Experts from 12 European countries have joined forces to strengthen the future of the creative industries. Today they present a 10 step action plan to enable cross-sectoral collaboration and access to finance. The European Creative Industries Alliance (ECIA) is the platform on which these experts in the field of creative industries collaborate to set an agenda for innovation and growth. According to the experts, the creative industries also need to measure and raise awareness of their value as key driver of innovation and growth.

“The European Commission highlights creative industries as a leading sector to take the EU out of the economic crisis. The European Creative Industries Alliance specifically aims to test new business support measures and provide more favourable conditions for innovation and growth supported by creative SMEs in Europe. Some 3,750 SMEs have benefitted directly from the Alliance’s concrete actions, having received customized innovation support” according to Mr Rasmus Wiinstedt Tscherning, Chair of Policy Learning Platform ECIA.

ECIA recommends to focus this growth agenda on 10 steps, among which are the introduction of creative innovation voucher schemes and better business support.

Voucher schemes
To stimulate cross-sectoral collaboration, an innovation voucher scheme will boost creative SMEs stronger orientation towards business-to-business markets in order to act as a horizontal enabler of added-value. The vouchers are a tool for businesses to spend innovation subsidies on collaboration with creative SMEs. This requires increased professionalisation of creative SMEs, including the ability to recognize and respond to innovation challenges in other industries. This cross-sectoral approach boosts innovation and growth in all sectors.

Business support & access to finance
Building better business support and access to finance are also crucial for the creative industries to grow and mature, according to the experts. One of the 10 steps is to launch new and innovative financing schemes to support creative SMEs, such as microcredits, repayable contributions, peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding. The EU programme Creative Europe, which includes a new financial guarantee facility, is highly welcomed as a targeted instrument which will facilitate the access to finance for cultural and creative sector SMEs.

The 10 step action plan was presented and handed to the Dutch Minister of Culture and Education of the Netherlands, Ms Jet Bussemaker during the ECIA conference in Amsterdam.

Below, you can download the full Final Report containing all policy reccomendations:

Front Final Report

ECIA Final Report: Create, Innovate, Grow (pdf)

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