Hosted by the Public Service of Wallonia, next 1and 2 November the 4th CREADIS3 project study visit will take place in Wallonia (Belgium).

In 2015, Wallonia has adopted its economic redeployment strategy: the Marshall Plan 4.0 whose goals include the development of an industrial innovation’s policy, also known as the regional Smart Specialization Strategy. The Walloon S3 strategy is mostly focused on its competitive clusters. The Walloon competitive clusters are groupings of companies, training centres and public or private research units in a leading sector of the economy, for instance logistics & transports, aeronautics & space, sustainable chemistry & materials, biotechnology & health, agro-industry and mechanical engineering. Beside those sectoral specialization domains, the Walloon S3 also emphasizes on 4 transversal axes: digital & ICT, SMEs internationalization, resources efficiency and creative economy. This final axe aims at stimulating creativity and innovation (also non-technological) in order to boost the economic regional development. It identifies the CCI’s sector as an important sector with a strong innovation potential. In order to implement this strategy, Wallonia launched several actions regarding the creative economy. Among them, the Creative Hubs policy whose goals is to stimulate creative entrepreneurship and facilitate crossovers between companies, artists, public institutions, associations, universities, innovation centres, local actors, etc. It is to be noticed that the Creative Wallonia programme is coming to an end and that a new strategy towards CCIs may come into play. 

The 2-days programme of the Study Visit is focused on the Digital Arts’ sector. Indeed, it will happen during the KIKK Festival in Namur, an international Festival around digital and creative cultures that you will visit.

The 2-days programme is built in order to follow the CCIs’ entrepreneurial value chain as determined by the CREADIS3 project (cf. mapping 2): Competence development > Creation infrastructures > Entrepreneurship > Innovation > Growth > Financing > Internationalisation. We will therefore travel along the chain and show examples in each of the elements. Day 1 will deal with the two first elements: presentation of IDCampus, a competence center in creativity, and visit of the CoWallonia Coworking spaces. Day 2 will cover the last fifth elements with the visit of the Mons’ creative ecosystem and the presentations of the TWIST Cluster and the investment fund for creative SMEs St’Art. A final workshop will be organized in order to compare the different regions’ elements/tools/services of their value chain.

 It will be a special moment of the year in Wallonia: the KIKK festival! “Founded in 2011 in Namur, Belgium, the KIKK promotes digital and creative cultures. We create bridges between art, culture, science and technology through the organization of event and educational projects as well as the production of artworks and support to creative projects. The KIKK Festival’s interest lies in the  artistic and economic implications of new technologies. This annual event gathers people of all backgrounds from all around the world. They are designers, scientists, makers, entrepreneurs, artists, architects, developers or musicians. They come to KIKK to tell you their personal anecdotes, to share professional experiences and innovative ideas, to present an artwork, a project or a product. You return home full of inspiration with plenty of contacts and new passions.”

 The initial priority and collaboration framework for Wallonia within the CREADIS3 project is to “Improve cross collaborations within the local ecosystem of hubs, labs, clusters, incubators, universities, science parks etc”. This aspect will be particularly addressed during the 2nd day in Mons with the presentations and visits of the local creative ecosystem. Mons was the European Capital of Culture in 2015. You will be able to discover how its local creative ecosystem is transforming this momentum into an opportunity to bring together the worlds of culture, economics and technology. You will learn how the Creative Valley Hub uses creative and networking tools to drive entrepreneurship, in collaboration with the local stakeholders (universities, labs, incubators...).

You will meet the project leaders from the CCIs’ sector developing technological innovations with the support of MuseumLab and CLICK' Living Labs. You will also test an immersive experience deployed in a museum during the Niki de Saint Phalle exhibition.