Creative Hubs are third places that bring together different audiences in order to enable innovation. Wap’s hub is the creative hub of the city of Tournai.
The Creative Hubs were created following a call for projects launched by the Walloon Government as part of the "Creative Wallonia" programme (https://www.interregeurope.eu/policylearning/good-practices/item/581/creative-wallonia-policy-instrument/ ) in October 2014. The aim of the Walloon hubs is to encourage the transition from our traditional economy to a creative economy by bringing together creative minds, CCIs, public institutions, cities, innovative companies, universities, innovation centres, local development actors... and by implementing the notions of open innovation, trans-disciplinary hybridisation, design thinking and collective intelligence in a local context. Creative hubs are located in urban centres.
The hub addresses all kinds of publics: its core method is the mobilisation of students, creators, artists and scientists and companies.
The actions take the form of calls for projects promoting the "mix" of audiences from different backgrounds, networking events and the provision of creative venues where different audiences can meet. This hub does not focus on one sector, the approach is multisectorial.
Wap’s hub has launched several actions in order to set-up cross-collaboration projects : A Fab Lab (210 users), creative meetings, Art-enterprise projects, which try to link artists and SME’s to co-create a project.etc. This action has already allowed the creation of 10 projects by a group of artist and entrepreneurs.
For the implementation of the Wap’s Hub (City of Tournai) :
Pilot phase 2014-2015: €160.000 - Walloon financing
ERDF (structural funds) phase 2014-2020: €5.438.108 (1st call) + €389.078 (3rd call) - EU-Wallonia co-financing
Regarding the employees, there are 3.5 full time employees.
Evidence of success
In 3 years, the hub has already succeeded to promote creativity in its local ecosystem. More than 65 companies were sensitised and take part in activities offered by the hub. Moreover, a lot of students and citizens were also impacted by the different actions.
Several collaborations between artists and SME’s were born thanks to the hub. The Wap's hub is also involved in a cross-border interreg project : Protopitch 3.0 related to the cultural and creative industries.
Risks regarding “efforts dilution” because Wap’s hub addresses a large panel of target groups.
Challenges in gathering in the same project CCI’s actors and traditional SME’s.
Difficulties to include the area around the city of Tournai with smaller cities and rural municipalities.
Potential for learning or transfer
Waps’ hub is a good illustration of a multilevel project: initiated by a local development agency (Ideta) in the context of a regional policy (Creative Wallonia) and co-funded by the EU (ERDF). Regarding the CCIs, Wap’s hub is a physical place as well as an association that structures the whole CCIs’ ecosystem in the Tournai area. Such a model has a strong potential to develop the CCIs. Wap’s hub proposes simultaneously training, third places to meet and network, programmes to launch projects or develop ideas and advice to innovate or to access financing. Moreover, its core mechanism is to link different target audiences (artists, scientists, etc.) to SME’s in order to reinforce the cross-collaboration between the wider economy and CCI’s. Therefore, it will generate added value in the ecosystem by creating new projects, new companies and new jobs.
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