Creative industries: Setting the research agenda (2009)

Creative Business & Entrepreneurship | 16 September 2011
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Research in the Netherlands
Research into participation in culture, media use and leisure pursuits has a long-standing tradition in the Netherlands. Initial studies in this area were carried out before the Second World War. In the fifties Statistics Netherlands began with national surveys of leisure activities (CBS, 1954-66) which examined cultural visits, the amateur arts, reading habits and media use in detail. Since the seventies the large-scale surveys have been continued by the Social and Cultural Planning Office (SCP) founded in 1973, one of whose main functions is to conduct scientific research into social and cultural trends. These statistics, however, analyze the use of cultural facilities and institutions as part of the leisure-time activities. The research was driven by cultural policy agendas, and was not so much initiated by economic interests.

The entrepreneurial dimension
The Faculty of Arts and Economics [at the Utrecht School of the Arts] has a tradition in executing education and research geared at the managerial aspects of the arts. The Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency has commissioned the Faculty to execute a study regarding the entrepreneurial dimension of cultural and creative industries (EACEA, 2008b).

This research project is aiming at providing the European Commission with a better understanding of the operations and specific needs of companies in the cultural and creative industries, especially SMEs. The project will:

1. Identify the characteristics of firms in the cultural and creative sectors, particularly in comparison with the other sectors of economic activity. This document highlights both the transversal characteristics common to all these industries and, where applicable, those specific to some of them;

2. Identify the specific challenges facing these companies, especially SMEs, which are liable to hamper innovation and prevent them from obtaining maximum benefit from the internal market, globalization and the availability of new information and communication technologies.

3. Highlights the transversal challenges facing these enterprises, regardless of the cultural and creative industry to which they belong, and, as far as possible, pinpoint problems more specifically linked to each of the industries concerned. As an example, it will address the challenges existing in the fields of training (managerial skills), reinforcement of entrepreneurship, availability of venture capital, access to capital, access to the market place, access to new technologies, access to R&D tools, access to foreign markets, availability of relevant human resources, need for new business models, etc.;

4. Analyze environmental aspects, in particular regulatory issues, which influence the development of these companies or act as barriers to entry, as well as the question of access to finance.

5. The project will in particular address the situation of SMEs as opposed to the big players of the considered sectors.

6. It will cover the 27 Members of the EU. The country analysis will be useful to compare national markets, entrepreneurial behaviours at SMEs and the regulatory environments in which cultural and creative organizations operate. For each country will be selected some statistical indicators (e.g. relative importance of the industry (% of GDP), population size and age distribution, educational level, per capita expenses in culture, geographical concentration of cultural and creative companies).

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