EIT to launch call for creative industries

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology is drawing up the framework for a new network to foster innovation in the creative and cultural industries. In the autumn, it will invite universities, industry and research organisations to submit their roadmaps

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) will launch a funding call this autumn to back the formation of a knowledge and innovation community (KIC) for the creative and cultural industries.

The new KIC will be EIT’s ninth network, providing training, business acceleration services and funding for the sector across Europe.

The EIT is currently drawing up the framework for the KIC and will invite universities,  businesses and research organisations to submit proposals to bring the new community to life. The best plan will get funding to become a full-fledged KIC in September 2022.

The European Commission first proposed to set up a creative and cultural industries innovation community in 2019. Less than a year later the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns have brought the creative and cultural industries to a standstill.

Martin Kern, director of the EIT, says the new KIC will help an industry which has seen a 30% decrease in activity during the pandemic to recuperate. “That is a key opportunity now for the EIT, for innovation to make a difference here,” he said.

There are no set criteria on who can apply to form a KIC, but Kern says, when EIT was setting up its other eight KICs, they had consortia of around 50 partners at the proposal stage. “It shouldn’t be so much about the number, but rather how the partners participate,” Kern said.

There is no set budget. The new KIC will get a fixed amount for start up and then funding will gradually grow if the new community performs well. Over the next seven years, together with a future KIC for the water sector, it can get up to 10% of the EIT’s €2.96 billion budget.

The new KIC will sit alongside the European Bauhaus,  another EU project marrying innovation and the culture with the aim of turning Europe’s green deal into a cultural and architectural movement. It is unclear whether the two projects will have synergies, but the efforts reflect the EU research system’s newfound interest in the cultural and creative industries.

All this is contingent on the European Parliament adopting the EIT’s regulation and strategic agenda on 26 April. Once MEPs vote in favour of the establishing the revamped EIT for the next seven years, the innovation agency will be able to start a new phase and access its €2.96 billion budget.

Editor's note: A previous version of this article said Martin Kern's first name was Michael. The article was updated on 16 April to correct the mistake.

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