On 13-15 February 2019 three team members of the North-West Regional Development Agency
participated in the staff exchange organised in Vienna by Austria Wirtsschaftservice (AWS).
The agenda included the following topics:
• Austria Creative Industries Strategy – AWS and Federal Ministry of Digital and Economic Affairs
• Annual Creative Industries Reports - KAT Kreativwirtschaft
• Programmes for the Creative Industries – Vienna Business Agency and AWS
• Hubs as tool for boosting creatives – AWS and Impact Hub
What are the main challenges in your region (you were hoping to address with the staff exchange)?
According to the participants, the main challenge in the Romanian Region is the lack of structure of the creative sectors and the lack of dedicated public infrastructures and financing tools. Furthermore, the creative industries are not included in the public policy agenda and the monitoring of the evolution of the creative sectors is only made possible by the efforts of private initiatives.
What are the learnings you take home from this Staff Exchange?
The representatives of the of the North-West Regional Development Agency stress the importance of statistical tools (such as indicators, NACE codes and yearly reports) which are crucial for monitoring and evaluating the evolution of the Cultural and Creative Industries. Another important learning is the development of the Policy Business Canvas of the incipient regional Romanian strategy, which is not only a very useful planning tool, but also a good design thinking exercise.
Of course, the Cultural and Creative Industries need a strong and supportive institutional system, not only at State level, but also at local level.
Also, in order to grow and develop, the Cultural and Creative Industries need a stimulating and favourable environment which could be found in creative hubs and co-working spaces.
Which of the learnings could also be applied/ transferred to you Region?
The learnings that could be applied to the Romanian Region are the Cultural and Creative Industries Analysis model and several policy measures implemented by AWS, the Creative Chamber of Commerce and the Vienna Business Agency. The staff exchanged served also as source of inspiration for the implementation of a strategy plan in the Romanian Region.
Do you see the possibility of transferring the learnings to your region?
Once again, the members of the North-West Regional Development Agency stress the importance of transferring the ICC statistical analysis to Romania and use the Austrian annual reports as guidance.
Another learning that could be implemented in the Romanian Region is the implementation of a strategy plan, built on the Austrian strategy’s design and structure. Nevertheless, due to the lack of a dedicated public structure, the Region will have to rely only on the support provided mainly by private organizations and institutions within the creative and cultural sector.
What are barriers in your Region?
As mentioned before, the main challenge the Creative and Cultural Industries have to face in the Region is the way resources are allocated. Regions in Romania are not administrative, therefore they do not have the possibility to finance their own strategies and plans, but can count only on local budgets and operational programs implemented by the European Regional Development Fund.
This shows once again that creative and cultural industries are not considered a priority at the policy level.