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Webinar on creative hubs: support infrastructures for creative and cultural industries

By Platform

On 5 December 2019, the Policy Learning Platform organised a webinar on the topic of creative hubs. Specifically on how they can function as supporting infrastructures for creative and cultural industries. Below you can access the replay of the webinar, the presentations and the key learnings. 


The topic of the webinar was

by thematic expert, Luc Schmerber. This was followed up the three inspiring examples of good practices and two action plans:

Webinar replay

Watch the replay of the webinar below. To help you navigate through the highlights and questions during the webinar, find an agenda overview below. This is followed by a summary of key learnings. 

00:05:30 Introduction by thematic expert Luc Schmerber 

00:17:10 Presentation on the Trakk creative hub in Namur by Delphine Coderniaux 

00:29:00 Q&A: Are you charging for the services you provide? What is the business model for the years to come? 

00:30:40 Q&A: How transferable is the concept to other regions and cities in Europe? 

00:31:52 Q&A: Which organisation currently employ the 11 employees working in the creative hub? 

00:34:00 Presentation on the Wap's creative hub in Tournai by Larissa Grommersch 

00:40:49 Q&A: Does the creative hub have a separate legal structure? 

00:41:30 Q&A: Could you give examples of how the creative hub is supporting traditional industries? 

00:43:22 Presentation on Canodrom Creative Industries Research Park by Berta Pérez

00:52:25 Q&A: What is the unique selling point of the Canodrom Creative Industries Research Park? 

00:54:35 Q&A: What are the next challenges for Canodrom? Is Canodrom part of the city internationalisation instrument? 

01:00:00 Presentation on action for creative hubs in Malta by Andrea Stegani 

01:07:30 Joint presentation on the action plans for the Wallonia region by Delphine Coderniaux and Larissa Grommersch

Panel discussion 

01:19:33 Q&A: Who took the initiative in the creation of this hubs? Was it bottom up or top-down? Was the idea initiated by the region, the cities or private companies? 

01:21:38 Q&A: How can we better inform regional policy makers on the economic impact of cultural industries on their regions? How can we convince them to invest in cultural hot spots and cultural heritage?

01:25:11 Q&A: Do these projects cooperate with the European Creative Hubs Network? Do they try to learn from the experiences of the existing creative hubs, especially those formed by the creatives themselves through a bottom-up approach?

01:26:25 Q&A: What support schemes are out there, such as the voucher scheme mentioned by Andrea, that support traditional industries with creative solutions? 

Key Learnings 

The term 'creative hubs' represents a variety of organisations providing usually space or infrastructure for networking, organisational and business development for businesses from the cultural and creative industries but also from more traditional sectors, which can benefit from innovative and creative input.

From the presentations and discussions we could identify some common aspects of creative hubs:

  • There is no one size fits it all model. They interact with local policy makers and businesses and are often part of urban development projects. They are therefore strongly influenced by their geographic placement, their cultural context and social requirements.
  • Beyond this diversity, it was made clear that creative hubs have in common that they play a significant role in building and running local ecosystems involving public authorities, businesses, cultural actors and civil society.
  • Creative hubs have also in common their aim to support the development of business within the creative and cultural industries but also beyond.
  • Most creative hubs provide a broad range of services, encompassing typically infrastructure (co-working space, FabLab...), soft support (incubation, coaching...) and access to funding (vouchers...).

A widely shared characteristic of creative hubs is that their management and staff reflect the diversity of their stakeholders and clients, serving in parallel economic, social and cultural ambitions. 

The action plan of the Wallonia region – implemented in the projects RCIA and CREADIS3 provided a good example of a virtuous policy making circle:

  1. Impact measurement and evaluation of existing hubs, especially with respect to cross-sectoral collaboration and ecosystem development;
  2. Improving accordingly the governance of local ecosystems by strengthening the collaboration between public institutions and the hubs but also among different relevant public institutions;
  3. Continuously develop the hubs in a joint collaboration among the existing hubs and their stakeholders;
  4. Asses to the potential of creative hubs to contribute to economic and innovation policy developments and especially the future S3 strategy;
  5. Provide dedicated support to specific hubs to implement new offers or develop new ecosystems.

Do you have an inspiring example of a creative hub to share with us? Tweet us and let us know about your activities! 

Image credit: Photo by Ann H from Pexels