AiCC (Italian Association Cities of Ceramics) identifies high quality events (markets, workshops, etc.) abroad and supports Italian ceramists to participate.
The economic crisis has triggered the need to increase the presence of ceramic SMEs on foreign markets. However, for ceramists (especially family run businesses) it is usually unlikely to independently explore such markets. Hence, targeted initiatives are particularly sought after.
Esperienze is one of these: the Italian Association Cities of Ceramics (AiCC) supports ceramists identify and participate in quality international events, by providing expert advice on event selection, management and promotion, as well as financial aids.
Within Esperienze AiCC works as follows:
- In collaboration with AEuCC (European Association Cities of Ceramic), it identifies and selects quality events (e.g. markets, workshops) at international level, sends information to its data base and launches a call for interested ceramists;
- It assists ceramists applying for the events;
- It supports events’ organizers in selecting the applications;
- It supports selected ceramists in the management of their participation in the event;
- It grants a financial contribution to the ceramists selected. This is provided upon participation in the event and preparation of a storytelling article to be published on AiCC website.
Esperienze helped increase the presence of Italian ceramists in quality initiatives abroad and promote Italian ceramics on international markets. It enabled ceramists getting a better knowledge of experiences from other countries and improving their foreign language skills.
The contribution to each ceramist is between €200 and €300), depending on the type of the event, duration, distance, final result.
The grant is provided after the participation, on the base of a summary report (travel and accomodation costs)
The budget is provided directly by AiCC promotion bud
Evidence of success
Action launched in 2017 and renewed in 2018 and 2019
4-5 events was promoted per year
Over 20 participants took part overall (2017-2019), 90% was selected and granted
AiCC has published 11 articles-reports (success stories) written with a “ceramics & touristic” approach
The action showed positive participation of Ceramists; replication of the action for over 3 years and strong adhesion to the publication of the final reports
“Experiences” are published and available on AiCC website (634 ac
1) Historically, Italian ceramists are reluctant to carry out activities abroad.
2) Another problem is to find a wide number of high quality events in Europe that could be interesting and “appealing” for Italian ceramists.
Potential for learning or transfer
This GP is a cost-effective initiative that can be easily replicated by other interested regions. Main strengths are an effective and lean management model and the capacity to improve soft skills of the ceramists involved.
Public Authorities could assign funds and human resources (e.g. administrative / logistic support; translation services, etc.) to facilitate the participation of ceramic SMEs in international markets/workshops/fairs.
This can have positive effects on internationalization, marketing and networking of SMEs (resulting as issues for ceramic SMEs based on CLAY analysis), but also on the development of individual skills and knowledge. Moreover, this international opportunity can raise the interest of young people (who generally show low interest in traditional sectors, such as ceramics) and attract them to ceramics.
This GP could be a useful reference model to boost SME competitiveness also in other traditional sectors, facing similar challenges to the ceramics’ one.
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