about ECIA


ECIA logo for reportThe ECIA (European Creative Industries Alliance) was co-funded by the EU to support the development of Creative & Cultural Industry Policies. Nine projects across 12 countries worked together to test and develop new programmes and policies between 2012 to 2014/5. A considerable amount of dissemination was done during 2015.

Projects covered Cluster development, Financial Support, Voucher Schemes, Cross-Innovation, Spill-Over effects. Project teams worked together to develop a set of Creative & Cultural Policy recommendations for use at EU, national, regional and local levels. Download ECIA’s main output of recommendations here Innovate! Create! Grow! Report (opens in a new tab)

Cluster 2020 is one of these concrete actions of ECIA. It focus is on cluster policy and testing next generation business support.The main reports and outputs from Cluster 2020 can be downloaded from the C2020 Publications Page. The project has now finished but its findings are still available.

The project lead for Cluster 2020, David Furmage has pulled together a set of MIND MAPS to help navigate all the findings and recommendations from the work of ECIA. Originally intended purely as an aide memoire for David’s dissemination of project findings, some people have declared these useful! They can be downloaded here ECIA Mind Maps (opens in a new tab)

The original web platform which was at www.eciaplatform.eu is currently unavailable.

The aim of Cluster 2020 is to trial a range of practical ideas that will help cluster managers offer a truly ’next generation’ range of services to help their members grow and succeed. Findings from this cluster project and the other ECIA ‘concrete actions’ (around access to finance, voucher schemes, cross-innovation and  collaboration) will form a new blueprint for how to run creative and digital clusters, highlighting their particular needs and how they differ from often well established clusters in other sectors.

Some of the things we’ll be testing and finding out at Cluster 2020 include:

How to identify Growth Opportunities to help creatives ‘follow the money’ and understand where the emerging opportunities will be for them. We’ll bring information and Guides.

We’ll test a new on-line diagnostic tool and dashboard that will improve the efficiency of business support advisors, help collate and signpost options and deliver a visual dashboard to help creatives understand their priorities. ‘Creative Accelerator’ will be tested with businesses during 2013-14.

How can data experts deliver low cost services to SME’s helping them get a competitive advantage. We’ll work out the methodology, showcase a bunch of case studies and explore how to start a new market for data expert services.

Which tools and services are best for creative companies, bringing them improved productivity in a  ’Creative Industry Friendly’ way. We’ll launch productivity Guides and a Study on being ‘CI Friendly’.

We’ll look at how to take coworking centres ‘to the next level’, with better practices and a wealth of new ideas. Our partners in Munich have launched Werk1, based on many of these New ideas in Coworking

We’re also looking at Efficiency in Incubation Centres, a report to follow soon.

We’ll be launching 60 expert video clips, covering key issues and emerging topics for especially creative and digital businesses (but they’ll apply to a wide range of SME’s). Take a look at our YouTube Channel.

We’ll be looking at ways to collaborate between industries, using our knowledge  the trends, data and other findings to help connect businesses with markets that will help them grow.

We’re already an active participant in the Policy Learning Platform of the ECIA, and will bring our increasing knowledge and understanding back to cluster managers and their organisations across Europe. Contact us for more information.

For more details download these publications:  Cluster 2020 Intro Leaflet   About Cluster 2020                  Intro to Cluster 2020 & Results So Far Apr13.

The Cluster 2020 partnership is working with business clusters in England, Germany & France.

View more Cluster 2020 publications and ECIA publications  (the ECIA link is currently unavailable)
from left: Charlotte Blottiere (TVT), Michel Ferran (TVT), Martin Laarmann (Gate), Margaret Mulligan (EBN), Franz Glatz (Gate), David Furmage (SGI/CUE), Johanna Bolhoven (Creative England), Carsten Schierenbeck (European Commission) at Media City in Salford, UK (taken in 2012)

from left: Charlotte Blottiere (TVT), Michel Ferran (TVT), Martin Laarmann (Gate), Margaret Mulligan (EBN), Franz Glatz (Gate), David Furmage (SGI/CUE), Johanna Bolhoven (Creative England), Carsten Schierenbeck (European Commission) at Media City in Salford, UK (taken in 2012)

Members of the Cluster 2020 Consortium include:

The Serious Games Institute, Coventry University Enterprises, West Midlands, UK. With expertise in serious games, internationalization, trade missions. Offices and activities in the Far East and beyond. Active in creative sector support and clustering. We are leading this project.

European Business & Innovation Centre Network, Brussels.  EBN is a leading non-governmental pan-European network bringing together 200+ Business and Innovation Centres or BIC’s. They have extensive international cross-industry connections to innovation support stakeholders

Gate Garching from Munich, Germany. Technology, Innovation and co-working centres. They are currently launching a new Creative business centre, which we mentioned earlier. They run business clusters and support.

Creative England Is an England-wide (excluding London), Government funded national organization, tasked to support the creative industries. They have an extensive cluster membership and reach.

TVT Innovation from Provence in France. Our new partner still pending confirmation. A business innovation and co-working centre with wide connections into technology and other sectors.

Our WIDER partners and stakeholders include: UK: NESTA, Technology Strategy Board, Creative Industry Knowledge Transfer Network (CI-KTN), Birmingham City Council, Coventry City Council

IMPACTS & OUTPUTS: The project will reach 7000 businesses, engage directly with 2000 and work in detail with 250 businesses across 11+ clusters.

It will publish a range of guides, presentations and videos.


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This project is financed under the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) which aims to encourage the competitiveness of European enterprises.