While the world might know Greece as a vacation heaven, nine RCIA project partners know it to be a launchpad of creativity receiving media coverage on YouTube and news posts by agencies such as Lamia Report and Digital Star.
The seventh RCIA study visit to Greece took place between 19-20 September 2018 at Kamena Vourla. Attended by project partners from nine countries (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Romania, Greece, Latvia, Italy, Poland and Spain), the study visit covered a broad range of topics central to policy development.
The first day kicked off by a presentation from the Management team, reporting on areas such as joint progress, policy instruments and the intricacies surrounding a budget shift. The Management teams’ presentation was followed by an update by the Communications team, where attention was given to social media guidelines, progress reporting on media appearances and an outline was laid for story-telling across all communication platforms. The Exchange of Experiences’ team shared key points on good practices, ideas for improving own policy instruments, and emphasized on areas such as deeper analysis of staff exchanges, regular communication with stakeholder groups, and called for renewed vigor in the action plan and its implementation. After the presentations, participants went over the work plan for the upcoming semester, specifying action points and next steps – and had a warm welcome from the regional councilor of Central Greece, Mr. Themistoklis Cheimaras, as well as Dr. Ioannis Sykiotis, the Mayor of the region.
The day then went on to a workshop on clusters, moderated by the project partner in Romania. The key highlights include a redefinition of ‘clusters’, relevant aims, audiences, support programmes in Europe, different approaches as well as challenges faced in the field. The focus of the workshop was on enhancing RCIA’s objective to position CCI as “the missing link” throughout sectors and disciplines as innovation drivers, by increasing the attractiveness and innovative image of a city/region/country through viewing clusters as mini eco-systems which create dynamic economic impact and enhance the performance of its members. This was achieved through a short introduction round on the EU cluster support framework, followed by a round table debate among the participants. The discussion touched upon important topics such as examples of initiatives undertaken by the cluster which involved CCI components and answered questions on cross-cluster collaboration and how the cluster environment (membership links, cooperation inside and outside the cluster, promotion, joint initiatives) can facilitate the use of creative and cultural industries. The participants also debated on what actions the cluster management can take in order to attract CCI expertise for its own members, the importance of cluster financing and what the main challenges from the cluster perspective are.
The workshop was followed by a presentation of NGO DIAZOMA by Evdokimos Fregoglou. NGO DIAZOMA is a social coalition whose mission is to protect, restore and promote monuments, focusing on ancient theatres. Diazoma builds synergies between the public and the private sector through engaging them in the projects. The role is to be a catalyst and bring together the public sector and private companies.
Konstantinos Kakarountas from Digital Animation House (DAHOUSE) followed with a presentation on his background and career and showed some examples of what his company is doing in the different fields of moving images. Digital Animation House (DAHOUSE) is the studio of Konstantinos P. Kakarountas which specializes in the development of the moving image.
Day two in Greece featured a study visit to Thermopylae’s Innovative Centre of Historical Information (works with many digital tools for presenting information on Greek History, such as 3D cinema, touch screens, etc) where the participants used touch screens and interactive tables to learn more about the The Battle in Thermopylae, which is considered as one of the most important battles of Greek and World History, showing virtues like bravery, self-sacrifice. The study visit culminated with, on one side a, a to-do list from each presenting team and important deadlines that had to be met, and on the other, a solemn promise by all the project partners to do their best to empower creative industries