Creativity and Innovation in Europe

URBACT

By URBACT, on July 26th, 2010

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A few months after the presentation of the Green Paper on Cultural and Creative Industries the European debate has been more centred on innovation, rather than creativity. In a document produced for the European Commission Enterprise & Industry Directorate-General called “New Cluster Concepts Activities in Creative Industries” the core definition of creative industries is linked to art, music, culture, writing and fashion. This approach is mainly metropolitan-based.

The document also states a big difference between creativity and innovation: “Art and culture and most other creative industries are not driven by neither research, nor new solutions based on new knowledge from users; creative industries are basically taste-driven and most creative workers aspiration is to set new standards for users taste and choice”.

As appealing as this theory can be, for us, the two words are connected. We don’t have one without the other. In small and medium-sized urban areas the main difference is to have an integrated strategy connecting creativity, innovation, sustainability and education.
And that’s why Education was the subject of our last Creative Clusters project thematic workshop in Reggio Emilia. For the partners, it was the opportunity to learn with one of the world references. The degree of specialisation and educational development in Reggio Emilia is impressive, and the feeling from outside is that Reggio Emilia has the future guaranteed. Obviously, things are always most complicated, but one thing is for sure, Reggio has a huge advantage when competing with other places: Innovation.

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Miguel Silvestre
Creative Clusters Lead Partner

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