WKO President Harald Mahrer, Federal Minister Margarete Schramböck and EU Commissioner Tibor Navracsics: Need for greater integration of the creative industries into the European innovation system

“BEYOND: Cross‑Innovation as Driver for Growth in the European Digital Single Market” is the motto of this year’s European Creative Industries Summit (ECIS) 2018, which takes place in Vienna on Thursday 3 October as part of the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The European Union is still one of the world’s richest regions. If, however, it wishes to maintain its competitiveness as an innovative region, the dynamic of other countries poses a challenge. In light of this, the creative industries are, like hardly any other area, gaining increasing importance as an innovative factor in the European Union.

“In the competition for the title “leading innovator”, the creative industries have turned out to be one of Europe’s most important new partners, which need to be even better integrated into the innovation system. As innovation pioneers, creative professionals continually develop and test great ideas, they experiment with new technologies and business models and create crossover effects for all other areas of the economy”,

stressed Harald Mahrer, President of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (Wirtschaftskammer Österreich – WKO), during the opening of the European Creative Industries Summit (ECIS) 2018.

Austria was quick to recognise the relevance of the creative industries for innovation policy. At federal level, the creative industries fall under the Austrian Strategy for Research, Technology and Innovation. The federal government offers economic support to the creative industries and has initiated a strategy for the Austrian creative industries. The KAT (Kreativwirtschaft Austria) of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber, is one of the bodies responsible for providing professional support services to creative workers. “We have therefore determined the roadmap until 2025, so that we can increase the pace of innovation for the small-scale and strongly export-oriented economy in Austria That is the direction we should also be taking with European support measures”, Mahrer emphasised.

Federal Minister Schramböck: The creative sector as a driver for digitalisation

“As a driver for digitalisation and innovative products, the creative sector forms an indispensable part of our economy. For every euro of value added generated by the creative industries, another 0.84 euros of value added are created by the rest of the economy and each person working in the creative industries secures another 0.76 of a job in the Austrian economy. In addition to the established professions, recent years have seen strong growth in particular in the gaming industry, which now accounts for a third of the gross value added of Austrian creative industries. We must continue to promote these new trends, as the connections thereby created between the population and digitalisation have a broad impact”,

said Margarete Schramböck, Federal Minister for Digital and Economic Affairs. Taking into account employment, turnover and gross value added, software and games is already the largest sector by far of the Austrian creative industries. The gross value added of software and games stands at around 3 065 million euros and is more than twice as large as that of the second largest sector in the creative industries (advertising).

EU Commissioner Tibor Navracsics: Work together with the cultural and creative industries under several EU programmes

“I am delighted that the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the EU is holding this conference on the role of the creative industries during the European Year of Cultural Heritage. It is good and important to discuss this topic while we are negotiating the next EU budget for the 2021‑2027 financial period. I am convinced that the support for the cultural and creative industries should be stepped up significantly. These sectors are important in order to promote innovation and competitiveness, to boost economic growth and the creation of jobs, as well as to strengthen social development and cohesion between our countries and regions. We therefore propose to work together with the cultural and creative industries under several programmes funded by the EU budget, including of course a re-enforced successor programme for ‘Creative Europe’”,

said Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport.

Creative industries comprise 7.5% of all workers in Europe

The ever increasing importance of the creative industries for the EU economy is also attested by the strong growth in this sector: There are now 3 million creative businesses in Europe, which comprise 7.5% of EU workers and have an annual turnover of 1 500 billion euros. Almost 12% of Austrian companies are creative businesses and generate a turnover volume of 2.8%.

Some 150 participants will hold a discussion with the players of the European creative industries and European decision makers about the direction and focal points of the European innovation and creativity policies. It is precisely at the interface of the creative industries and digitalisation that groundbreaking innovations arise. There are many different possible applications, for instance in the areas of health and wellbeing, mobility, green energy and climate change. The European Creative Industries Summit 2018 aims to show how the creative industries use innovation to drive the economy as well as the development of regions and society as a whole. The event aims at showcasing industrial‑scale cross-innovation practices as well as at stimulating and making use of the unique benefits that creative industries deliver as an integral part of European economic and innovation policies.

More information about this event can be found on the event page.