RegionArts project intends to improve the competitiveness of SMEs through the coordination of innovative, social and inventive aptitudes into the production processes. I.e. improve the economic importance of creative processes as impetuses for advancement, particularly when these processes create mutual momentum with technologies.

It was in light of this, SERN facilitated the fifth Exchange of Experience (EoE) in Brussels from 05 to 07 November 2019. The ‘Screening existing support programmes and practices in partner regions’ recognized the pertinent encounters previously going on at a regional level that develop hybrids between the areas of ARTS and ICT and build upon productive associations among specialists and technologists. The workshop/study visits were devoted for the most part to associations, such as ERRIN and Flanders DC, that help and interface the various actors of the creative industries

Enhancing SME competitiveness and innovation is a priority of public business support programmes. To this end, public authorities execute various measures (vouchers, mentoring, awards). Notwithstanding, furthering hybrids among these two areas and especially improving their connectives, isn't clear nor simple. Thus, the main purpose of this intraregional meeting was to screen existing support programmes/initiatives for ARTS & ICT. SERN, conjointly with the RegionArts partnership, selected the most pertinent, among them the Bureau of European Design Association (BEDA), the STARTS Ecosystem, Creative Europe MEDIA Desk Flanders, the Regional Initiative for Culture and Creativity (RICC), Art Partner, Cluster and the Cultural and Creative Sectors Guarantee Facility (CCS GF) from the European Investment Fund.* 

The second day of the EoE started at ERRIN, where Agnieszka Wieczorek present ERRIN’s mission and Anna Spechtenhauser (Stuttgart Region) presented the Design & Creativity Working Group. The aim of this working group is to raise the awareness for the potential of design in European and regional policies, to develop links to other existing design-related networks and to facilitate project development within these areas. From here, the partnership moved to Leuven, to meet with Pascal Cools (Managing Director) and Carlo Vuijlsteke (Senior Project Manager Knowledge & Advice) from FLANDERS DC. Flanders District of Creativity is the single point of contact for entrepreneurs in the creative industries in Flanders, consequently actively informing, coaching, promoting and inspiring creative entrepreneurs who want to build or grow their business.

The last visit of the day happened to be in Regione Molise Permanent Representation office in Brussels. The neo-gothic style house opened its doors to accommodate RegionArts partnership and the European Commission (EC) representatives. The EC represented by Mrs. Barbara Stacher (DG EAC), Ms. Ingrid Rones and Mr. Ivan Brincat (DG Connect, Audiovisual Industry and Media Support Programmes, Creative Europe MEDIA) in an open dialogue disclosed the EU Work Plan for Culture 2019-22, the different CCS funding opportunities, the new funding programme (2021 onwards).

Altogether, this day delivered valuable insights and information for the partner regions which aim to improve cooperation between the different DGs of the European Commission besides presenting several successful cases already implemented in Europe.

*More information about these sessions can be found in the file 'REPORT EXCHANGE OF EXPERIENCE 05' in the Library Section of the website.