On 15-16 October, project partners from Italy, the South Tyrol region, and Belgium, Wallonia, paid a visit to Latvia, Riga to experience and get to know the Latvian’s creative side. In the course of two days, visitation of nine inspirational projects - institutions that are working with creative industries, setting policy goals, and providing services and implementing creative approach in their daily operations took place.
The first day of staff exchange comprised of:
• The Ministry of Culture of Latvia, where we shared our experiences regarding issues related to create a Strategy for Creative Industries in Latvia and Italy;
• TechHub Riga, the largest coworking place for startups in Latvia;
• “Demola Latvia” and “RTU Design factory”, two projects that bring industry experts from companies to students in order to help shape multidisciplinary cocreation projects.
The second day was comprised of visitation ofsix creative places and projects:
• Creative Industries Incubator, only institution in Latvia that provides preincubation and incubation services just for creative industries;
• “Free Riga”, non-governmental organization that revitalizes empty buildings of Riga, to open them for creative and social activities;
• “The Mill”, creative hub that is located in premises of “Free Riga”;
• “Skola6”, creative hub that is located outside of Riga, in a town called Cēsis;
• “The Riga Circus”, multifunctional and contemporary venue for performances of circus arts, music, dance and other interdisciplinary shows, and also develops arts education and residencies programmes.
• Creative week “radi!”, national creativity week that aims to promote the awareness of the development of culture and creative industries and other sectors, such as creative tourism, creativity-oriented education, innovative entrepreneurship and smart governance.
Project partners from the South Tyrol region acknowledged “Demola Latvia” as inspiring project for matchmaking. The visit enabled the project partners understand what the important steps are, how the project should be developed, how the companies should be involved, as well as how the projects need to be managed once the project is finished. One of the focal points of the learnings was “Demola Latvia”’s collaboration with universities in order to create interdisciplinary teams of students who could work together on challenges.Another learning was to create selling points for the companies to increase their interest of participation. The selling point was that companies can test potential employees before hiring them and“Demola Latvia” can help them find challenges and solutions. And students get paid through the innovation grand program.
As for project partners from Wallonia, the Riga CCI incubator will be the main inspiration for the Creative Hub of Charleroi. The hub is planning to settle a CCI incubator. Thus, information provided regarding the incubation programmes in Riga are quite useful for starting the project.