstrate to other regions how creativity can help to transform industrial regions.
Activities of the Creative Districts
In Wallonia, the framework programme ‘Creative Wallonia’ exists since 2011. The Wallonia European Creative District will build upon this regional strategy and add transnational mutual policy learning to it as well as to open up the business support and access to finance actions as well as cluster activities to international stakeholders. Watch a video on Creative Wallonia down below:
CREATE (Prato, Italy)
Tuscany, and the Prato 'textile district' will aim at transforming the traditional textile industry from a manufacturing district into a local system in which the outputs of the core activities. This is based on the manufacturing industries, which also contain intangible activities such as design, fashion, coordination, marketing or distribution and thus by re-shifting and re-gaining larger parts of the value added chain.
CREATE aims at upscaling the innovation potential of the micro enterprises and SMEs in the textile sector, building stronger branding of the whole textile district and by engaging into strategic and collaborative international cluster cooperation with other textile and creative districts in Europe and beyond.
“This project aims to be the starting point through which to tell the world about Prato’s productive capacity,” said Lorenzo Guazzini, vice president of Prato’s Chamber of Commerce. His wish was that this project would "make people understand that Prato can be a point of reference in which creatives, brands and industry experts can all find what they are looking for.”